Do you dread Valentine's day? Have you ever spent it watching everyone else at work get flowers while you look forward to eating your Ben and Jerry's for one?
Although you feel alone, you're actually part of 109 million single Americans over 18 in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Single adults make up 45 percent of the U.S. population.
So don't be so hard on yourself this Valentine's Day. Remember that loving yourself isn't only OK — it's important.
If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your little ones. Your children are watching. And they'll learn to love themselves by watching you.
Here are some fun ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with those little ones that love you unconditionally:
These Betty Crocker pancakes are a great way to surprise kids and start the day. Simply divide pancake batter between two bowls, color one batch red, and use a cookie cutter heart. Use frosting to write personal notes. After all, it's a holiday!
Before Valentine's Day, spend an evening decorating old-fashioned Valentine's Day boxes. Encourage the kids to put notes and gifts in each other's boxes.
You can make notes that say things like, "Good for a trip to the pool," or "Good for a bike ride." Try this fun design, or a simple tissue box with wrapping paper works just fine, too.
Valentine's Day scavenger hunt
Use construction paper hearts and set up a scavenger hunt that ends with treats, love notes, a movie or fun games.
Photo scavenger hunts work well for small children. Take a photo of their favorite toy, a chair, their room, etc. and any other fun places in your home. Start the game by handing your child a photo of their favorite toy. Tell them to go find it. When they find it, they should also find with it a photo of the next item or place to find. The hunt will end with something fun that they enjoy.
Shannon Symonds, Author of Safe House due to be released July 2017 by Cedar Fort, has 15 years experience working as an Advocate for victims of domestic and sexual violence while raising 6 children in Seaside Oregon. She loves to write, run and Laugh