Valentine’s Day is near for everyone, including single moms. If you are a single mom in a new relationship, the odds are that you want to do something special for this holiday…and it’s just as likely you have your children around. This makes something as simple as a romantic dinner a feat akin to climbing Mount Everest.

Being in love and being a mom is not incompatible—you just have to learn how to balance the two roles and find a way to make them jive. Of course your children are everything to you, but you don’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy a special occasion with your amor, and February 14 is kind of significant.

As Valentine’s Day is about love between lovers and also between friends, there is no reason you cannot celebrate a wonderful family day with all of your loved ones. If you need some tips and ideas on how to have fun with your boyfriend and your kids on Valentine’s day, I have some great ones for you!

  • Be realistic. It’s all about love today, but you’re a mom with kids in tow, and that rules out a lustful evening. So nix the pink, frilly lingerie and think fun family plans instead.
  • Plan a picnic. This can serve two purposes: the kids get to run around and play (bring a frisbee and some sidewalk chalk!) and you and your sweetheart get some quality time too. Don’t forget the wine and brie for the grown-ups—juice and string cheese for the kids!

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  • Cold weather? Make it an indoor picnic! If it’s freezing cold in your state, you can always have an indoor picnic. I once emptied a whole room of furniture and brought in pots with plants and flowers. I laid out some blankets on the floor and served my picnic. As we were indoors, I got some new cartoons on DVD to serve as entertainment, and my kids were delighted…and quiet!
  • Invite other families. Valentine’s Day is not just about a couple’s love but also friendship. So plan a shared event with other couples with children. That way, it will be more fun for the little ones, which means more free time for the adults.
  • Skip heavy duty romance. Be sure your loved one knows not to propose on Valentine’s Day if you have kids around (unless he really wants to make them a part of the proposal). Kids and romantic moments don’t usually mix!
  • Make Valentine’s cards. Invite your children to make their own cards for your partner. They can express how much they care about him and how they like having him around (hopefully that’s the case!).
  • Warning if you have teenagers. Teenagers are going through a very confusing phase so they can be tortuous when it comes to sharing a special day with family. Ask them first if they are okay with the idea of spending a day with your partner. If they are not, perhaps offer them the opportunity to spend the evening solo or on a date of their own, if appropriate.

Of course, ask your partner if he’s okay with a not-so-private or adult-themed evening and promise him he will be “rewarded” as soon as you have a chance. A promise of a sexy evening together can be as romantic and playful as the most exquisite erotic tale, and there’s nothing better than that on Valentine’s Day.