I have to admit, I was that annoying friend who got giddy over Valentine’s Day. Regardless of whether I had a Valentine or not, I LOVED Valentine’s Day! One of my fondest memories from high school was my senior year. My entire group of friends were all single so I bought them all candy, flowers, and balloons, and had it delivered to them in their classrooms and after school we went bowling. It was a great night.
I carried that tradition with me to college. Even if I had a boyfriend, I would get gifts for my friends. I just love celebrating it. It wasn’t until last Valentine’s Day that I experienced a funk. It was just over a month since I’d left my husband and became a single mother. I took advantage of my daughter not knowing that it was Valentine’s Day and moped around feeling sorry for myself and thinking about my failed marriage.
But, I am back to my giddy love of Valentine’s Day with a new understanding of how lonely it can be for single parents. So, I’m here to let you know that you’re not alone, and though you might not have a spouse to share it with, there’s still a very special person(s) who will be happy to fill that void for you. So, if you’re a single parent and feeling a little anxious for Valentine’s Day, here are a few things to think about:
First, try to revamp how you look at Valentine’s Day. Instead of seeing it as a day for lovers, see it as a day to express the love you have for your family, your friends, and most importantly your child(ren). They are in your lives, and they deserve the recognition of loving you when you might feel as though you’re unlovable. Especially your children. They don’t want to see their mother or father sad and feeling lonely when they are there to offer comfort. Celebrate this day with them.
Second, while you’re celebrating your love with them, celebrate them as well. Take the same drive that you might have used to make Valentine’s Day special for your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend and use it to make it special for your child. Surprise them with gifts and other tokens to remind them that they are special and loved on this day.
Finally, pick a fun activity to do with them. Turn decorating into a joint arts and crafts project. Bake valentine treats and allow them to help you, or take them out to something they might enjoy, like bowling, skating, or the movies. Something to bring a smile to their face and let them know that even though you love them all year round, Valentine’s Day is just another day to celebrate their presence in your life.
Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m stuffing “HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS!” down your throat. But, just speaking from personal experience, sitting back with contempt for Valentine’s Day (and those stupid happy couples that seem to mock you with their relationships) isn’t going to help you. Your child is there, and that child/children loves you, and they deserve the same attention that you would want a significant other to shower you with, or what you would shower them with. So, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS, DARNIT!
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Let’s tweet about it, @kkoger