How to spend Valentine’s Day when you’re a single mom. Here’s how to enjoy the day regardless if it’s your first or tenth Valentine’s Day after a divorce or separation.
By some unfortunate scheduling of the calendar, my divorce hearing was on February 13th.
When my divorce proceedings were scheduled for the day before Valentine’s Day, I don’t know if I even acknowledged how close it was to the holiday.
For one, I’m not a big romantic. Valentine’s Day never meant that much to me, anyway. February 14th was just another day.
And two, I felt ready to close one door of my life and begin the next phase of my life.
Little did I know, going to court to finalize my divorce the day before Valentine’s Day would make that day forever emblazoned into my memory.
Not being a romantic is one thing, but ending a marriage the day before the day everyone celebrated for romance is another.
Not the most excellent memory to have each year as little cupid bottoms and red hearts appear each February.
Regardless, as a single mom all these later, I’ve gotten pretty good at burying my memory of that courtroom day and finding things to be happy about on Valentine’s Day.
Number One Question to Ask Yourself this Valentine’s Day
What are your triggers?
What upsets you the most about Valentines’ Day or spending the day alone?
Is it the promo aisle at the grocery store? Don’t go down aisle 14 for the next month.
Maybe he always sent you flowers on this day, and now you can’t walk into the store without seeing the bouquets and getting teary. If so, have your groceries delivered in the next few weeks.
Do commercials upset you? Then listen to commercial-free radio and watch Netflix or Hulu only for the next couple of weeks.
Did you have a particular restaurant or tradition you did as a couple each Valentine’s Day? How can you avoid those areas of town or reminders of that tradition?
The goal isn’t to live in a bubble. Your goal is to live intentionally, avoiding your triggers.
valentines day ideas for Single moms
Focus on Your Kids
Put all your energy into your children this year.
For my first Valentine’s Day alone, I spent a whole week preparing an exciting day for my kids. I was so busy with preparations of food, homemade gifts, and games that I barely had time to think of anything else.
Then I soaked in all my kid’s excitement.
As my kids ran from one scavenger hunt to another and I prepared game after game, I found very little time to focus on myself.
I bought an abundance of candy from the dollar store, and we played so many silly games with the cheap candy that we invited their friends over to play the next day and made another day of it.
My kids are teenagers now, and they still get excited to play these games.
If due to custody arrangements, you find yourself without your kids on Valentines’ Day, then use the day to make plans to celebrate after, not before.
Decorate the house and put up hearts for your kids with special notes, hiding somewhere they can find them. Tell your children all the things you never have time to tell them during the hustle and bustle of the day.
Keep yourself so busy focusing on your love for your kids that during the hardest part of Valentine’s Day so that it comes and goes without you realizing it.
Forgetting the day is Valentine’s Day may sound hard to do or even tricky, but it’s possible! Give it a try.
How to spend your valentine’s day as a single mom
rest from social media
Stay off social media. Scrolling through everyone’s couples’ pictures isn’t the most helpful thing you can do right now.
If you tend to stalk your ex on social media, delete the app from your phone for the day.
Redefine the Day
Valentine’s Day isn’t only about romantic love.
Who else needs love and compassion?
You might feel like you’re all alone, but you’re not the only person spending Valentine’s Day alone.
When 50% of the population isn’t involved in a romantic relationship, and 3 out of 4 people consider themselves lonely.
There’s plenty of other people to spend the day with; you need to think of who they are. The key to doing this is to think outside of yourself.
Can you volunteer somewhere or bake cookies and deliver them? Call up a friend or family member that’s also alone and invite them over for dinner.
What do you need this day?
Take yourself out on a date. Not necessarily out for dinner and movie (unless that sounds like fun) but do something special just for you.
What could you do to spoil yourself? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but your ex never wanted to?
Is your best friend single? Or maybe a family member you could invite to dinner?
Make Valentine’s cookies with your kids and write all the candy heart sayings on them.
Remember This on valentine’s day
If this is your first Valentine’s Day as a single mom, it’ll probably be your most challenging. With this in mind, prepare.
Have a plan so you don’t get depressed.
Most important is to avoid a pity party. Know the difference between self-care and throwing an all-day pity party.
Each time you feel the dread of spending the upcoming day alone, shift your focus to something you can plan for instead.
It will get easier as the years go on.
Next year you’ll be in a completely different place. Either relationship-wise or emotionally.