Solo Love

Whether you are newly single or have chosen the single life from the beginning, being the lone parent in a field of hearts, kisses and chocolate can be challenging. Getting through Valentine's Day, with all of the cards, flowers and love-y dove-y poems, requires the kind of strength that only a single parent can muster. Here are a few ideas to enjoy the day and celebrate all that you have around you.

Mom baking Valentine's Day cookies with daughter

Make it about your child

Being a single parent takes the time, devotion and strength that you exhibit every day by going to work, attending school parties and kissing your child good night at the end of a long day. Make Valentine's Day the time to celebrate your children and show them, and yourself, why you do what you do! Take a block of time, whether it's the whole day or just a few hours, and talk about all the things that make your child special. Relive their accomplishments, and detail how they have grown. After all, a big part of loving someone is knowing who she is on the inside, so make this holiday an opportunity to share the gifts sprouting in each of your children.

Cook or bake together

If the old adage holds true, the way to a heart is through the stomach. Break out all the fine china, set the table in a special way, cook a fabulous meal together and linger over the conversation that ensues. If you're pressed for time, consider baking or making a special dessert to fill the house with the warm scents of home and love.

Find an activity

Tap into your creative side and plan some fun games, crafts or writing activities with your children. Line up the games that your child loves to play, whether it's just an endless game of patty cake or a full on attack with battleships, spend time having fun together. Instead of buying cards for each other, why not make your own? The result will be far more personal and special tha

Get out of town

Head out of town for a day trip, picnic in the next city's park, or hike a trail. The fresh air and exercise will be good for both of you, but the time you spend together will be even better.

Volunteer for a charity

Community organizations and charities are always looking for volunteers. Hit your local dollar store and purchase a few valentines for the closest nursing home or children's shelter, and deliver them with your child. Talk about the real meaning of love and show that it can extend beyond one's family and into the community. Do something good for others while teaching your children a valuable life lesson.

Single parents no longer have to dread Valentine's Day. Just look into the innocent eyes of your child and remember what true love really is.

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Comments on "Guide to celebrating Valentine's Day as a single parent"

Green February 13, 2010 | 7:45 PM

This is great, thanks so much for the advice. :)

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