Post-divorce, Valentine's Day can be emotionally challenging. You may feel relief, or you may be struggling with the loss. Friends and family will assure you with good intent that it's just another day and suggest an array of activities that are not for you. Divorce awakens a spectrum of emotions that can leave you feeling out of control and somewhat irrational. A reminder of what was, even if you called it quits. It can be even more challenging when your ex appears to have swiftly moved on.
If you are struggling, please get support.
Valentine's Day may fall on a date when you are not with your children. Some of us will revel in the silence and alone time, and some of us will struggle with the empty home- even without it being a holiday or festival. You may reach for the romantic movie, tissues, and sofa and have a good cry or you may feel utterly lost. And that's ok, but how about you try something different?
If you prefer not to be alone, organise a gathering of friends and other single parents. Host a potluck dinner party, ask your guests to dress up, and get everyone to bring a friend. This will be appreciated by everyone.
Make your kids your Valentine, I presume you love them to death anyway. Create a family ritual of goodness. For parents with younger kids, buy supplies and make cards, as many as you like. Fill them with kind words of appreciation and send them to everyone who needs love in their life. For teenagers? I presume they will dislike all your ideas.
I know one mother who would cover the house in heart-shaped post-it -notes with messages of appreciation for each child. Another would make heart-shaped cupcakes and fill the lounge with balloons for when they came home from school. Dads who would leave work early and collect their kids from school and do something fun together.
Don't wait for someone to buy you gifts or flowers. Buy yourself a gift, and have it gift-wrapped and delivered- at least you won't be disappointed. Some have suggested self-love rituals, including writing down what that means to you, things to do differently, and acknowledging your acheivements. Another suggested a wardrobe clear out in time for spring and donate unwanted clothes to a shelter.
Richard Cadbury of Cadbury's started the tradition of beautiful boxes of chocolate in 1840. You never know what impact your new tradition will have on you and your loved ones.
Comment with your ideas. You may influence someone to do something differently.
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