My Valentine this year is the most important person in my life: my daughter. I often tell her I love more than anything because she is the only one to be the nearest to my heart, to hear its beat, which makes our bond even more special.
She will be turning ten in April and I know my time with my child is precious given how, in a "blink of an eye", she will be an adult. Of course, as with other parents, she will always be my child but the ability for me to fix her problems with a simple hug are slowing drifting away.
This will mark the third Valentine's Day since her father and I separated. I am finally coming to terms with certain aspects of our life now. As a single parent, you want to do more, to make up for what the other parent isn't doing in your eyes.
Do what you want for your child. Don't put the added pressure of being "two parents" on your shoulders. Be the parent you can be and, in the long run, that will benefit your child more.
For example, don't make it your job to verbalize how much the other parent loves them. Let me explain. I'm not saying to never say "Daddy/Mommy loves you." What I'm saying is to lesson your internal guilt which makes you feel you have to say it for the other parent. Say it because you want to, not because you have to. It is their job to let their child know. Remember that.
Don't be afraid to talk to the other parent about things or ask for help, even if you feel they will argue with you or not help. You have a voice, use it. You are your child's advocate. They might even surprise you by agreeing with you and helping you out.
If you want to give little gifts to your child on holidays or big gifts for that matter, don't feel guilty for what the other parent doesn't do or because they "did more". Sure, part of you will feel jealous if they did more than you but there will be times you are the one to do more. It will even out. Focus on the holiday you want to give your child while they are with you. That is all you can be in control of.
This year I will be giving my daughter five small things and gave her clues to ponder until the day.
1. Something sweet
2. Something to make you think.
3. Something to make you move.
4. Something to read.
5. Something sweet (again).
She has a couple ideas of what they might be which makes it even more fun. I am enjoying making the holidays what I want for her.
So to all the single parents out there, focus on showing your love to your child, have no guilt about the other parent regarding holidays and just enjoy the day! And remember, you got this!