02/12/2015 05:17 pm ET Updated Apr 14, 2015

How to Enjoy Valentine's Day When You're a Single Parent

It's hard not to feel left out when you're a parent without a partner on Valentine's Day. Just remember, the holiday of hearts and flowers isn't just for romantic love. You may not have a romantic partner, but as a parent, you have plenty of love to celebrate. In fact, take advantage of the day to honor all the people who bring love to your life, including your children, family and friends, and your glorious self. Here are few tips for making the day special, even without a significant other:

• Shower love on little ones
Holidays offer ideal opportunities to create traditions your kids will remember for life. Start February 14th with a special breakfast or pack heart-shaped sandwiches in your kids' lunchboxes with love notes to remind them of how much you care. After school and work, tie on your aprons together and create a special dessert to enjoy after a family dinner. Before bed, look through their baby books or a family photo album to remind yourself of how much love surrounds you each and every day.

• Hit the town with a friend
Who said you need a romantic date for Valentine's Day? How about a lovely brunch with a friend or an indulgent dinner or cocktails with a fellow single mom or dad? Just because you're solo, doesn't mean you can't enjoy some adult time, so go ahead and hire a babysitter for some time away from the kids. After all, who deserves a break more than a single parent?

• Throw a Party (or a Playdate!)
Give your single friends plans for the night by hosting a party at your place. You'll have so much fun commiserating the short supply of suitable partners or celebrating your single status, you'll have no time to be sad or lonely. Alternatively, throw a special tea party or themed Valentine's Day party for your kids and their pals. Keep it low-fuss by restricting the guest list to just a few friends, find a fun craft to keep the kids entertained, and serve a simple heart-shaped treat like finger sandwiches spread with strawberry cream cheese or jam, cookies and tea, of course.

• Spread the love
Load up your table with craft paper, doilies, foils, markers, crayons and paints and create homemade Valentines with your kids to deliver to the special people in your family's life - teachers, friends, a favorite babysitter and grandparents. Do you know an elderly neighbor or a friend who might not have a Valentine to celebrate with this year? Make his or her day by delivering a bouquet of flowers and a homemade card. You'll show your kids that it feels as good to give as it does to receive.

No matter how you spend Valentine's Day this year, take the time to enjoy the special love that parenthood brings.