Who says Valentine’s Day is solely meant to celebrate romantic relationships? I say it’s a perfect opportunity to go and love yourself first. As mothers, we focus so much physical energy, time, and emotional anguish vying for “perfect parenthood” (WHATEVER THAT MEANS). We are conditioned to love God (if this belief applies), our children, our significant other, our careers, our countries, but how often are we truly encouraged to love ourselves first? And I’m not talking about after the household duties are finished, or after concerns 1-50 are mulled over in our overwhelmed brains?
I’m talking priority one.
On this holiday that celebrates romantic love, I challenge you to make the love for yourself paramount.
Now I know this is not considered a popular belief, it is said to be self-centered. But I’m not saying to skirt your responsibilities altogether, only to practice self-care. Then, and only then, can mothers really give of ourselves to others.
I have spent more than a few Valentine’s Days unattached, and I remember being quite unhappy. In particular, I think about the difficult couple of years I spent as a single mother. I felt like a failure, I felt vulnerable. Society’s depiction of Valentine’s Day and all its implications seemed to mock me. It hurt. It felt like celebrating Valentine’s Day alone was out of the question, surely this day wasn’t meant for me. If I could go back and speak with post-separation/divorce Nicole I would challenge her to reclaim this holiday! There is no shame in treating yourself on Valentine’s Day or any other day for that matter.
Schedule a massage, spring for the fancy bottle of wine, hire a sitter and just do what you want. When the world tells you it’s selfish to do these things, buck the norm and do what makes you happy. If it takes this occasion to give you the push, so be it! When you look back, you’ll realize you’re worth it and those around you will be better off as well.
There is no honor in being a mommy martyr.
I wholeheartedly believe mothers will be a better parent and person as a result of putting themselves first more often.
I have a tattoo on my right ring finger of a diamond. I might not recommend this particular permanent statement for everyone, but my intent was to always have a visual reminder to love myself first, whether my left hand was adorned with a wedding ring or not. Ironically enough, I met and fell fast in love with my now-husband, Ryan, shortly after.
But regardless of my marital status, or romantic life, I vow to always love myself even in my darkest moments. I encourage you to do the same.