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Valentine’s Day, you either love it or hate it and when you’re facing your first Valentine’s Day as a divorced mother, it may be a day you’d rather forget. Sure, Valentine’s Day can be overrated, over commercialized, and full of painful reminders of a love that used to exist in your life a long time ago. However, it’s also important to remember that it can be an opportunity to create a positive holiday for yourself and your children.
Divorce can be tough and a constant reminder of things that didn’t work out for you, but for many divorced moms it’s a process that inspires new beginnings. Don’t let Valentine’s Day stop you from moving forward and enjoying the day. Here are some ideas to help you get through the day dedicated to love:
Make the Day Special with Your Children
Since your divorce and child custody agreement, it’s likely you don’t get to spend every moment with your child anymore. “Child custody is one of the most emotionally charged areas of divorce,” says Charles R. Ullman, Raleigh family lawyer, “ as both parents want to spend the maximum time possible with their children.” That said, if you have the opportunity to spend Valentine’s Day with your child, make the most of it. Whether you and your children make homemade valentines or host your own kid-friendly Valentine party, make it a positive experience for your children even if your heart isn’t in it.
Be Kind to Yourself
Divorce gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself again, be comfortable with who your are and even redefine yourself as a single mother. While you may be full of conflicting feelings, such as guilt, anger, cynicism, and even nostalgia, it’s a good day to be kind to yourself; don’t wait for someone else to pamper you. If you’ve never bought yourself a bouquet of flowers, pick out your favorites. While everyone else is giving sweet treats to their sweethearts, why not buy your favorite pastry or chocolate? Take time to enjoy each bite (no guilt allowed) and try to do some positive journaling.
Make Valentine’s Day about Friendship
Although Valentine’s Day is dedicated to love, there’s no rule about what kind of love to celebrate. Think back to your school days and reminisce about all the valentines you exchanged among friends. There’s no reason you can’t do that today, as a grown up. Invite some of your closest, most supportive friends over for dinner or a couple of cocktails. Keep the evening positive, thank your friends for their support, and celebrate the love of friendship.
Spread the Love
Sometimes the best way to get over heartbreak is to rise above it. While there may be no one who is currently giving you the “love” that you desire, think about other people who may be just as lonely as you. Purchase valentines, small treats, or flowers for people you don’t know, such as individuals in a shelter or elders in a nursing home. Remember, love is more than the “perfect coupling” of two lovebirds. Love is what you make of it and how you live it every day. Be a good role model for your children and show them that love is all around.