The Not-So-Lonely Hearts Club {a single mom’s Valentine’s Day story}

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Are you a single mom? Valentine’s Day takes on new meaning when you are a single mom at the holiday. If you are looking for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids, Kidding Around contributor Andrea is telling readers how she has handled the love-filled holiday in this new season.

Valentine’s Day. The day of love. Right?

Well, that may depend on your definition of love.

Before writing this article, I researched the history of this beloved holiday. What I found was somewhat interesting if you’re not familiar with its origin.  I’m not going to bore you with history today. You’re welcome.  Instead, I thought I would share my personal thoughts and maybe a few helpful tips for those of you who find yourself in same boat in me . . . a single mom on Valentine’s Day.

 The S.S Single – Mother Ship.

At times you have to shift your focus a little or single parenthood can get quite lonely. February 14th is definitely one of those times.

No one plans on getting divorced. Little girls do not spin around in front of their mirror wearing a pillow case veil dreaming of court dates and custody hearings. I didn’t anticipate it while walking down the aisle of the church on the arm of my dad (my first love). But it happens. It happened to me three years ago.

When I was married, my husband and I didn’t make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. I always thought you should celebrate your relationship more than one day out of the year.  We exchanged cards and maybe a favorite piece of candy, but that was it. Now that I’m divorced – as backwards as it sounds – I look forward to this time of year.

I’ve learned a lot about love. Real love.

Romance doesn’t necessarily equate love. I have loved my son, my family, and the friends around me on a much deeper level since my separation. I’ve learned that life is short and doesn’t always turn out the way we dreamed. I am careful to make the most of every moment.

I make the most out of Valentine’s Day!

My son, JP, and I often celebrate by driving to Furman or downtown Greenville to have a picnic. Restaurants are always so crowded, even when you go early. On the way home, we swing by Publix and grab a roll of heart shaped sugar cookies to bake. The only thing more entertaining than playing cards and board games with this nine-year-old, is playing cards and games with the sugary sweet aroma of cookies baking in the kitchen. YUM!

8 ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children on this special day

  • Get a movie from the Redbox, pop popcorn and curl up on the couch together – you can “spice” things up a bit by drinking sparkling apple cider in fancy wine glasses!
  • Swing by the local Dollar Store and buy craft materials to make homemade Valentine cards for friends and family.
  • Make a pizza together and cut the pepperonis into hearts!
  • Toddlers always enjoy Play-Doh. Although it has to be red and you need different size heart cookie cutters.
  • Forego the cookie rolls (like the ones I use) and make your own heart-shaped cookies from scratch.
  • Using red food coloring and pop Valentine’s popcorn – you can find many recipes on Google. Make sure you have fun decorative plates or bowls!
  • Put a drop of red food dye in shaving cream (unscented) and play on the surface of your kitchen or dining room table – this one’s ALWAYS a hit if you have smaller children.   It’s super easy to clean up afterwards.
  • Buy wooden frames at the Dollar Store (can you tell I love that place) and heart stickers to decorate them – go on a walk or play outside and take goofy selfies. Printing pics is really, really cheap at CVS or Walgreens – and you can send them right from your phone!

Celebrate your own Valentine

I’m sure you’ll have no problem coming up with creative things to do.  My goal is to offer encouragement and hopefully give you a jump start. Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday this year, so you might find yourself celebrating on Friday or Saturday.

I would be lying if I told you I was chipper the first Valentine’s Day I spent without my spouse. It was hard. But what I will tell you is it gets easier. And it helps if, instead of drowning in waves of misery and self-pity, you celebrate the most precious little person(s) you DO have at your side. Valentine’s Day may not look the same for the single mom (or dad), but it certainly can be as fulfilling. Even more so, if you ask me.  Love is baking cookies, playing UNO or watching movies while drinking sparkling cider out of fancy glasses. Your relationship status shouldn’t matter. Valentine’s Day can be a great day for you!

Valentine's Day for single parents (1)

If you do not have your children this year on Valentine’s Day, plan to do something fun with your friends. Better yet, take time and celebrate YOU! Remember, life IS short and the waters around us DO tend to get rough. The seas of single life can be an exciting adventure.

Even on Valentine’s Day!

Do you have a Valentine’s Day tradition with your kids?

Andrea Beam
About the Author
Andrea Beam works for the Greenville County School System, but her passion is writing! Greenville has always been her home. Her family enjoys exploring everything the town has to offer. In addition to Kidding Around Greenville, she blogs at Sunshine & Rain.

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