Photo courtesy of Latifah Miles

I'm A Single Mom & Here's How I'm Spending My Valentine's Day

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Growing up, every Valentine’s Day my dad would come home with an armload of chocolates, teddy bears, flowers, and cards with handwritten notes for us girls in the house. Through my awkward phases where the idea of a boy liking me was equivalent to putting all of my faith in the tooth fairy, my dad managed to make me feel special on Valentine’s Day. He taught me to always show myself some love on V Day, relationship or no, and this year, as a single mom, I am spending Valentine’s Day by best-lifing it.

All of my friends are in some sort of serious relationship so it is safe to say that, as a single woman and mom, I will be spending Valentine’s Day on my own. The "love holiday" just so happens to fall on a day that my son is supposed to be with his father, so my "main squeeze" won't be around either.

The feeling of sitting in my apartment without my son or even a casual fling on a day that is all about gushing over how much you love another person would typically be daunting. I’d plan an evening of a) avoiding all social media to keep my envy in check and b) binge-watching Law & Order, because at least Benson and I would both be single. This year, though, I have decided that I am going to be my own Valentine. I don’t mean this in the over-dramatic, clichéd kind of way where you repeat mantras to yourself in the mirror all night. I mean that I am really going to treat myself as if I am my true Valentine. Here’s what’s on the agenda.

After I drop my son off to preschool, I am going to head back home to get back into bed and go back to sleep because I will have an exhausting day ahead of me trying to plan my own surprises. After a sufficient rest, I am going to make myself Pinterest-worthy heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries because I'm worth it, according to L'Oreal. After breakfast and getting dressed, I am going to head over to the nail salon. Now this is epic for me, and truly special, because I never go to the nail salon. I find it to be a waste of money, but dammit, I deserve it! I will most certainly choose an obnoxiously red color to commemorate the holiday of love.

Yeah, that's right, a bubble bath. Photo by Fotolia

After the nail salon, I will head back home and get some work done because holiday or not, that’s still a requirement. I plan on purchasing my favorite flowers, sunflowers, and a heart-shuddering card the day before so that it can be there during dinner. After work, I will hop in the bathtub with my favorite Lush Bath Bomb, Sex Bomb (so appropriate, right?), and my favorite body scrub, also from Lush, that literally makes me feel like I have been reborn. Both of these are items I haven't splurged on in years because I simply can't justify shelling out $10 for something that lasts 20 minutes but Valentine's Day is about going the extra mile so I will.

I plan on soaking in the tub, without interruption, and reading one of my favorite books until my limbs turn into al dente spaghetti.

Over the last few weeks, I have been bookmarking movies in Netflix for this very day because who wants to waste such a sweet holiday searching through thousands of movies you have never heard of ("recommended for you"). I am going to order the most indulgent sushi for dinner, my favorite, and will watch every last movie I have bookmarked. Before I start my Netflix-and-chill-fest, I will read the card I wrote to myself and put my flowers in water and promptly post a picture of it on social media with the hashtag #Vday2018 because I am not ashamed or embarrassed to be alone, single, or to celebrate myself out in the open.

As I stuff my face with sushi and sink further into my couch, I will be satisfied that I relied on myself this year to make the most of what I have. Sure, I’m single on Valentine’s Day, but I have invested the lion's share of my love powers in my son. And on a day in which millions of romantic gestures will end up as red cardboard in a garbage can, that is a far more lasting gift.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.