Picture it. Valentine’s Day. College. 2007. I likely spent most of the day getting ready (alone of course), taking a long hot bath or shower, shaving my legs, picking out the perfect outfit, and taking an insane amount of time perfecting my hair and makeup. All of this, in preparation for a fancy dinner out with the beau, followed up with drinks at a swanky little bar then home to enjoy the enormous bouquet of roses that’d been delivered earlier in the day.

Fast forward, oh twelve years, and I’ll most likely spend 90% of my Valentine’s Day cleaning up Cheerios that have been crushed into the floor while breaking up hair pulling matches between the two oldest, over who gets to jump off the couch first. (Why though?)

Yep. Valentine’s Day looks just a pinch different than it did back in the day, but rather than fall down the rabbit hole of irritation, frustration and longing, we’ve decided to embrace and lean into our current season. We may not get all fancy and head out for a night on the town since we’ve now got three little cupids to care for at home, but that doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate.

Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day at home with kids:

Order in from your favorite take out place and grab something the kids love too! Set the table (and the mood!) with nice dishes, your favorite Candelles candles for the love birds, and set up a paper plate picnic on the floor for the kiddos. They’ll love the novelty of an indoor picnic, and you’ll have a romantic candle lit dinner! (For a couple minutes anyway!)

This is actually fun for everyone, so it’s a total win-win. Kiddos love to see what the grown-ups in their lives looked like before they were, well, grown ups. Even better, taking a peek back in time is fun for the adults too! Whether you are high school sweethearts who have yearbooks filled with declarations of love from years gone by or met each other later in life, taking just a little bit of time to reminisce over your favorite photographs together is one of my favorite things to do on Valentine’s Day.

Grab some construction paper and markers and let the kiddos draw a picture for someone they love that you can mail off the next day, and while they’re busy getting their Picasso on, take a couple moments to jot down your ten favorite things about your Valentine. Think it’s sexy when they whip up a delish dinner or haul out the super heavy trash? Write it down. Are they your knight in shining armor when they handle that big spider up on the ceiling like a boss? Say it. It may seem silly, but words of affirmation (while not only a legit love language) are an easy way to tell someone you see what they do and you appreciate it… and them!

Send the kiddos to bed, pull up a cheesy romantic comedy, grab a glass of wine and settle in with each other. More into drama or suspense than a cheesy, super unrealistic romance? That’s cool too. Just choose something that reminds you that there’s still entertainment in the world that doesn’t involve Baby Shark or Mother Goose. BONUS TIP: Use this time to ask for (or give!) a shoulder or foot rub. Carrying those babies around all day is hard on a person!

Okay so not necessarily sweet nothings, but stop and think about the last time you really sat down and simply talked and reconnected. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes before someone wakes up needing a drink of water or one more trip to the potty. Take just a little bit of time to sit and really check in with each other. Life with kids is hard, and busy, and noisy, and squeezing in some time to just talk is a little luxury that often goes by the wayside.  

While Valentine’s Day may look a little different than years past, I find that each time this holiday comes around I am more deeply appreciative of the little ways that my hubby plays cupid all year long: keeping track of the bills, making sure our vehicles are in good working order, shoveling the driveway when the snow hits, mowing the lawn, changing diapers, folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher and a multitude of other tasks that may seem mundane, but really show exactly how much he loves both our kiddos and myself. And not only on February 14th, but everyday of the year. And to be honest, I’m not sure any fancy dinner out alone could say it any better than that.

Share below what your typical Valentine's Day looks like!


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