With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this can be hard for newly separated or divorced couples to endure.
Advice for your first Valentine’s Day after a separation or divorce
There are so many ways to celebrate the day of love without feeling like you’re missing out on Valentine’s Day! I did a bit of digging and found that there’s actually a number of days leading up to February 14th that people can celebrate.
Today, February 9th is Chocolate Day – do you have friends or family who would love to indulge in some chocolate with you today? Call them up!
There’s debate on the actual date for this next one – International Hug Day – sometimes known as January 21st, and sometimes known as February 12th – irrespective, there’s a day dedicated to hugging. In this pandemic-stricken 6-feet-apart world we live in, what could make a newly separated person feel more connected to their loved ones by engaging in a day dedicated to hugs? For our purposes today, let’s celebrate it on Feb 12th!
And then February 13th known as Galentine’s Day. This originated from an American TV comedy show called Parks & Recreation and has grown to a worldwide celebration of friendships. On the show, the episode features the main character inviting her friends for brunch, complete with waffles and love.
On February 14th itself, if we think of this occasion as the day of “love”, there are so many ways to share love other than with a significant other – you could celebrate love of family and friends, your children, and perhaps most importantly – love of oneself!
Maybe think of 3 things that you could do that would bring you joy – watching your favourite movie, cooking your favourite meal or baking a treat, or even just taking a bath and eating chocolate. Think of your idea of joy and self-care and just do it!
I encourage you to broaden your definition of what celebrating Valentine’s Day means to you! Whatever day you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day or the week leading up to it, it’s all about celebrating love. In a time where you may be feeling a loss in the love department, this can be an opportunity to feel love in your surroundings.
How to lift up friends or family going through divorce on Valentine’s Day
As a friend or family member of a divorcing person, the best recommendation I can give is to be there to make them feel special. They will be feeling the void of past Valentine’s Days with their spouse, and how their spouse used to make them feel special.
In this case, consider 3 things that would bring joy to your friend or family member, and make that happen!
It may be bringing them their favourite chocolates or a take out meal, or finding their fav flowers and having them delivered. Or, think of what makes them smile – it may be getting a gift certificate for a massage, or candles, or even the gift of quality time together hanging out together for a movie, at the yoga studio or the gym.
Think of what they’re missing and help them to fill that void. Whatever you decide to do, make sure they know you care and that you’re there for them especially when they may be feeling down on love-day.
Bring joy on Valentine’s Day to kids going through their parents’ divorce
I encourage parents to consider how they have approached Valentine’s Day with their kids in the past, and do whatever possible to keep those traditions going. Some families give each other cards or little mementos for Valentine’s Day, while others celebrate with a special meal. These are just a couple examples of some traditions but there’s so many more. Whatever you can do to create normalcy will help the kids to maximize the celebrations.
On the other hand, kids mature so quickly that what they may have wanted to do last year to celebrate may be a thing of the past for this year. I just finished picking out Valentine’s Day cards at the drugstore for my younger 2 kids, but this year my oldest isn’t into that. So, it just depends.
Depending on the parenting schedule, you may or may not have your kids with you for the celebration – if you’re not with them, you’ve still got a few days before February 14th, consider arranging with your co-parent an opportunity to drop off a care package, or to have a video chat with the kiddos.
Do what you can to make the day special for your kids by embracing however your kids want to celebrate the occasion.
Henka Divorce Law & Mediation is a Collaborative Law and Family Mediation firm that helps families thrive as they transition to separation, divorce, or cohabitation. Understanding that every journey is different, we guide families through the right legal or mediation process that fits their unique situation.
Our client service is built on three pillars – focusing on the future, nurturing and supporting children, and working together towards well-being. This includes considering everyone’s needs throughout the process. We work closely with families to provide a meaningful and fair resolution, while keeping costs down by staying out of court.
We serve families in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada through their separation or divorce by providing in-person and virtual Collaborative Law or Mediation services.
With extensive knowledge in matrimonial law, our founder Stephanie Dobson uses a caring, results-focused approach to help parents navigate a family separation or divorce while they connect with and support their children. Learn more about her approach and credentials.