“Sometimes the best Valentines are the ones you brought into the world yourself. There is nothing better than giving your child your heart.” ~ Unknown
One of the loneliest places on Valentine’s Day can be inside the heart of a single parent.
It seems everywhere we look there are ads for what to give our sweetheart: flowers, chocolates, lingerie and jewels along with the slogan, “A diamond is forever.”
We, as single parents, are reminded each and every day during February that the only one we will be giving our hearts to on this day is our precious children.
Even though we love them with all that we are, it’s still difficult to not let this holiday of couples and romantic dinners get the best of us. It’s hard to remember that what we are doing is much more important than just searching for that special someone—our goal is to raise those special someones.
Whatever holiday we happen to be celebrating proves to be a very different experience for those of us who are single parents. We can’t just go out and date like our childless counterparts because, at the end of the day, these little people are counting on us to make this day unforgettable for them—to give them memories that they can look back on with fondness.
The reality is that life as a single parent isn’t really about us—it’s about them.
We made that choice when we brought these amazing little people into this world, and while it may be lonely at times, there also isn’t anywhere else we’d rather be.
So, on this day it’s important to remember that while you are single—you’re never truly single when you have your children looking to you to be the love of their life.
They are counting on your warm hugs and tender kisses. They are looking forward to your arms to pull them close, and the silly things that you will do to make them laugh. They don’t know that you’re missing something on this day; they have no idea that for you the very idea of it being February 14th makes it hurt just a little more.
All they know is that you are their world—and for them that is enough.
This isn’t to say that we should push our feelings away as being inconsequential, but it does mean that we should be grateful for all the love that we do have.
In time, we will find a partner to not only share our love with—but our children’s as well.
That is the thing about being, or dating, a single parent; we are never really alone, never really single. Even if we aren’t with our children, we are still thinking of them, still tied to them and still focused on them being our top priority. At the end of this life, it’s not date nights missed that we would regret the most—but those memories that we never made with our children.
Someday someone will come into your life and will love you like you have always dreamed of.
This person won’t be only interested in dating you—but will want to spend time with your children as well. They will welcome the opportunities and gifts that come from having all of you in their life, and they will look at your children as the gift that they are and not as an inconvenience.
One day, you won’t be single any longer.
You will wake up in the arms of the person who has consciously decided to come into your life, and who chooses you—and your children—each and every day. Someone who knows that life with children requires a certain dance with romance, and for that they will make all of your lives just a little bit sweeter.
But right now, you are single even though you have your beautiful children to adorn your heart.
There won’t be any romantic dinners or roses on this day. There won’t be any cute Hallmark cards, or poetry that brings tears to your eyes, and it’s okay to feel sad about that.
It’s okay to miss what you don’t have—but it’s not okay to not appreciate what you do.
The life of a single parent is something completely different than anything anyone else can comprehend unless they have experienced it for themselves. They don’t understand the quiet nights spent in solitude wondering how we will find the strength for another day. They don’t understand the exhaustion that comes from doing everything on our own. But that’s why, on this day, I want to tell you that I see you.
I see your effort in this life, and I see how hard you try to put on a smile even when inside you feel like you’re falling apart. I see how everything you do is for your children, and at the end of the day when the only thing you wish for is to have someone be there for you—you still get up the next morning ready to do it all again.
Your love can move mountains, and even though today it feels like the love you seek won’t ever come—you have to never give up. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen.
It only means that the best of things take time, and there is no doubt that is what fate has in store for you and your children.
So while you are single on this day, and even on this evening when everyone else seems to be on dates with the one they love—you are far from single.
You have beautiful children who look at you like you hung the stars in the sky, so the only thing left to do is enjoy it until you have someone next to you who looks at you in the exact same way.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Flickr/Sabine Love
Editor: Travis May