Didn’t we start seeing the reds and pinks clothe our favorite stores soon after the new year? At that time we were expected to have a resolution for the year, something to make us a better person or healthier, or whatever it may be. Then when we get set on being this better person, we are slammed in the face with this love stuff.
I’ve had multiple text messages from young couples and parents of young children asking me what I do for Valentine’s Day. This post is in response to those messages because I want women to take the stress of Valentine’s Day off their shoulders. Don’t we have enough to worry about, anyway?
When I was young, I dreamed of being married and having a family, but it wasn’t a rush by any means. I never felt the urge to settle down right away, and I was more annoyed with the hoopla that was Valentine’s Day. You know the girls that got jewelry, flowers, candy, etc. I kept thinking to myself, I can go home and get what I want, I can have my parents take me to the store and get some candy if I wanted. Not a big deal. In fact, I’m sure my parents would have bought me flowers if I wanted some. I didn’t need jewelry because my parents bought me jewelry, nice jewelry at that. I have two specific rings that I treasure because they were my first real pieces of jewelry.
Then I met my future husband. While I was in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, I still wasn’t big on the Valentine’s day stuff. Now that we have kids and don’t have regular babysitting because let’s face it, it costs too much; we have made Valentine’s Day another family tradition.
Babysitting costs us around $40+ depending on how many hours we’re out. Those hours start as soon as we walk out the door. Then there’s the cost of dinner and/or whatever we have planned fo the evening for fun. We feel like we have to rush back to relieve the babysitter before bedtime because we like to put our kids to bed. We like to be the faces they see before they go to sleep. It’s a comfort to them and to us. Quite frankly, living on one fixed income of the active duty military, we don’t have that kind of money to just shell out for one night’s rushed fun.
We don’t do flowers. We don’t do chocolates. We don’t buy into the gifts of what our culture says we should get for Valentine’s Day. Instead, we go out together to a nice dinner as a family. Sometimes it is just a favorite restaurant. Other times it is a fancier restaurant. There are years that we have a special dinner at home and a movie.
There are many options for Valentine’s Day that don’t require huge expenses. It is just another day. If you’re sensitive to seeing others showered in gifts, then get off of social media. And if it does bother you, listen to me speak to you in love: I think there’s more going on at a deeper level that not receiving gifts.
What is it you want? Do you have a loyal man in your life who is a man of integrity and puts you and the kids first? Does he sacrifice long hours away from the family so you can be a stay at home mom or so that you can make ends meet better?
Are you single and feeling very much alone? Maybe you’re single and seeing the family Valentine’s Day as a dream. I don’t know what God has in store for you, but maybe you can ask a close friend to join in on their family Valentine’s Day tradition? Make it fun. Host a singles Valentine’s Day dinner and movie party. Maybe you’re a single mom, and your child is watching you suffer without the love of a man. Think about the implications that press upon the child.
How do we find contentment? My dear friend posted this quote today:
Ladies, we must find contentment in whatever it is that we do, wherever it is that God has our lives. If we aren’t content and at peace with what we have, nothing will ever be enough. You’ll place unattainable expectations on your significant other for Valentine’s Day. You’ll be stressed out that you aren’t enough. It was a couple of years ago I felt that I was less than at Valentine’s Day because I didn’t think I did enough for my husband to celebrate and show my appreciation. Instead of allowing it to eat at me, I went straight to him and checked to see what his expectations were. That was the best conversation about Valentine’s Day because it set us up for having a fun evening together as a family instead of wasting money on things.
Do you feel a certain way about Valentine’s Day? What are your expectations? Are you struggling this year? Let’s join together as a community of women to empower each other to find contentment this season.