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Valentine’s Day is a bit like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. If you trace it’s history, you’ll discover its origins are actually unrelated to romance which raises the question – why do we now see it as a day to celebrate love? I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of it as overly commercialised, however, in past relationships, I have embraced it and loved being given flowers and gifts.
Perhaps I’m getting a little cynical here in Singledom, or maybe I just have a different perspective on it now that I am a single parent, but I now find it all a bit overwhelming. For those who are single, and especially single parents, it’s a stark reminder of the past, an unwanted dose of reality that can have the power to magnify loneliness and unspoken struggles. That’s why I’ve decided to create the Single Parents Guide To Valentines, a list of ideas and distraction techniques for single parents who find occasions such as Valentines difficult.
This year we are heading off on our first family holiday, just myself and the children, on Valentines Day. I didn’t intentionally book our weekend break for that day, but it worked out quite well, it’s the perfect day to whisk the kids away to the Norfolk coast for a few days and spend time with them, the two people I love most in the world. Valentines Day isn’t restricted to couples you know!
Not everybody has the ability to go away for the weekend, but there are so many different ways you can celebrate and enjoy Valentine’s Day with your children, or even your friends and family. So, here it is, the Single Parents Guide To Valentines, everything you need to banish the Valentines blues.
- Blankets and popcorn are all you need to enjoy a movie marathon with your children, draw the curtains, dim the lights and create an at home cinema.
- Treat your children, a friend or a family member to a small gift to remind them of how much you love them. Last year I purchased a little teddy bear similar to this one (aff) for both of the children which they absolutely loved, even though it was really cheesy! Mia still keeps hers by her bed, nearly a year later.
- If cheesy, tacky gifts aren’t your thing, keep it simple with a beautiful card (aff). Nothing means more than a heartfelt, unique message.
- Use the occasion to educate your children on the history of Valentines, or spend the afternoon doing craft, perhaps they could make a Valentines card for you, a grandparent, or their crush at school!
- Stay away from social media. The internet will be awash with declarations of love, images of happy couples and probably one or two marriage proposals. I’m going to be avoiding social media as much as possible, I don’t need to be reminded of the past whilst I’m doing so well at focusing on the present and our future together, just myself and the children.
- You shouldn’t need a reason to indulge in a little self-care, but if you do, there’s no better time than Valentines to show yourself some love. Keep it simple with a hot bubble bath and a glass of wine or treat yourself to something new, Amazon have some fantastic deals on books (aff), skincare (aff) and fragrances (aff) at the moment.
It’s easier than you think to shake off that nagging feeling of loneliness as Valentines Day approaches, there is so much that you can do, so many many ways you can celebrate, and I really sincerely hope that you do. It’s not all about tacky teddies and predictable proposals, it’s about love, in any form. Celebrate your love for your children, your family, your friends, and most importantly, yourself.