Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been a fan, even as a child. I remember when I was around 7 or 8 years old, the other girls in my class bragging about the Valentine’s card they’d received from their secret admirer ‘X’, and feeling a stab of disappointment that I hadn’t received one, that nobody had a crush on me. Of course, now that I’m older, I realise that ‘X’ was their mum or dad, trying to make them feel good about themselves. But the memory still sits with me.
Growing up, as a teenager, I still lacked in the Valentine’s card department. Only the popular girls got a card. Adulthood didn’t fare much better. I somehow attracted partners whose attitudes towards Valentine’s Day were “I don’t need to buy you a card to show you how much I love you!”. Two words: Cheap. Skates.
Cici’s dad almost hit the jackpot one Valentine’s Day, when he produced a tiny box over dinner. I excitedly opened it, it was a ring! I waited for the question. It didn’t come. He carried on eating his meal. “Do you like it?” he asked. “Ummm, yeah it’s lovely…” I muttered, feeling rejected. Even worse, by the next day, the ring had turned my finger green. I laughed about it with my work colleagues, making a joke, desperately trying to hide the envy I felt. That they already had the sparkler on their finger.
These days, I’m a single mum. Valentine’s day has officially sucked for the previous 3 years. Not wanting to be stuck at home mulling over the fact that nobody loved me, I’d volunteer to work the evening shift to keep me busy. This year, I’ve managed to avoid going into the gift card shops in town, quickly making a U-turn at the mere sight of love hearts, roses and anything red.
Today though, I had to nip into my local supermarket to pick up some lunchbox supplies, and I was immediately confronted by a huge display of lovey dovey tat. I quickly scanned the shelves and then it hit me that I wasn’t crying inside at the thought of being single this Valentine’s day. It dawned on me that I was actually scanning the display for something to buy my little girl!
This Valentine’s evening I’m not needed to work, but I’m not planning to mooch about feeling sad either. Valentine’s day is about spending time with the one you love. The person I love most, unconditionally, is my daughter; and the feeling is mutual. I’m going to plan something special for us to do together this year. As it’s a school night, I can’t be too adventurous. Instead, I’ll make us something nice for tea, snuggle up with a film we haven’t seen before and share a box of chocolates.
I wanted to find out how other single parents deal with Valentine’s day, so I posted the question to my Blogger pals. It seems I’m not the only one who’s taking the ‘no self-pity’ stance this year.
Danielle from Blog By Baby also has a nice family meal planned: “I’ve bought my kids Valentine’s pasta from Lidl, so will have a themed dinner for them. I usually leave a little heart chocolate on their pillows for when they wake up too. I don’t find I’m in the least bit lonely when I have four kids about, especially a teen who keeps me company in the evenings.”
Emma from Even Angels Fall recalls one of her best Valentine’s days: “When I was single with my first born, one of my best friends came over and we had a proper Valentine’s date. She even brought me a rose! It was brilliant.”
Claire from Confessions of a Single Parent Pessimist sees Valentine’s day from my point of view: “Spending the day with who you love e.g your child, so we are going to a kids theatre show then lunch that day.”
Michelle from Seeing Rainbows is also in alone this year, but isn’t wallowing either… “I will have a nice bath once the kids are in bed and spread the M&S Dine In For Two deal over two nights for myself! I will also share heart chocolate lollipops with the kids (a tradition from my own mum) and give them both a card!”
Hannah from Hannah Spannah is truly a girl after my own heart: “I’m a single parent so to be honest, the day or night won’t be any different to any other for me in a romantic way but I’m ok with that. I’m really content with my life and don’t feel that I need a partner, so I’m thankful that it doesn’t upset me. I will be giving my son a card to tell him that I love him as I do each year and will set the table really nicely for tea. I’ve explained that it’s a day to celebrate the people that you love and that are important to you.”
These quotes are so encouraging to read. As the only single mum in my group of friends and no one to compare notes with, I’d be lying if I said I never feel lonely. Reading how those in my situation get past certain so-called ‘special’ days, makes me feel a little better about myself, that I’m not alone in the world. There are other people going through the same thing, experiencing the same emotions as I am.
That being said, for the first time in years, I’m completely and honestly happy with my life. Although it would be nice to have a partner to share things with, such as the bills, I don’t feel like I need a man. My life revolves around me and my daughter. We get to do what we want, when we want. Would bringing a man into the equation mean we’d have to give up some parts of our life that we love and enjoy? Possibly… and I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that yet…
How are you spending Valentine’s day this year? Are you staying in or have you something totally different planned? I’d love to hear all about your plans!