Valentine’s Day can pass by as just another day if you’re with someone who makes a living being away. Since they’re always on the road, it’s a logistical challenge to send them gifts in the mail.
Making plans can also fall off of your to-do list since staying behind at home often means juggling the kids and hectic schedules.
We sacrifice a lot of one-on-one time with our spouse but with some flexibility, we can still make Valentines Day (and birthdays and anniversaries) just as special as “regular” families who see each other on a daily basis.
Here are a few ways you can make Valentine’s Day a little more special this year.
Think about your spouse’s preferences
Take some time to think about gifts or gestures that have resonated with your spouse in the past. Was it a home cooked meal? Pack his favorite dishes in some Tupperware and attach a note. Or maybe it was a particular tool he said he needed but didn’t have time to buy.
Since spending time on the road is a large chunk of his day, consider how you could enhance his journey. Maybe you could download a cool podcast series or buy an audiobook to listen to. A Spotify playlist of your favorite songs might also be a nice touch for Valentine’s Day.
You don’t have to celebrate on Valentine’s Day
I’m a huge believer in picking whatever date works for you to celebrate a special day. I’ve gotten accustomed to celebrating this way from Will’s past deployments when he was in the military.
Just because Valentine’s Day is on the 14th doesn’t mean you need to celebrate it on that day, especially if he’s on the road. Pick a day that works for the both of you and choose it on the day he’ll be home.
Put a gift in the truck
For special times like a birthday, I’ve often put wrapped up gifts in the truck for my husband Will to open. I told him we would call him first thing that morning when our four girls and I could sing happy birthday to him. Thanks to video calls, we’d watch him open his present afterward.
Schedule a Facetime date
When Will is on the road, we speak several times daily. Our daughters often jump in and talk to him too, unless they were at school or asleep.
The last two Valentine’s we made it a point to schedule a Facetime lunch date. We’d schedule it during his 30-minute break and when our kids were at school so we could talk without interruptions.
Express your appreciation
A few years back, I decided to take an overnight trip with Will in his truck. I learned a lot about the challenges that happen on the road, but mostly, I learned to appreciate him so much more.
Send a handwritten letter conveying and thank your partner for what he sacrifices. It may seem obvious that they know how you feel, but it feels good to be reminded every now and then, especially on Valentine’s. It’s also a nice gesture to write it out.
Shared experiences beyond Valentine’s Day
If you’re a stickler for celebrating on Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Some of us are sticklers for dates, I get it. If this is the case, try the Facetime date and then make plans to share a special experience for when he returns home.
Try something new. Some of the best experiences I’ve shared with Will was trying new things. My favorite to date? Snowboarding!
Whether you spend the day together or apart, the most important thing is to focus on the love you share and the joy you bring each other. Recall some of your favorite memories and moments that make you laugh and get excited to make new ones.