A Mom’s Guide to a Frugal, Fun Valentine’s Day

The MomCo Staff

For Moms, Valentine’s Day is About Celebrating Love 

Valentine’s Day conjures up images of romantic dinners, boxes of chocolate, and bouquets of roses. But for moms with kids at home, the day looks a little different. Though the tradition of giving cards and candy still lives on in classrooms across America, moms are usually the ones doing most of the planning and preparation for February 14th.  

Between baking treats for school parties, helping put together DIY Valentines, and getting the house decorated with hearts and doilies, the holiday turns into a labor of love for mothers. The rewards come when you see the smile on your child’s face as they hand out their cards and goodies to their classmates. But don’t forget about yourself on Cupid’s big day! You deserve to feel special too. 

Make It a Family Affair  

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for couples. Make it a family affair this year by including the kids in the celebrations. Get the whole family together to make homemade Valentines for each other. Let the kids decorate cards for their friends and teachers. Make it an arts and crafts day by breaking out the construction paper, markers, glitter glue, and stickers.  

Bake cupcakes or cookies together and decorate them with Valentine’s Day themed icing and sprinkles. Search online for cute templates to cut shapes out of sandwiches. Work together to make a tasty Valentine’s Day dinner or breakfast in bed for mom and dad. Another idea is to make DIY Valentines boxes and deliver notes and small treats to each other. Parents can plan a silly scavenger hunt around the house with love-themed clues. 

Involving the kids in Valentine’s Day activities will create lasting memories and make the day more meaningful for the whole family. The holiday reminds children about love and caring for others. Plus, you’ll enjoy extra quality time together. 

Pamper Yourself 

With all the chaos of being a busy mom, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself. But Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to practice a little self-care and treat yourself to some much-needed pampering. After all, how can you pour from an empty cup? 

Make Valentine’s Day all about celebrating yourself and setting aside time to relax and recharge. Book a massage, facial, or mani/pedi and enjoy being taken care of for a change. Treat yourself to a calming bath surrounded by candles, soft music, and a good book. Slip on a hydrating face mask while catching up on your favorite shows or try a DIY scrub using sugar and honey. Light some scented candles and give yourself a pedicure.  

You don’t need a partner to feel pampered on Valentine’s Day. The best gifts are sometimes the ones we give ourselves. By carving out intentional me-time and prioritizing self-care, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on your busy routine with a full cup. A little pampering goes a long way, so make sure to show yourself some extra love this Valentine’s Day. 

Plan a Date Night 

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to arrange some special couple time and relationship reconnection. Many moms struggle with finding childcare and planning date ideas that feel special but are still realistic. Here are some tips to make your Valentine’s date night a success: 

  • Ask grandparents, close friends, or trusted babysitters to watch the kids for a few hours. See if they can come to your home and put the kids to bed so you don’t have to worry about disrupting bedtime routines.  
  • Scout out restaurants ahead of time and make reservations if needed. Opt for places with special Valentine’s Day menus or your tried-and-true date spot.  
  • Cook a romantic dinner together at home after the kids are asleep. Open a nice bottle of wine, put on some music, light candles, and take your time enjoying the meal. 
  • Surprise your partner with concert or comedy show tickets for that night. Hire the babysitter for a little longer so you can get home in time for a nightcap. 
  • Plan an indulgent couples massage or facial. Trade off childcare duties so you both get some pampering.  
  • Check Groupon for discounted date ideas like painting classes, arcade bars, or escape rooms. Choose an activity you’ll both enjoy. 
  • If budgets are tight, make Valentine’s Day coupons for future date nights. Creative ideas: cooking a fancy meal, no kids in the bedroom before 10am, or a sentimental gift like a photo book. 

The key is picking something meaningful and enjoyable for both of you. With a little planning, you can take advantage of Valentine’s Day to reconnect and make some special memories. Don’t forget to appreciate your babysitter too! 

Gift Ideas for Mom 

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for your kids and partner to show their appreciation for all that you do. Though material gifts should never be expected, a thoughtful present can be a meaningful gesture. Here are some ideas for gifts from your loved ones that you may enjoy: 

  • Jewelry or other accessories – A new bracelet, necklace, or earrings can make you feel special. Look for pieces in your favorite metal, stones, or colors. 
  • Self-care items – Treat yourself to luxury bath products, lotions, candles, or other pampering items. You deserve it! 
  • Gift cards for services – Gift certificates for a massage, manicure, blowout, or other spa treatments give you time to relax.  
  • Sentimental gifts – Custom photo books, framed family portraits, or personalized jewelry hold special meaning. 
  • Experiential gifts – Tickets to a show, concert, play, or sporting event let you enjoy time out.  
  • Thoughtful gestures – Handwritten notes, homemade coupons for chores/help, or breakfast in bed show appreciation. 

The most important gift is time spent together as a family. But a loving present from your kids or partner can make you feel cherished on Valentine’s Day. 

Make Memories 

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to create lasting memories with your kids. Here are some ideas to make it a sentimental family day: 

  • Make homemade Valentines together. Get craft supplies like construction paper, stickers, stamps, glitter, etc. and have your kids make Valentine’s cards for family members. They can practice writing names or drawing pictures. Display the finished Valentines proudly at home.
  • Bake and decorate Valentine’s Day treats as a family. Heart shaped cookies or cupcakes are always a hit. Let the kids decorate with frosting and sprinkles. Package up in cellophane bags tied with ribbon to give as gifts.  
  • Have a scavenger hunt at home. Write up fun clues leading your kids to find small Valentine’s gifts like candy, stickers, temporary tattoos, bubbles, etc. End the hunt with a special activity like movie night with popcorn. 
  • Host a Valentine’s Day dinner or picnic. Cook a simple, festive meal together. Make pink lemonade, decorate cookies for dessert. For a picnic, pack heart-shaped sandwiches and let the kids help. Enjoy quality time together as a family. 
  • Take Valentine’s photos. Have a fun photo shoot with your kids – dress up, hold signs, etc. Print and frame a favorite photo to always remember the day. Let the kids make a homemade Valentine’s card with their photo to give to grandparents or other relatives. 

The key is involving your kids and focusing on simple bonding activities. Turn Valentine’s Day into lasting family memories they’ll always cherish. 

Galentine’s Day 

Spending Valentine’s Day with girlfriends can be just as fun as a romantic date night. Galentine’s Day is the perfect chance to get together with your best gals and make each other feel loved and appreciated. Here are some fun ideas for celebrating with your girl crew: 

  • Plan a Galentine’s Day brunch or dinner. Pick a fun restaurant or rotate hosting at each other’s homes. Make it a potluck with each friend bringing a dish.  
  • Exchange Galentine’s Day gifts. Small thoughtful presents like candles, chocolates, flowers or homemade treats make it feel special. 
  • Get pampered together with a spa day. Book massages, facials and mani-pedis. Bring beauty supplies for at-home makeovers afterward. 
  • Craft personalized Galentine’s cards or gifts for each other. Make them sincere and heartfelt. 
  • Go to a paint night or take a fun class together like baking or flower arranging. Getting creative is a great bonding experience. 
  • Plan a Galentine’s movie marathon at home. Queue up rom-coms and chick flicks. Make popcorn, snacks and drinks.  
  • Go out for a night on the town. Dance, sing karaoke, see a show, bar hop or just walk around enjoying quality time chatting. 

The most important part of Galentine’s Day is cherishing your female friendships. Make sure the day is filled with laughter, memories, and letting your friends know how much you appreciate them. 

Classroom Valentines  

Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday for kids in elementary school. They get to make special valentines for their classmates and distribute them during classroom parties. As a mom, you play a big role in making classroom valentines a great experience. Here are some tips: 

  • Make it easy. Don’t go overboard on classroom valentines – simple is better for kids this age. Save the bigger, more elaborate valentines for family. Go for store-bought box sets or printables you can personalize. 
  • Offer variety. Consider having your child make 1-2 special valentines for close friends plus a more generic valentine for classmates. Make sure they make enough for every student.  
  • Add a personal touch. While store sets are handy, have kids sign their name or include a short message. Use decorative stickers, stamps, or drawings to customize.  
  • Check for allergies. Touch base with the teacher ahead of time regarding any food allergies or restrictions. Non-food items like pencils, erasers, stickers are great alternatives. 
  • Volunteer to help. Offer to assist the teacher in organizing and distributing classroom valentines. You can also ask if you can bring any items for the party.  
  • Express creativity. Encourage kids to get creative with cards, poems, origami, or art projects as valentines. As long as they make enough for all students it can be a fun activity. 

Making classroom valentines should be a fun family activity that gets kids excited about sharing kindness and friendship. With a little planning it can be a great experience for your child. 

DIY Decor 

Adding some Valentine’s Day touches around your home is a fun way to get in the spirit of the holiday. DIY decor projects are also a great activity to do with kids. Here are some cute ideas for decorating your home for Valentine’s Day: 

  • Heart garland – Cut hearts out of paper or felt and string them together to create a festive garland. Hang it on your mantel, doorway or staircase banister. Let the kids decorate the hearts with markers, stickers or glitter glue before stringing them together. 
  • Photo backdrop – Create a Valentine’s Day photo booth backdrop for fun family photos. Use a large piece of pink or red bulletin board paper and decorate with paper hearts, flowers, X’s and O’s. Prop it against a wall and let the kids go wild with festive props like glasses, hats and signs.  
  • Doily hearts – Make giant heart shapes by folding doilies in half and gluing the edges together. You can leave them white or spray paint them pink or red. These pretty hearts make great wall decor. 
  • Window clings – Have kids make heart window clings by drawing and cutting out heart shapes from transparent contact paper or adhesive shelf liner. Stick them on windows for a sweet pop of holiday cheer. 
  • Mason jar luminaries – Make twinkle lights in a jar by placing battery-operated fairy lights in mason jars and adding red, pink or white tissue paper. Line your walkway or porch with these for a romantic glow. 

Get creative with materials you have at home like paper, doilies, string lights and vases. The kids will have a blast pitching in on easy, festive decorations to liven up your home for Valentine’s Day. 

Wrap Up 

Valentine’s Day is a chance to show your love, not just to your spouse or romantic partner, but to your kids and friends too. While gifts and dates are nice, the day is really about spending quality time with your loved ones and making memories together.  

This Valentine’s Day, consider involving the whole family in the celebrations. Make homemade cards and decorations, cook a special meal together, or watch a movie while cuddling up with snacks. For mom, give yourself some pampering like a bubble bath or facial mask. Plan a fun Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends. And don’t forget to tell your kids how much you love them with sweet notes in their Valentine’s boxes.  

Most importantly, have a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with love, laughter, and joy! Spend the day appreciating your blessings and making memories with those who matter most. Share your plans and ideas below and have a wonderful holiday! 

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