11/02/2016 12:31 GMT | Updated 11/02/2017 05:12 GMT

Valentine's: Before Kids vs After Kids

People say that romance is difficult after kids. I would actually argue that due to a significant drop in both standards and expectations, romance after the children come along, is actually easier.

Allow me to demonstrate...

Romance Before Kids - The pressure was on to be spontaneous. The element of surprise was key. Being whisked away for a surprise romantic weekend was the mother of all romantic gestures to pull off.

Romance After Kids - Life runs on a schedule. If it's not on the calendar, it's not happening. Valentines day being pre-printed on the calendar saves me time! Date nights are planned with military precision. The best spontaneous gesture is for my husband to say "shall we get take-out tonight". You mean I don't have to cook, and you are going to go out and get it? That right there is why I married you.

Romance Before Kids - Preparation meant shopping for a new dress and of course shoes to match. Getting my hair and nails done and generally spending a good few hours getting ready.

Romance After Kids - Preparation is booking the all important babysitters and cracking open the champagne because the grandparents are available, and have insisted on having them over night.

Romance Before Kids - Dinner at a fancy restaurant, where the only table available is at 9:15 and the portion sizes would leave the likes of Naomi Campbell hungry.

Romance After Kids - Snuggled on the sofa in your PJ's with pizza and a bottle of wine. That is true love people.

Romance Before Kids - Having a bit of a smooch to a slow song at your cousins wedding.

Romance After Kids - Having a bit of a smooch to a slow song on the radio in the kitchen with a small person attached to each leg.

Romance Before Kids - A romantic bubble bath for two. Only one of you gets the tap end, and its far too hot so you are oozing sweat rather than sex appeal.

Romance After Kids - Who am I kidding I haven't had time for a bath in six years, and being that I would have to share it with 10 plastic boats and a purple octopus, it's kind of lost its attraction. Plus I'd just have flashbacks to that time the big one pooed in the bath.

If you're not convinced that life after children can be romantic check out these before kids and the after alternative...

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Image: (c) lifeloveanddirtydishes.com

I'll take a cosy night on the sofa any day. Although if my husband is reading this, romantic getaways are also welcome too, just don't surprise me. I need to pack for 4 nowadays.

This post was fist published on Claire's blog Life, Love and Dirty Dishes. For the latest post check out Facebook.