By Vicki Little
The opinions on Valentine’s Day are very strong. You either love it or you hate it. Those on the side of loving it are usually the ones buying roses and heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates that have a few holes poked in them to find the yummy ones. The other side may decide there are better ways to spend their time (either by themselves or with a significant other). Often both sides agree that you don’t need a special holiday to show someone that you love them — you can do this all year long. That’s true, but it’s also easy to let the little things slide when life gets hectic. Here are some ways that everyone can benefit from Valentine’s Day, whether they have a significant other or not:
It helps you focus on someone you really care about.
Consider your average day. How much time and attention does your better half really get? If something comes up, who will be the first person to take the back seat? The kids want to play at the park, and it is the first nice day in FOREVER, so Dad can either join us or wait before we head home. And yes, I said Dad instead of Hubby because how often do we call our spouses that? Particularly when our kids are around? Date night gets skipped (if it was ever scheduled in the first place) because you are both exhausted. One thing that can make family life so special is that we are there for one another, and we aren’t going anywhere. However, this also can put distance in our relationships. We know our counterpart will understand when we need to reschedule, so it just happens. Making special plans for Valentine’s Day encourages us to put our significant other front-and-center for a day.
And why not? We make a big deal out of our children’s birthdays. Then we celebrate them again throughout the year (the first day of school, the holidays, lost teeth, good grades … the list is endless.) This is a wonderful way to build bonds as a family and show our support for one another. So how is celebrating our love with our spouse any different? What is wrong with taking advantage of this sappy-ness filled day? Hallmark holiday or not, it is a good reminder to focus on the one person who can get neglected the most in our daily life.
Doing things for others makes you happy.
This particular holiday invokes images of sappy lovebirds gazing into each other’s eyes over a candlelit dinner. And for a season of your life, this will likely be the case. But there are plenty of other seasons and plenty of other people to care about: your children, your best friend, your family — anyone special in your life. A small treat, a “thank you for being you” card, or a small act of kindness can go a long way in letting someone know that you appreciate him or her. Plus, doing something kind will actually make you happier as well. According to the book Paradox of Generosity, the more people do for others, the happier they reported feeling. Seriously, how great would be to put a smile on your kiddo’s face with a cute teddy bear and heart-shaped pancakes in the morning? Then treat your best friend to a manicure and lunch in the afternoon. Then enjoy your favorite junk food and newest Netflix binge in the evening. That just may be my perfect day!
Regardless of what our current situation is, expecting or wishing for a “perfect world” scenario will often only lead to disappointment and frustration. V-Day is here to stay, so instead of focusing on what you don’t have, choose to look at what you do have and make someone you love feel happy and appreciated. You just may find that Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad after all.
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. When she isn’t writing or trying to keep up with her kids she can be found volunteering, reading, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
Want more from The Mother List? Sign up here!