When I was single, Valentine's Day was stressful. If I was single, I was mad that everyone else had someone to celebrate with. When I was dating, I was worried about how far to go - was a skywriter proclaiming my love after 3 dates a bit too much?
Then I got married, and I greeted Valentine's Day with a bit of relief - I've got a permanent date! And as I started having kids, the holiday has morphed into becoming less about my romantic love with my husband, and more about all different kinds of love, especially for my kids and my family.
I'm trying to focus more on fun things to do with my kids for this year's Valentine's Day. And I like to give them little gifts for the day, nothing major (this isn't second Christmas!), but just a token of my affection.
My kids love to do this now even more than when they were younger. Sometimes I purchase the window cling thingies and sometimes they make their own decorations - but taking the time to put up some cheery, colorful hearts and decorations is a fun way to spend some extra minutes together.
My daughters' are too old for this now (not cool, Mom!), but I still pack my son's lunch. Every year I try to tuck something heart-shaped in there - whether it's a doodle on their sandwich wrap, or a heart shaped fruit leather....just a little extra love in their lunch box to make them smile!
So I have to admit, this one does make me want to reach for the wine a bit, because you know the mess that results from a kid baking session. But they do love to bake, so I suck it up sometimes and will get out the flour and sugar. Find a fun, easy (preferably heart-shaped) dessert and make it together. If it's chocolate, at least you can look forward to eating it while you scrape the flour off the ceiling.
This is a new one for us this year, and the one I'm most looking forward to. Find a way to do some good together. If the weather's nice, maybe go to the local park and clean up a little bit. Have a lonely neighbor? Bring them some of those delicious treats you made together. Call up long-distance relatives together and catch up - anything that will make someone else feel good will make YOU feel good, too!
My kids really like going out to eat, and since we're a family of five that doesn't happen very often. Instead of cooking, maybe take the whole family out - even to a local pizza place. If it's a school night then it feels even more special! And you can spend less time cooking and doing dishes, and more time connecting with your kids and husband (oh yeah, remember him?).
What are some of the ways you and your family celebrate Valentine's Day? Hit me up in the comments!