Ah Valentine’s Day ♥️ the most romantic day of the year, right?
Maybe. If you’re one half of a couple. Or a third of a thrupple. Or whatever kind of relationship the youngsters have these days. Valentine’s Day isn’t so romantic if you’re a single parent. Whilst all those loved-up happy people are agonising over choosing the perfect gift, making restaurant reservations, trying to find babysitters and swearing over the sudden 3483% price increase on a bunch of flowers, it’s easy to feel a bit like the red sock in a white wash. Like you shouldn’t be there, but you are, forcing people to take note of your intrusion.
But don’t feel sorry for me. Because I’ll be busy counting down the hours to Valentine’s Day’s lesser-known celebration – Me-Day.
Now, this isn’t because I’m a miserable old cow who’s jealous of all the loved-up Valentine’s Day Facebook and Instagram stories. Because I’m not. If you’re celebrating it with a partner, I’m genuinely happy for you. I love seeing all the declarations of love, photos of your relationships through the years and memories you’ve shared. It makes me feel happy that so many people have found their lobsters, and gives me hope for a more romantic future for myself. (You know, when my day isn’t controlled by the variety of youngsters I’ve created.)
Bring on the 15th February!
No, I’ll be counting down to the 15th because it’s one of my favourite days of the year.
Let me explain.
So you know how most people really love Christmas Day? I personally prefer Boxing Day. Its more laid back. There isn’t so much stress, or pressure to perform. And by that I mean keep your clothes clean whilst trying to cook 18 different things at the same time, that all need to be perfectly ready for a certain time. Whilst also trying to speak to all your family and prevent a child from trying to climb through the catflap because they decided to identify as a kitten for the day.
Boxing Day is all the best bits of Christmas, but without the stress and pressure. (Or the incredible hangover, if you’re the kind of idiot who gets accidentally wankered on Christmas Day)
The 15th February is like Boxing Day is for me. It’s my Valentine’s Day, but without the stress and pressure of the actual day. And, most importantly, all the posh boxes of chocolate and supermarket bouquets of flowers are half price. As is all the really
slutty nice underwear and pretty pyjamas.
I know that half price goodies isn’t what Valentine’s Day is all about, its a celebration of St Valentine. Whoever he really was. If you’re not familiar with him, you can read 6 surprising facts about him here.
But that’s not going to stop me from having a Me-Day rather than V-Day.
Officially, the 13th February is marked as International Day of Self Love, and the 15th February is Single’s Awareness Day. But to be honest, neither of these work for me. My mind is often in the gutter, which makes self love sound a bit masturbatory to me. (There’s nothing wrong with that, obviously, but I get mental images of the whole world doing it on the same day, which is a bit weird.)
And I really don’t like that the acronym for Single’s Awareness Day is SAD. Because it makes the whole thing sound a bit, well, sad to me. Which really isn’t the point of the day.
Me-Day not V Day
I don’t like celebrating my birthday, because it means that I have to accept that I’m getting older, and Mother’s Day isn’t really a celebration either when you’re a single parent. So the 15th February is Me-Day. The day that I do all the things that I like. Which includes getting a bargain on a new pair of pyjamas, buying my favourite box of posh chocolates, and buying myself my favourite flowers. Lie-ins don’t exist for me yet, so I have backwards lie-ins where I go to bed early.
The day after Valentine’s Day, I’ll be stretched out in my lovely bed, with my flowers in a vase next to me, in new pyjamas, watching Netflix with my box of chocolates. And I really can’t wait.
If you’re single, but don’t want to be SAD, and you love a good bargain, have yourself a little Me-Day on the 15th. And spend some time showing some love to yourself, in whatever way makes you feel happy.
Not only will you feel better for it, but you’ll also be teaching your children a valuable lesson : that it’s important to love yourself. Because children aren’t born with a sense of self love, it needs to be taught.
Why teach children to love themselves?
We’re living in a world pretty much taken over by social media. And its very easy for people to get sucked into seeking validation from others to feel good about themselves. Which is one thing, if they are surrounded by people who say nice things all the time. But realistically, that doesn’t happen. Last year Jesy Nelson from Little Mix opened up in a powerful documentary on BBC three called ‘Odd One Out’ about the horrific cyber bullying she was subjected to, and the impact that had on her mental health. If it can happen to Jesy, it can happen to anyone.
Teaching children to love themselves helps to instill resilience, and self esteem. 2 very important qualities that help your child develop the confidence to handle difficult situations. Whether that’s standing up to bullies in the playground at primary school, or having the strength not to bow to peer pressure as a teenager.
If children are shown how to love themselves, and feel happy, safe and loved at home, they’re more likely to grow into happy, kind, compassionate and loving adults. And wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world full of adults like that?
How do you teach children to love themselves?
Just by being wonderful you!
Children naturally want to emulate what their parents do, so lead by example. Let them see you dancing to your favourite tunes, doing things that make you feel happy, eating good food, spending time with good supportive friends and enjoying a hobby. And they will learn that love comes from within. Let them see you showing kindness to others and they will learn how to be kind and compassionate towards other people. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing, even taking a minute to smile at an elderly stranger and returning pleasantries about the weather can make a massive difference. I do this a lot, and my children used to ask me why I spoke to that person. My answer was always : because you never know if you’re the only one that that person has spoken to for days. This simple act can make someone feel less isolated, and can perk up what was otherwise a pretty lonely day.
That’s the kind of love we should all be spreading.So, have yourself a Me Day, feel good about yourself, show your children that love comes from within, and encourage them to spread it all around them wherever they go.
Love shouldn’t be confined to one day a year, but it can give us the perfect excuse to reevaluate how often we show love to ourselves, what we are teaching our children, and what impact we have on the world around us.
So cheers to the half price chocolates! Cheers to the half price flowers and pretty underwear! And cheers to yourself for being you.