Reclaiming Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day has for a long time been the one holiday that I cared about the least. It just seemed too over the top and forced. I still wonder, is a bunch of candy, flowers, cards, and professing your love on this day the key to happy coupledom? And if you are romance deficient then you probably should just cancel the day altogether, right?
Over the last several years, the holiday started out for me to be a sore reminder of my singleness and took a different sort of sadness as a mom. At first, I would try to avoid the day by logging out of social media to spare myself the sight of lovers expressing their undying love with gifts and sweet posts. Eventually, it was harder to ignore with the spectacle that is made at my children's schools with gift exchanges and sweetheart dances every year. Now, I am starting to embrace the day because I remember the excitement that I felt as a child about picking out the cool cards and attaching a sweet for my classmates. I enjoy seeing that my kids are so happy to share their love with friends too. It actually is very heartwarming and makes me reflect on the many ways that I do love without a romantic love interest. This year I am turning this holiday into a day of honoring the love between my children, my best friends, family, and most importantly, myself. No self-loathing and disappointment will be allowed because I have created great love and my heart is open to experiencing love in new ways.
Here are some ways single mothers can celebrate Valentine's Day:
1. Read a book of love poetry or watch a romantic chick-flick. My favorite romance is "P.S. I Love You". I love to make some popcorn, pour a glass of wine, and sink in this beautiful love story. It always brings on the tears which is totally a good thing because crying releases dopamine, the happiness hormone.
2. Cook a family favorite or try a new cuisine. So, I love to cook and bake. It is my ultimate love language; to both give and receive a good meal just brings me a lot of joy. Street tacos with a condiments buffet that we enjoy every time at home. This is a great day to introduce your family to new smells and taste too like Japanese, Haitian, Thai, and more.
3. Meet up with a best Galentine. Treat a girlfriend (or guy friend) to a lunch or dinner date. Have a glass of champagne and catch up. Also, make sure to share with them why they're so very special to you. If you don't have anyone to go out with then FaceTime your bestie to connect face to face.
4. Let kids exchange valentines with classmates. It is fun to put together a small token and teach children to express care for others. It such a sweet time for them to show kindness and love.
5. Treat your support system. It has taken a village to raise your family and maintain your sanity. Show thanks to the family and friends that you've been able to rely on. Invite that single mama friend that is always their to listen, to help with parent pickup, or and so on. Offer to buy dinner and let the kids play while you enjoy each other's company.
6. Go on an adventure. Skip the busy resturaunts and take the family to a trampline park, go hiking, or bowling. Spend time doing something out of the ordinary to make memories and strengthen your bond.
7. Journal a love not to yourself. Take a moment to write out all the reasons that you love yourself. Acknowledge any lingering pain from your past relationships and resolve not carry those feelings into your future. Describe the kind of love that you want and deserve. Note the qualities that your dream love has and the beauiful ways in which you will love when the opportunity arises. Promise to never settle and to date intentionally for the the sake of your heart and your children's too.
8. Be your own Valentine. Seriously, go for it! I am the kind of girl that loves to buy myself fresh flowers and champagne. V-Day should be even more reason to spurgle on yourself. If you get some time alone, go get a mani-pedi and enjoy a decadent lunch dessert. Or as soon as your little ones go to bed, run a warm bath and detox the stresses of life to make room for more love. After all the love that we give ourselves is sure the attract the love of our dreams.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone that is in love, have lost love, need love, and are in search of true love. Have a lovely day...intentionally.