I get it. This is the year’s most romantic holiday and you are celebrating alone. But, let’s face it.
We’re never alone!
We have our beautiful children. And, if this holiday is all about celebrating love, what greater love is there on earth than a mother’s love for her children? Not much. Actually, I think it’s the most powerful love I’ve ever felt between two people. It takes a lot of love to still enjoy being with our children after a day when they have destroyed the house, whined, and have decided to take a shower in the dog’s water bowl using a ramekin (well, maybe this is something only my child has done… Ha!).
So, there are several ways that we can have can have an awesome Valentine’s day with our kids.
1) Make your own Valentine’s day cards
Apparently, back before you could buy cards premade at the store for around 3 dollars, everyone made their own. I decided to bring that back this year! Even with a toddler, you can always do crayons, colored pencils, and good old fashioned construction paper. I just let him color on some paper and finger paint on some more, cut the paper in the shape of a heart, and labeled it with a sharpie. It was super easy and he had so much fun! Even though he has no clue what Valentine’s day is this year, I’m sure his grandparents will think that they are awesome. The older your kids are, the more creative and customized your Valentines can be. Who knows? Maybe they will love it so much it can become a family tradition. I have mine on the fridge because I love it so much!
2) Make homemade sugar cookies with royal icing.
These were also really fun. The dough was a little more difficult than I would have liked it to be, but that is probably because I don’t have a mixer or a rolling pin. I totally did it by hand and used a glass to roll them out flat. Maybe, if you are into modern conveniences, it will be an easier process for you. (Ha!) I found the recipe at all recipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-sugar-cookies/. My sister and I too much fun decorating these. And Ollie really loved that he got to lick the bowl. He also loved eating as many as I would let him.
3) Make a craft
I decided to make the awesome mugs that you see in the first picture of the post. Why? Because I felt like everything was marketed to kids and couples. Instead of feeling left out, I decided to make my own Valentine’s day gear. Seriously, it’s now my favorite mug. We have been happily having our morning coffee and hot chocolate in these awesome things. Ollie loves mustaches, so he stares at it for a while and then drains the chocolate out in under 5 minutes. You just decorate plain mugs with sharpies and bake at 350 for thirty minutes. Turn off the oven and leave them in until the oven is cool. Voila! Awesome mugs. It was that easy.
4) Make your favorite dinner
Around here, that is chicken nuggets and yogurt for Ollie with a side of French fries. Even though it is not romantic and doesn’t have the ambiance of a candlelit dinner, it is always fun to be able to eat with your kids and spend time together. As Ollie is going through terrible twos, this is the most peaceful part of the day for us. If you don’t feel like cooking, pizza is always a good, easy option. If you’re brave, you can go out. But, for us, the crowds and the meltdowns that my baby loves to have at restaurants is just not worth it these days!
5) Have a movie night
Ollie and I are movie buffs. Our favorite thing to do in the evenings is cuddle up and watch a movie. As this is something a lot of people do on Valentine’s day, I figured it would be fun and easily adapted for children. We made some popcorn and rented Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (It was adorable and just as good as the first one). I think that, as long as we aren’t still iced in on Friday, we are going to do it again. Because Ollie is so little, we usually do movies after he is bathed, in his pajamas and ready to pass out after. Who doesn’t love cuddling up and watching a movie? And it is freezing in Atlanta right now, so my picnic idea had to be scratched. (I’m really disappointed about that!).
I think there are tons of other ideas that you can come up with. I think the secret to planning Valentine’s day with your kids is the same as it is spending it with someone you are dating: figure out what they love to do or what would make them the happiest and do that. Whether that means board games, paint, or baking, at least at the end of the day you will be able to make some awesome memories. Because isn’t that what parenting is all about anyway? We just want to love our kids and have a good time. And I think that you can use these ideas as a starting point to have an awesome time with your kids this Valentine’s day.
P.S. I have two Valentines this year: Ollie and… ME. I think we forget to take care of ourselves as single parents! So, my next post will be about being your own awesome Valentine. Because, let’s face it, you deserve to be spoiled a little this Valentine’s day! .