With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’m sure you have seen all the candies, flowers, decorations, and Valentine’s Day dinner specials being advertised practically EVERYWHERE! It can a sobering reminder of how alone you are, ESPECIALLY if you are a single parent. But even in the midst of single parenting, it IS possible to learn how to love yourself.
In fact, I highly encourage learning to love yourself in whatever season of life (single parenting, dating, married, singleness, etc.) you are in.
Now, some of you may be thinking “How is it possible to learn how to love myself when I am struggling to balance single parenting, bills, work, friendships, and chores while ensuring my children eat enough vegetables, limit their sugar intake, teach them life skills, teach them how to cope with their growing emotions, practice patience, AND find the time to spend one-on-one with each child?
That seems IMPOSSIBLE! But friends, I can tell you it IS possible.
I was that single parent who could not find it within myself to love who I became. After trial-and-error, I can confidently say that I am a work-in-progress who continues to love myself the best I can each step of my journey through life.
How did I do it?
As previously mentioned, I’m a work-in-progress. I have days where I struggle to find my self-worth. Regardless though, I still practice these tips to help love myself.
1. It’s okay to NOT be okay!
Yup! You read that right, it is OKAY to NOT be okay! One thing I have learned throughout my undergraduate degree (I have my Bachelor of Science in Psychology) and from having a licensed, clinical psychologist as a parent, acknowledging your emotions is not only okay, but it’s actually a healthy practice. Bottling up emotions can lead to more intense reactions once the emotions reach the surface, so acknowledging them as they appear is a great first step.
It’s ok to love yourself.
Affirming yourself and your self-worth was a big game-changer for me. I learned through my faith my identity in Christ. This was my self-affirmation that I am not ugly, worthless, or useless. I was in fact strong, beautiful, and loved. This was my personal way of affirming myself, but you can use self-affirmations aside from faith. It can be as simple as sticky notes on your mirror stating, “I am beautiful” or “I am worth it”. It sounds cliché, I know. But this simple act can have a huge impact on your self-esteem.
3. Practice self-care
As a single mom to two toddlers, a full-time graduate student, a full-time employee, and a volunteer for my church, I have very little free time throughout the week. Practicing self-care is equally as important to breathing when learning to love yourself.
For me, I practice self-care by setting aside a few minutes to watch a tv show or to just sit on the couch and relax after my children are asleep. Some days, I will choose to order pizza or hit up a drive-thru because I don’t feel like cooking, or I simply don’t have the energy to. Whatever it may be for you, learning how to breathe through the storm is a much more sufficient way to practice self-care.
Though Valentine’s Day focuses on showing others your love, I challenge you to show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day. Whether it be a bubble bath with candles, buying yourself some flowers, indulging in your favorite chocolate, or even just relaxing to some of your favorite music, you deserve to love yourself today and every day.
With all this talk about self-love, let’s try a little more self-care as part of that self-love!!
It’s the best $1.99 you’ll spend all week (and probably all month)!
A little about this author….
Kristyn is a single mom to two toddlers, a full-time graduate student, a full-time employee, and a volunteer for her church. In addition, she’s a Disney fan raising some Disney-loving and travel-loving kids!