We often think of Valentine’s Day as THE day to celebrate romantic love. But when you’re a single parent trying to balance full-time work and full-time parenting, romance may the last thing on your mind.

Really, Valentine’s Day as a single parent can be tough, and it can be easy to feel alone, but on this day of love we should focus on what is important and direct our energy toward those things in our lives. 

So why not redefine what Valentine’s Day represents and make it meaningful for you? Who said that the day is only about romance? Make this Valentine’s Day about celebrating with friends and family who are important to you.

There are tons of ways to spend the day that can fulfill your happiness and have you walking away with a sense of joy. For all your inspiration, check out our guide on how to spend your day:

1. Channel that love to your kids – celebrate with them!

Being with your kids on Valentine’s Day should be something special that stands out from the rest of the year, so be open with them in terms of a gesture they would enjoy.

As a single parent, the most important thing to keep in mind is spending the day and spreading your love with your children. Your kids are the biggest joy and blessing and deserve an endless amount of affection on Valentine’s Day. This means figuring out a way to bond with them and spend time with them by doing your favorite things together. If your kids are younger, get creative with arts and crafts. Make Valentine’s cards for friends and family and even decorations that you can put around the home. You can get as creative as you’d like!

  • -Plan a favorite meal that you and your kids can make together
  • -Pick up their favorite takeout
  • -Light some candles to make the meal feel special.
  • -Make a fun and easy dessert, such as gelatin jigglers (recipe below) and use a cookie cutter to cut the jigglers into hearts or other shapes.
  • -Decorate store-bought sugar cookies with icing and red sprinkles.
  • -Write each of your children a note or Valentine card, their special qualities and affirming your love for them.

If your kids are a little older, decide on something like going out to dinner, an outing to a sports game, or going to a comedy show. Being with your kids on Valentine’s Day should be something special that stands out from the rest of the year, so be open with them in terms of a gesture they would enjoy.

If you’re struggling for some inspiration, check out this guide on great ideas for you and your kids.

2. Spend time with your friends and besties

Having company over on Valentine’s Day is always a good idea, especially if your friends are going through the same situation. Single parents should stick together and supporting your friends can strengthen mental health for everyone and spread some love around. This means getting in touch with your friends and planning a celebration together.  It can be simple and special too.

Friends make up a huge part of a Single Parent Family’s support system, so be sure to thank them by name and let each person know why they are special to you.   Extending an invite to your friends going through a similar scenario will show you care about them and appreciate them.

If you’re unsure of what to do other than a dinner party, some single mothers choose a group trip to the salon to relax. For single fathers, gather up your companions and head out to a sports game or plan another activity you all will enjoy. 

3. Do something nice for someone else

Banish the blues by taking the focus off yourself and loving on someone who really needs it. One of the best ways to feel love is to give love; and, doing something bigger than yourself on Valentine’s Day doesn’t go unnoticed by others.

Doing a nice gesture for someone else can raise your spirits along with someone else’s. Some great ideas are:

  • -donating to a charity
  • -paying it forward for someone you see at a restaurant or shop
  • -volunteering and invest your time in an organization can give you a sense of pride and achievement
  • -helping an elderly neighbor who lives alone or a married couple with young kids who rarely get out to see a movie

Valentine’s Day is a great day to spread kindness—and it feels good to invest in someone else.

Single Parents and their families can banish the blues on Valentine’s Day
Single Parents and their families can banish the blues by taking the focus off yourself and loving on someone who really needs it. One of the best ways to feel love is to give love; and, doing something bigger than yourself on Valentine’s Day

Here at Single Parent Advocate, we’re always looking for more volunteers that are interested in pushing our mission forward. We have a wonderful community and are always looking to make additions to those interested in strengthening the bond we have. You can learn more about volunteering with us here.

4. Focus on yourself

Another extremely important aspect of Valentine’s Day is taking care of yourself. Many single parents suffer lots of stress, meaning self-care is often pushed to the wayside. However, on days like this, this is your chance to focus on your well-being and make improvements to your overall lifestyle. For everyone, this can be different, but it’s important to remember what you value and push on towards that.

As examples, single moms can focus on their exercise habits and facial skin health. Try out a new face mask at home or head to the salon to treat yourself to get your skin glowing brightly. Pair this with a hard day’s work at the gym, and you can have a perfect day of self-improvement. For single dads, spoil yourself with cleaning up your look or find time for yourself to read. Giving your facial hair a nice needed trim by using the proper razors and products as well as getting a nice hair cut will surely boost your self-confidence and physical health, while cracking a new book open will sharpen up your brain and have you feeling mentally strong.

Mastering your self-care routine will be unique to you, so find your sources of happiness and chase them.

An extremely important aspect of Valentine’s Day is taking care of yourself. Many single parents suffer lots of stress, meaning self-care is often pushed to the wayside. However, on days like this, this is your chance to focus on your well-being and make improvements to your overall lifestyle. For everyone, this can be different, but it’s important to remember what you value and push on towards that.

There are tons of great ways to spend Valentine’s Day this year, and it’s important to remember you’re never alone. It’s all about taking all your love and focusing it on different areas of life. It should be a celebration of happiness, so don’t stress it!

To make kid-friendly gelatin jigglers:

2 ½ cups boiling water

2 (4-ounce) packages of your favorite gelatin powder

Stir boiling water into gelatin for at least 3 minutes, or until completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch pan. (For thicker jigglers, use an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan.) Refrigerate for 3 hours or until the gelatin is completely set. Dip the bottom of the pan in warm water for about 15 seconds. Cut the gelatin into decorative shapes with cookie cutters, or cut into one-inch squares. Lift the gelatin shapes from the pan and enjoy!