How To Survive Valentine’s Day As A Single Mom

Here's how to show the people in your life the importance of love, including yourself.

Mother loving on her daughter and self, picnic and reading Liana Mikah | Unsplash

Valentine’s Day is hard for anyone who’s not in a relationship. But it can be particularly hard for single moms since the focus of Valentine’s Day is predominantly on romantic love, so much so that it sometimes feels like you are a lesser species if you are single.

But you can reject the Hallmark messaging and make Valentine’s Day your own by dedicating the day to love in all its forms.

Rewrite your narrative about Valentine’s Day by recommitting to loving your children, your family your community, and yourself.


Instead of a day to feel bad about being single, make it a day to remember to bring your love more fully into the world. And use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to remember to love yourself — who you've been, who you're becoming, and who you are right now in this moment.

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Here are some simple ways to survive Valentine's Day as a single mom:

1. Make the focus of the day on teaching your children about love

It’s never too early to start teaching your children about love — how to express love to others, as well as how good it feels when we make the time or effort to express our appreciation and love.


2. Create rituals with your kids that teach about love and giving

Rituals help symbolize the qualities we want to emphasize and give everyone something to look forward to.

Sit down with your kids and make cards for people they love, bake red cookies, or watch a movie like A Charlie Brown Valentine while devouring pizza — extra points if you can find or make a heart-shaped pizza.

3. Connect to how much you love your kids

When you are in the day-to-day grind of caring for kids, especially as a single mom, it can feel tedious and difficult. So use Valentine’s Day to connect with your children. Play one of their favorite games, make a meal together, get down on the ground and build something, or go all in playing dress up together.


Whatever you guys choose, commit to being truly present with them for the chosen activity — no cell phone, no texting. Instead, luxuriate in their smell, smile, and quirky, nonsensical humor.

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4. Connect with the women in your life

Plan a girl’s night out with drinks or dancing and invite laughter and fun. Catching up with the ladies is always good for the soul and helps you appreciate the love and connection you share.

women at a dinner partyPhoto: RDNE Stock project/Pexels


You could also host a dinner party or small gathering during which you make time to share things you love about each other or set intentions about love for the coming year. Or, simply invite other moms and their kids over for your pizza and cookie decorating.

5. Focus on self-love and how you can improve it

How often do you consciously focus on self-love?

Inquire about your ability to love yourself. What’s in the way of self-love for you? What emotions come up when you place your hand on your heart, look yourself in the mirror, and say, “I love you.”

Do you immediately respond with ”I'm not rich enough, pretty enough, smart enough, pretty enough, deep enough, etc?" Or is it the sweeping belief that says, "I'm just not enough. Period."


Counter any negative beliefs by making a running list of all the things you appreciate and love about yourself. Then commit to finding one thing you love about yourself every day.

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6. Do some self-care

Show yourself some love by taking a bath, buying yourself chocolates or flowers, or cooking you and your family your favorite dinner or dessert. Hire a babysitter and go out with the girls.


7. Do something for strangers who need love

Volunteer on Valentine’s Day at a homeless shelter or make care packages and deliver them to a shelter. When you take the time to do something that lets other people know that they are loved, you will feel love radiating back.

8. Make a list of all the things you love about your life

It seems obvious, but many times we need to consciously force ourselves to focus on what’s good in our lives. Keep the list handy for those rough patches.

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Sarah Kowalski is the founder of Motherhood Reimagined, a life coach and fertility doula.