Valentines-Day-before-kids-vs-after-kidsBrace yourself, PlanHero Nation: it’s almost Valentine’s Day! It’s one of those holidays some people live for, others avoid like the plague, and parents everywhere accept as yet another mandatory school activity. Whether you’re following a trail of rose petals leading to a candle-lit scene, or digging through backpacks searching for the class list for the 47 handmade cards your child needs to bring, one thing is certain: this holiday is decidedly different once kids enter the picture.


Before Kids: Spend some of your free time creating “love coupons” for your special someone, taking care to think of exactly what he likes and how you will make it happen for him. Think loving thoughts as you practice your calligraphy skills. This is an easy task because you have a lot of free time. So much free time, you sometimes find yourself wondering how to fill your days with leisure activities (which explains the calligraphy class you took). So, so much free time that merely typing the phrase free time is causing your eyes to burn. No, I’m not bitter. Use glitter.


After Kids: Grab one of those “To My Darling Husband” cards from the Valentine aisle at the grocery store. Feel guilty about skimming the content, so use the pen at the checkout counter to underline some of the sappier lines in the card before signing it and shoving in your purse for later.  Get home and strong-arm your kids to the kitchen counter so they can finish writing their school Valentine’s. Feel your eyes start to burn a little when your youngest remembers he has to build a Valentine box that will be judged on creativity in a class vote. You are definitely bitter. Hide the glitter and hope your kid doesn’t notice.


Before Kids: Take an extra long lunch hour. Pick up slinky dress from that outrageously priced boutique. You’ll need to look extra hot tonight for dinner out at your favorite French restaurant. Make a mental note to burn off the decadent meal at one of your scheduled yoga, Pilates, barre method, or spin classes for the week. Workouts are fun – you live for your exercise!


After Kids: Eat lunch for once, even if it’s just a stale protein bar you found at the bottom of your car console. Pick up groceries, the dog from the vet, and prescription eye drops from the pharmacy (pink eye in the house – again).  Bonus: you had time to get dressed this morning! You’ll need those yoga pants for when you cheer your kid on at his basketball game tonight. It will have to count as a workout, since you haven’t managed to get to the gym in four months. It’s not exactly fun, but if you want to live to see your grandchildren you know you need to exercise more.


Before Kids: Get a manicure after work. It feels a little decadent – you were just at your monthly spa day with your best friends – but you suspect something sparkly might be in your future and want to look just right. Smile to yourself as you think of the subtle hints you dropped to your man about the jewelry you like. After all, you’re worth it!


After Kids: Dry shave over the bathroom sink in the approximately four minutes you have to yourself before a child finds you and starts rattling the door. It feels a little decadent – you had that leg wax before spring break last year – but you suspect your husband took the hint when you threatened to fake your own death if you didn’t get at least one full night of sleep, and you want to feel just right when you slip into the sheets and pull up The Crown on Netflix. After all, you’re worth it!


Before Kids: Whisper I love you to your partner as you fall into bed, spent.


After Kids: Whisper I love you to your partner as you both crawl into bed.


Drop us a note and share how you will be celebrating (or enduring) Valentine’s Day this year!