Being A Single Mom On Valentine’s Day
Even when I was a happily married mom (well, maybe not so happily at the end, but married nonetheless), Valentine’s Day was one of my least favorite holidays. It always seemed so forced and contrived. It was as if the card, candy, flowers and fancy dinner merchants of the world cast a spell on men and women around the world. If we did not have a significant other to shower us with all the niceties they were selling, we were less thans, losers, the walking wounded with the proverbial forefinger and thumb L tattooed on our foreheads.
As a single mom, February 14th took on an extra special kind of pressure. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would avoid eye contact with anyone and everyone, in case they dared ask what I was doing for Valentine’s Day. The ability to create the illusion that a plethora of suitors were jousting for the honor of my attention became an obsession. I admit it sending myself a dozen roses to my office, with a card signed ‘your secret admirer,’ was not one of my proudest moments. I know some of you have done the same thing or at least thought about it.
Eventually, as each year passed and I remained a solo Valentine’s Day celebrator, I began to embrace the holiday in a completely new and healthier context. I made it the special 24-hour period to celebrate loving myself, my best girlfriends, and the two most important young ladies in my life, my daughters. Now, as an eleven year single mom veteran and author of It Takes All 5, I have discovered innumerable ways to make Valentine’s Day an awesome single mom celebration. Here are my top five faves I’d like to share:
1. Watch your favorite sappy chickvids. Open up your best bottle of red (maybe the one you took from your ex’s wine collection when he wasn’t looking), pair it with some rich dark chocolate. Turn down the lights, plug in the DVD and cry your heart out. Not only is it healing, it’s healthy. Crying releases dopamine, your happy hormone. Or if you’re not the crying type, you can yell at the TV out loud. No one is there to shush you, and a healthy yell releases endorphins, a natural upper. If you’re super daring, bake yourself a chocolate cake, eat a few bites and toss it in the trash then when no one’s looking, pick it out of the basket and take another delicious bite. If Sex and The City’s Miranda Hobbes can do it, so can you.
2. Make a heart-shaped dinner for the little loves in your life. Create an entire heart-shaped dinner for you and your children. Make a meatloaf shaped like a heart using a metal heart-shaped cake form. Cut radishes into rosebud shapes and stick them on skewers, put them in a vase as a crudités centerpiece. Crispy kale chips can be scattered on the tables like leaves super healthy, and kids love them because they taste like potato chips. Of course, no single mom’s-and-kid’s V-Day dinner is complete without a delicious dessert. Single serving heart-shaped chocolate cupcakes with tons of luscious pink frosting, that your kids can help you bake, is the pièce de résistance! That is one heart-full festive fun day of Valentine’s love.
3. Have a bestie V-Day party. Get together with your best girlfriends, pull out the scissors, paste, poster board, old magazines, ribbons, crayons and an awesome bottle of champagne (or two). Turn on the 80s tunes and have a new romance vision board party. Create the Valentine’s Day 2014 man of your dreams, down to every last detail.
4. Indulge in some old-school fingerpainting with your kids. Registered art therapist, Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., found that a person’s non-dominant hand is a direct channel to one’s inner potential. Using your opposite hand for writing or painting releases anger and allows your true feelings to shine. So if this Valentine’s Day you find yourself less a significant other, go ahead, get downright crazy colorful with your kids. If you are right-handed, dip your left fingers (opposite for lefties) in primary red, blue and yellow paint and let whatever flows through you onto the easel paper. This practice will help you become more creative, expressive and intuitive about your life and your future relationships. Plus your kids will have a blast and think you are the coolest mom ever!
5. Write yourself a love letter. List all your best ‘being an awesome girlfriend qualities’ you want to bring forward into your next relationship, and the not-so-pretty girlfriend qualities you learned don’t work and will definitely round file forever. If you’re super ambitious, take it to the next level and write a letter to your new future lover. Tell him about all the reasons he is going to love cherish and adore you as his girl (because you learned from your past not so good choices you don’t have to tell him that part.) And share all the wonderful qualities about him you love! (Those will be all the good ones from the last relationship you loved, plus a few more you know he’s going to have.)
These are my tried and trues. I would love to hear how other single moms make the most out of your amazing Valentine’s Day. And however you decide to celebrate this February 14th, make it a powerfully loving day all about the beautiful single mom you are!