There's no denying it: Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Valentine's is always an awkward holiday in my opinion, whether you're in a relationship or not. For the last few years since I became a single mom, I have quite honestly just ignored the holiday. No, I didn't go on some kind of crazy "down with love" campaign, wear all black, or drown my sorrows with ice cream. It didn't really bother me all that much. I basically just did my best to avoid thinking about it at all by staying busy. This year, though, I am actually going to be celebrating it!! I thought it might be helpful for other single parents if I shared my thoughts and plans for this year.
I'm in the mood to celebrate my love for my children on Valentine's Day this year. I've got some fun little heart-shaped cookies and a few little chocolates, and I'll be making them each a card to give them as well. I remember my father giving my sisters and me little chocolates on Valentine's Day growing up, and I thought it was so special- I can't wait to share that tradition with my own daughters!
Even my planner is decorated for the occasion- Valentine's is definitely not ignored this year:
I think a big part of my motivation to celebrate the day with my girls is that I know they will be more aware of the holiday this year because they are talking about it at school. Before now it didn't matter because to them it was just any other day, but this year if I don't celebrate it, it will be noticeable to them. I want them to know that 1) they don't need to feel uncomfortable about enjoying the holiday with me, 2) I love them very much, and 3) that love is enough to celebrate- I am not bitter or sad to not be in a romantic relationship right now (I have been separated from the girls' dad for 3.5 years, divorced for 2.5, he has been re-married for 1.5 years, I have no interest in starting another relationship any time soon).
I want them to know these things because they are true, not because I want them to think that about me. Every person is different and will go through the single parent experience in different stages as well. I think the important thing to remind ourselves is that it's OK to celebrate holidays however we see fit. I am perfectly happy with my decision to ignore Valentine's for the last few years. I also think it is perfectly OK to feel a little lonely, or to want to go out with other single friends and enjoy their friendship on Valentine's.
But I think my Valentine's Day this year will probably be the most fun and least awkward one I have ever celebrated since becoming an adult and I can't wait! Celebrating holidays with my children makes every holiday more magical. If you are a single parent contemplating how to get through the holiday and think this sounds like a fun way to celebrate, give it a try! It doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming to make it fun. Buy a few of those cheesy boxes of chocolates or candies, write each child a little love note on some pink paper, and wish your children a Happy Valentine's Day this year!
I hope you find a way to cherish the loving relationships that you have in your life, no matter how you choose to spend it. Happy Valentine's Day, Single Mom. Know that your children love you and admire you very much.