There are three camps when it comes to Valentine’s Day: the “It’s just a load of commercial rubbish” camp, the “Go all in and be romantic” camp and, finally, there are parents. Since my first Valentine’s Day as a parent back in 2011, I like to think I’ve become an expert in the best Valentine’s Day gifts for parents. Perhaps controversially, I’ve always enjoyed Valentine’s Day. Any excuse to show your other half you still rather like them is a winner in my book.
When the NLM and I first got together he made a huge fuss over Valentine’s Day. Scattered rose petals, a treasure trail of presents and a home-cooked fancy dinner, complete with specially designed menu cards. Fast-forward a couple of years and we were both exhausted new parents. That year I got a pair of slippers and a Brita water filter – I kid you not.
This year, to avoid any confusion, we chatted about Valentine’s Day a month in advance. I didn’t want that awkward “Ta da! I’ve bought you a gift!” scenario, only to be met by a blank face and a “Uh, are we doing that this year?” response. So we decided that, this year, we were all in. We’ve been desperately lacking time together recently and now that Baby Girl’s not so much of a baby anymore we knew 2017 was the year we got back a bit of that couple time.
This weekend we’re heading away for a child-free night and we’ve even gone to the trouble of picking out a few gifts for each other.
Gifts for mums
My gift wish list has been all about products to pamper myself and turn my morning zombie face into a presentable thing of no-scariness, in super-quick time. With that in mind, my gift list includes some gorgeous beauty products which, let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t justify spending the cash on unless it was a special occasion.
First up, it’s Wonderglow by Charlotte Tilbury (if Caroline Hirons says it’s good, then it must be so). I’ve wanted this primer for ages, after reading about it and hearing amazing reviews and, finally, I have some of my own! Apparently, Charlotte invented it as a perfect solution for “school run face” – when you don’t have time to do a full face of makeup but you want something quick to slap on to give you a lovely glow.
Next, I wanted a decent concealer that would negate the need for foundation on a regular weekday because, like many mums, I simply don’t have time for that crap on a Monday morning. So I turned to Clarins Instant Concealer. This one’s much loved by Sali Hughes and is one I’ve been wanting to try out for a while. Anything to help with the under-eye bags has to be a winner.
Last on my list, I picked the refreshing, pure scent that has always been my favourite but which I ran out of a while back. Issey Miyake’s L’Eau d’Issey is the ideal scent for spring. It’s fresh, light and summery, which is exactly what I need at the moment as I battle the dark and rainy early mornings.
Here are some other things that would make brilliant gifts for a mum this Valentine’s Day…
Gifts for dads
Although it might not seem like the most obvious or romantic present for Valentine’s Day, this year the NLM was adamant that he wanted a pair of shoes. He’s awful at buying himself clothes or footwear, so it often falls on me to cover his sartorial needs in the form of gifts. Top of his current wishlist is a pair of shoes or boots that he can wear for “smart casual” (what does that phrase even mean?!) with a pair of jeans or trousers. We’re going to Paris in a couple of months and I know he wants to have some footwear he can wear during the day and evening without feeling like a total scruff in his battered New Balance trainers.
Also on his list was some new aftershave. I went with an old faithful – Prada’s Luna Rossa Sport. Sometimes it’s best to stick with what you know, after all.
Here are some other things that didn’t make my final cut, but which could easily make it to the list next year…
What would be on your Valentine’s gift list this year, if money was no object?
Thanks to John Lewis for working with me on this post. For more details of how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page. (Contains affiliate links.)