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Written by:  Anna Seip
Date: February 1, 2011

Red roses? Check. Romantic dinner? Check. Jewelry, candy and mushy greeting card? Check, check and check. That's what Valentine's Day looks like for many women — a combination of stuff husbands rush out and buy because the calendar says so. Once a woman becomes a mom, though, those trophies don't seem nearly as important. We're too busy trying to find a matching pair of socks, a pacifier, or a new and exciting way to make chicken, again. We also realize roses are a waste of money, candy has to be shared with the kids, and a fancy dinner out requires a baby-sitter who charges a small fortune.

So what's a husband to do for Valentine's Day? Cancel the obligatory trip to Victoria's Secret? Forgo the heart-shaped box of chocolate? Guys, you can buy that stuff if you like, but that's not what we really want.

What do women want, exactly? This age-old question has puzzled men since the beginning of time. Movies have been made about it, books have been written and still the question remains. Well, here's the answer: Women want a nap and a clean house.

Seriously. It's that simple. You think we're complicated creatures, but often our happiness boils down to those very two things.

We'd also settle for a flat stomach, some bathroom privacy to shave both legs and a full night's sleep.

But let's start with the nap and the housework. If you want to put a woman in the mood, tell her — in great detail — how you cleaned out the fridge. Tell her about all the moldy fruit you threw out, the brown gunk under the butter dish and the mystery leftovers. Tell her that you took care of it. That's better than lingerie or jewelry any day.

As for a sappy card, nothing Hallmark could write is sexier than a note that reads, "Don't worry. The laundry is already folded and put away." Those 10 words will elicit a contented sigh and major bonus points.

In other words, the best gifts of all won't cost you a penny. What's more valuable than free time? Dads, take the kids out of the house for two hours so your wife can have an uninterrupted nap. Even if she doesn't sleep, she'll still enjoy the time alone to read an entire magazine article, watch a chick flick in peace or take a bubble bath — where she can shave, yep, not just one but two legs.

What else? Every woman dreams of coming home from work, putting her feet up and admiring a dining room table that's free of backpacks, bills and science projects. Trust me. A clean dining room table is a status symbol among moms.

What's our idea of steamy? A dishwasher full of clean glasses. That way, she can fix herself something to drink and get back to admiring that dining room table. That's what women want.

Anna Seip is an editor, writer, mom and wife.


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