Love Yourself

February is the month of love… there’s no denying that. However, for many single mothers, it can be a nostalgic month of lost love and visions of how life should have, would have, and could have been.

On a side note, I’ve gotten so carried away with life, the meaning of February has bypassed my conscious mind. When I sit and think of it, I catch myself wondering why February? Because it’s Valentine’s Day? Why can’t every day be Valentine’s Day and why must it be about couples?

The true meaning of love is lost in this month where prices of chocolates and flowers rise steeply, and restaurants are overbooked and overcrowded with love birds trying to romanticize a once-failing relationship or celebrate decades of marriage. Why shouldn’t they celebrate it when everything is not so darn expensive and save money for a holiday?

The thought of spending tons of unnecessary money on a Hallmark-created occasion baffles me. So does the thought that it has to be with a partner or someone you love… Yes! Someone you love! My kids…? (No, my friends say, find yourself someone special!)

That’s just the craziest idea to me. I’ve spent the last 7 years of valentines with my children, the ones who mean the world to me and you know what? We celebrate our love whether it is February or not!

Love Yourself First

Since it is the month of love, let’s focus here. There is no one more important that you need to love right now than yourself. If your world has once crashed down on you and you are feeling the weight of this month and Valentine’s Day dampening your heart and soul, you need to learn to love yourself more.

So, someone has stolen your heart and crushed it into pieces. Someone has destroyed your idea of love and left you in shambles. Someone else might have claimed to love you yet betrayed your trust and left you in the lurch, begging for that same someone to love you again, the way you need and want to be loved.

Think about all the times you loved someone. Think about all the ways and means you have tried to show your love. Now apply all that you know about loving someone to yourself.

You would tell someone you love them – Tell yourself.

You would sacrifice important things to give someone the things they want – Give something to yourself.

You would make time from a busy schedule and day to spend it with someone you love – Spend time with yourself.

You motivate and talk someone out of their bad days – Motivate yourself.

You say loving things to bring someone up – Say loving things to yourself.

You cook and clean for someone you love – Cook a meal and keep your house clean for yourself.

You go out of your way to show someone you care – Show yourself you care.

You sit there listening to someone you love – Sit and listen to yourself.

There are so many things we are willing to just drop and do for a special someone. Why aren’t you special enough to do these for yourself?

Pause and listen to your heart crying for your very own attention. When was the last time you listened to your soul and what you were crying out for?

We need to stop letting love stories and gifts dominate the meaning of love. Agape love can work miracles if you could only show it to yourself and give yourself kind thoughts and words in moments when you need them the most.

Only by loving yourself more can you be great mothers for your children. Only by loving yourself can you then teach and show your children to love themselves. For this world is evil enough. The greatest gift you can give your children is to help them love themselves.

Celebrate Yourself

Have you ever noticed how far you’ve come? The fact that you’re reading this says a lot.

In the past, have you done something special for Valentine’s Day for someone you love? Maybe cook a special meal or buy something nice? Perhaps you wrote a little note saying all the nice things you thought of someone.

Have you ever thought of doing the same for yourself?

I have a thing I do with my kids on any special occasion. We celebrate ourselves. Not to be conceited or pompous… but I’ve taught them to celebrate their existence and who they truly are.

This Valentine’s Day, why not do something special for you and your children? Write little notes to each other about all the wonderful things they are and exchange them over dessert. You will be surprised what little kids think of their mothers.

One year, my dearest first born wrote a note about everything he thought of me and my my, I was crying by the end of the note. Of all the things he had written, one of them read, “My mommy is brave and courageous (spelled a little wrongly in the original note). She dares to take on all my crying and my shouting. And she makes me feel like I am the most precious boy in the world.”

My heart melted… Did I really do all this for this little child? To us, it seems to be just “our job” as mothers. To our children, it means the world to them.

Another note from my little man years later, “My mommy is prettiest when she does not wear any make up. Sometimes I feel she should just save her time in the mornings and be natural.”

All this time trying to impress society and show up looking in control and my best… little did I realize that my son was watching each morning when I get ready for work. And even worse, I had no idea he taught this every time he watched me.

You’ll be amazed with what our kids feel about us. We often feel like we’re drained, exhausted, run down from everything we have to deal with, and just not being enough. We feel like we can’t provide enough, do enough, say enough of the right things, or love enough to take their pain away.

The truth is, we do enough, and we are enough. So, take this time to truly celebrate you being enough, celebrate yourself as a mother, a single parent who is doing her best and giving her all for her children. Celebrate you – the one person your children completely rely on, the one true being that they love even when you are yelling at them, the one soul they turn to even when they’ve done something wrong.

Celebrate you for you are enough.

If you have to carry one thing with you this Valentine’s Day, carry this:

You are enough. You are beautiful. You are brave and strong. You are loved.

And to all those who are longing and seeking love, love yourself and love will find you.