What does the holiday of true love look like when you add in careers, bills, and kids?

When we think of Valentine’s Day, many of us think of the dating scene and restaurant reservations. But how do couples celebrate Valentine’s day after they’ve tied the knot? I remember once early in our marriage when my husband and I got a table at a swanky jazz lounge and I even rented a dress to wear to it. But more recently, between work and juggling kids, we’re happy if we just exchange cards with a meaningful message.

True romance is tailored to each couple. So I asked some married ladies what meaningful things they do on Valentine’s Day. Here are some of their answers.

A few years ago, we went to our local Panera for Valentine's Day dinner. It was sentimental because I worked there when we first started dating, and he would visit me on my breaks. More practically, though, on Valentine's Day there was almost no one there, we saved a lot of money, and we still had chocolate for dessert! All wins! —Lindsay

We make a cheese plate with the nicest cheeses, cured meats, fruits and accouterments we can find at our local grocery store. With a baguette and bottle of wine, we have a date at home after the kids are asleep. We talk about our favorite memories together over the past year and share the moments when we each felt especially loved by the other person. It's a simple, affordable, and doable date we know we can rely on every year, even with tiny tots in the house! —Krizia

Even though my husband and I have been together for 6 years (and married for 5), given his military career, we often find ourselves spending Valentine’s Day apart. I think for us, Valentine’s Day is less about doing something together on a particular day, and more about using it as an opportunity to reminisce on all of the best memories from other anniversaries and holidays we’ve shared together. —Grace

My husband always gives me a box of chocolate—courtesy of his work! His employer sends boxes of fancy chocolates to all their employees, with the intention that they’d give them to their wives. It’s a win-win: employees and their wives are happy. Important, because as we all know: happy wife = happy life! —Lina

We always go out for dinner around Valentine’s day. It doesn’t have to be the exact day. With four kids, the scheduling can be a challenge, but my birthday is also near Valentine’s Day, so I’d like to go out at some point, and we always make it happen! Having Celiacs disease, I always appreciate a delicious dinner out at a place that can serve good gluten-free dishes. —Amy

What Valentine’s Day memory or tradition do you have? For me, in recent years, I’ve noticed I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day with people beyond my spouse. I give my kids little cards and a heart-shaped box of their favorite candy. Last year I got on a kick of sending grown-up valentines to a bunch of new friends I made in the past year. Celebrating the many types of love beyond romance is just another way to feel the expand on St. Valentine’s Day.