Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, I have always really enjoyed it. Especially with kids, the opportunity to celebrate love is one I am not willing to pass up. However, with the pressure to make every holiday Pinterest perfect, what should be a fun and special day can become incredibly stressful. Between making 40 handmade valentines for my son’s kindergarten class and trying to ensure that I have something special planned for my husband and I, the holiday turns from happy to headache-inducing before it ever arrives.
The thing is, I don’t want to hate on Valentine’s Day. I want to continue enjoying it. I want to have fun with my family and celebrate in a way that feels meaningful to me. But what that really means is finding a few Valentine’s Day hacks that will help me relax, instead of cracking under the romantic pressure. Here are a few tips that can help make Valentine’s Day with your kids enjoyable and easy.
- Make special meals, but make them simple – I used to try making every Valentine’s Day meal themed and unique, once spending an entire afternoon devoted to making homemade heart-shaped cheese raviolis. While it was certainly memorable, it wasn’t entirely enjoyable because it took forever and was incredibly involved. Instead of opting for fancy bento boxes with heart shaped everything, add a little red food dye to morning pancakes or cereal milk. Or take a heart shaped cookie cutter to a piece of buttered toast. Making a “special” meal doesn’t need to take a lot of effort or planning.
- Do a Dollar Store run – If you want to decorate your house on the cheap, don’t look to the zillion complicated DIY crafts and make a beeline to the Dollar Store instead. Their holiday stuff is always front and center, so you can pick up special plates and decor to make the holiday extra spectacular without shelling out a fortune. If you really want to up the ante, give each kid a dollar or two to pick out something at the store as their special Valentine’s Day contribution. Making it a family affair is a lot more important than making it Pinterest worthy.
- Take a rain check with your significant other – If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids, it’s easy to get to the end of the day and feel completely burnt out. So if you also want to celebrate the holiday with your significant other, it’s best to pick another day as your designated Valentine’s Day. You can still exchange cards or do a special meal (and by special meal, I mean order takeout), but save the grand gestures for another day. Maybe pick something relaxing to look forward to, like a spa day together or an out of the ordinary date night. The anticipation will make it even better, and it means extending the celebration of love instead of cramming it all into one day.
- Don’t forget to give yourself some love – When it comes to celebrating holidays, moms often focus so much on everyone else that they forget to enjoy the moment themselves. Make some room for yourself on Valentine’s Day and try to squeeze in some self-care, whether it’s a long shower after your husband comes home or watching a favorite show while the baby is napping. You need love too, so put yourself first, at least for a little while.