It’s Valentine’s Day, yet another day in the year that single people love to hate. As if it’s not bad enough that every TV, print and online advertisement since January 2nd has rammed the commercial aspect of Valentine’s Day down our throats, every TV show we watch will have a Valentine’s Day theme written into the plot, and our social media newsfeeds are going to be filled with people either bragging or complaining about what they did or did not get from their loved ones. Sure, there will be the occasional person blasting the commercialism of the day, but they will be the rare exception – the very rare exception.
What’s a single person to do? What’s a double parent to do?? Well, as far as I can tell, you have two choices. You can either wallow in self-pity that you are without a romantic partner on the most [forced and fake] romantic day of the year. Or you can reframe and reclaim the day for yourself.
Here’s the DP’s guide to not only surviving but reclaiming and reframing V Day…
1. Don’t act like it’s not Valentine’s Day. It is, and you can’t change that. Be happy for those who are happy today – just like you would be happy for them any other day of the year.
2. Be conscious of the fact that like any unpleasant day, it will be over soon.
3. Reframe the day: look for the upside to not having a partner today (or any day) – remind yourself why you are better off without your ex. Remind yourself of what a great job you are doing as a double parent all by yourself. Remind yourself that you are fantastic person and having a husband, wife, or partner doesn’t change that fact.
4. Reframe the day: it doesn’t have to be about romantic love. Make today about the ones you love the most and do something extra special for your children. That doesn’t mean you have to dash out and buy something store bought or expensive. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. Do something your child/ren won’t expect you to do, for example, make your child’s bed and leave them a surprise note on their pillow. Whatever you do, make it a thoughtful demonstration of love that shows your child/ren how much you love them and not how much you’re willing to spend on them.
5. Reclaim the day: do something for yourself. Do something out of the ordinary and something that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself. If you hate cooking, order take-away or take the kids out for dinner. If you love flowers, buy your favourites. Treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated.
6. Reframe the day: remind yourself that you don’t need a man or woman to make you happy or feel special. You’re an adult and you are responsible for you own happiness and building up your own self-esteem. Life is what you make it (and all that jazz). Be ultra-conscious of the fact that however you handle today, your kids will be watching you.
7. Be the parent your children deserve. Demonstrate your unconditional love for them every day of the year. Here’s why you should kiss them twice as much as you already do https://thedoubleparent.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/no-day-but-today/
8. Turn the golden rule red, and today of all days, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Be a loving person to all you meet today. Plato said, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.