Valentines Hacks For The Busy Mom

Last year was Teddy’s first year to exchange valentines with his classmates, and now I feel a year older, a year wiser, here’s what I’ve learned: I’m mailing it in this year. Literally and figuratively.

Step 1: Defect From Homemade Land

A year ago, one of Teddy’s classmates gave out these adorable dinosaur toys with little custom tags on their necks. I thought for sure I wanted to emulate that this year, but once I saw how cheap the pre-made version already was, that went out the window. All that printing and cutting and tying isn’t going to save me any money, or win me any more points with his fellow three-year-olds.

This year, I’ll be rolling in to preschool this February 14 with some cheap, store-bought awesomeness.

These awesome packs at Walmart were just 15-20 cents per Valentine:

Step 2: Make The Family Feel Special for $1

Dollar Tree has these adorable 3D Valentine’s Cards that would be $8 a piece EASY anywhere else. So I bought 6 and had Teddy scribble with crayon in all of them, before I signed his name and mailed them to his grandmas, three aunts and his cousin.

Step 3: Straight-Talk With Your Main Squeeze

My husband and I have been together since 2005, and neither of us has ever really thought of Valentine’s Day as a big deal. So we decide together. Go out to dinner? Make something special at home? Go big with presents? Go small, and watch a movie together over beers after the kid goes to sleep?

I told him this year I want flowers – which he normally doesn’t do because they don’t last and he’d rather get me something that doesn’t die within 3-5 days. But that’s what I want this year – nothing else – so I let him know.

And it really doesn’t matter what it is, but the main thing is we TALK ABOUT IT and communicate so no one ends up disappointed, expecting some big surprise the other one didn’t pick up hints about. I’ve been told communicating your needs is like 90% of a relationship. So we do.

Step 4: Don’t Panic and Scramble Because Hallmark Told You To

Valentine’s isn’t a big deal to us because we know lasting love isn’t about just one day, and it isn’t about what other people do. Comparison is the thief of joy, and why get too wrapped up in a day that seems all about comparing?

Instead, we still surprise each other – but we kind of just let that happen when it happens. It’s usually when we see something we know the other person would love and it’s usually extremely nerdy.

Sometimes that coincides with a holiday, sometimes it doesn’t. Case in point – a while before Christmas, my hubby got me a Lego mini fig he had custom built to look like Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec. Last year on Valentine’s, I just happened to find the perfect thing that I knew would make him smile and laugh – the cookie in the center of the photo. (And he loves Margie’s cookies in general, so double win.)

Step 5: Treat Yo’self to Galentine’s Day

(Yes, that was another Parks & Rec reference.)

You’ve life-hacked your way to looking like you put in lots of effort. Now it’s time to go out with your girl friends, and toast to a night away from your threenager and the unconditional support of your local girl gang.

Yes, I will be doing just that.

Here’s some local events happening:

Feb 7 – Business After Hours at Jameson’s Flowers*

*(Not technically a Galentine’s, but it’s a flowers + free drinks and food if you’re a Chamber member.) 

Feb 8 – Galentine’s at Frank & Joe’s

Feb 9 – Heart of a Woman Brunch

Feb 9 – Clink! Grand Opening

Feb 12 – Girls Night Out at Board & Brush

Feb 13 – Galentine’s at Gypsy Kit

Feb 13 – Galentine’s Day Cookie Decorating at Karat Bar & Bistro

Feb 15 – Comedy Night Out at Half Pint

Feb 23 – Flight Night Rose Wine Tasting at Karat Bar & Bistro

Know of any others?? Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to the events list!


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