I remember making Valentine’s Day “mailboxes” in elementary school to collect all the Valentine’s that my classmates were mandated to give me. The mailboxes were glorified manila envelopes that we got to decorate with various arts and crafts supplies. The girls would get excited about getting a valentine from the boys and vise versa, even though, like I mentioned before, everyone was supposed to give a valentine to each of the kids in class (regardless of who pushed you down at recess or who was the boyfriend of the day). I loved going to the store to pick out the themed cards I was going to give out that year (likely the popular Disney movie at the time). Valentine’s Day for me was about decorating, giving, and sugar highs.
Fast forward to high school. Valentine’s Day was in the same classification as Christmas. All the girls would plan for weeks the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other and the boys were expected to “go big or go home”. The amount of money spent and the gifts given were a direct reflection of their love for you. Emotions and tensions ran high this time of year in high school; relationships were both made and broken in the same day. Valentine’s Day for me was about proving your love for one another.
In college, Valentine’s Day could go 1 of 2 ways. If you had a boyfriend/girlfriend you might get each other a little something, but if you were truly in an “adult-like” relationship, you would go out to eat. A successful Valentine’s Day would be if one of the partners drove up to see the other or drove off campus to go to dinner (BIG outing). If you were single, you would likely be celebrating GAL-entine’s Day with your girls. Valentine’s Day for me was about being with my girlfriends and bashing the local Fraternity.
After the college years, Valentine’s Day would be depressing. Expectations were never met, or you were lonely and reflecting on past relationships. I would dread this day.
Once you find “the one” Valentine’s Day starts to be fun again. Maybe you don’t look forward to decorating your manila folder mailbox or go to the store to pick out the perfect Disney cards (or maybe you do), but it’s more about celebrating your love for one another, true love! Gifts and dinners might matter the first few years, but just like anything, the thrill will start to dull.
In the last several years, especially after having my baby, Valentine’s Day (for me) was about celebrating the love I have in all of my relationships, not just the love between my Husband and I. This year in particular, Valentine’s Day was about self-love and self-care. I took a step back to reflect with no expectations or judgment. How can I love myself better, the way I deserve to be loved? How can I love myself so that others love me the way I need to be loved? How can I love myself so my daughter will know to love herself the way I love her?
What does Valentine's Day mean to you?
Welcome to Moms in Harmony, I'm so glad you're here! My name is Meg and I'm a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, holistic advocate, wannabe blogger, Wife, and Mom trying to get the hang of it all. Kick off your flip flops and stay awhile!
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