Love, Actually?

I think Valentine’s Day is hokey.

There, I said it.

This is one thing that I always think about this time of year and especially throughout the year, as a parent. It feels like the true value of Valentine’s Day has been lost in the commotion of kitschy cards and grandeur showcases on social media.

Let me get this out of the way early on – I would never shame anyone for celebrating Valentine’s Day to it’s fullest capacity, that is not what this is about. I definitely see the appeal and the benefits of it – teaching love, sharing love with others – those are things that I absolutely, 100% support and believe in. I want people to show and share love. I just don’t want people to feel limited to only sharing or being loved on one day.

As humans – we all deserve love. To be loved to our fullest capacity and to love others with everything we have. Not even in the traditional sense of relationships or marriage. But just in general as people.

More importantly, as a mother, I don’t want my boys to think that they can only show emotional vulnerability, or be expressive with their love, one day of the year. So I think the concept of Valentine’s Day should be taught and carried throughout.

It is no secret that boys are held to out-dated standards about how masculine they should  be presenting themselves to others. For whatever reason, being emotionally open and nurturing have been defined as ‘feminine’ traits, that girls have more of than boys. Even in romantic comedies, the male-lead is often subdued and guarded about his affections until something dramatic happens that causes him to unleash all of his emotional thoughts all at once.

Isn’t Valentine’s Day, kind of  similar?

In my mind, those things add up and create this environment where toxic masculinity can thrive.

It’s my goal in life to raise caring human beings who are able to process and talk about their emotions and their love openly with their future partners. Men who are comfortable to play dress up and house with their daughters and to teach their sons that it’s okay to do, and enjoy, those things as well. It’s my job to raise thoughtful, compassionate men, who not only allow themselves to love and be loved, but who don’t feel limited to show it more-so on one day than any other.

For Valentine’s Day at our house, we’re going to enjoy each other, just like we do on every other day. I’m going to squeeze the boys until they tell me to stop or they’ll explode, tell them I love them and they’re going to do the same – because that is what Valentine’s Day is about – Love. Love in all forms.

So I say all of this to say – enjoy being loved and giving love today, in whatever capacity it may be. You don’t have to be in a committed relationship to love. Love yourself – self care is critical to being able to love someone else. Love your family, your friends, your pets, causes that are important to you, that one show on Netflix that brings you immense joy – and then carry that love onto February 15th and into the rest of the year.

Love is love, ya’ll. The world we are living in now needs love more than ever, from all of us – year round, in our sleep, and as often as we can get it.

Posted by

Mother of three. Writer extraordinaire. Lover of art and music. Consumer of chocolate and wine.

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