Choosing Not to Spread Valentine’s Day Cynicism to My Children

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Valentine’s Day is over and the stores are selling all the leftover chocolate for half off. Or 75% off, whichever. I’m writing this post in the aftermath of the holiday because for one, I have pictures to share and two, I want to talk about how parents influence their kids, even when they don’t mean to. My Valentine’s Day cynicism is the perfect example of that.

For any of you who read my blog and have read my past posts on Valentine’s Day I am a bit of a cynic. It’s not that I don’t believe in love (though my thoughts on that are quite complicated) but that Valentine’s Day puts too much pressure on couples, especially married couples with kids. However, around Valentine’s Day I get a bit extra cynical and it has affected my boys. Because of them I have learned to curb my Valentine’s Day cynicism.

my sons playing an arcade driving game_valentinesdaycynicism_rockinrandommom

For the past few years I have verbally expressed my dislike for Valentine’s Day and romance. I did this without realizing that young ears were listening and young minds were being influenced by their mama’s negative opinions. My Valentine’s Day cynicism was rubbing off on my favorite and most precious people on the planet.

Take Adam for instance. He loves celebrating all holidays. Or at the very least getting excited about them and making everyone aware of said holiday. Hanukkah is one such day. We don’t celebrate this holiday but rest assured that Adam makes it known when it arrives every year. His knack for knowing these things is incredible to me. Even smaller days that most people don’t even know exist. So when Valentine’s Day comes around he wants to celebrate with as much enthusiasm as we do with Christmas and Halloween.

Only one problem with that. He heard me tell someone else how much I dislike the holiday so now every year he gets upset and has adopted the same attitude towards it. My Valentine’s Day cynicism rubbed off on my sweet, funny, happy-go-lucky boy.

my son at his old elementary school playgroud_valentinesdaycynicism_rockinrandommom

Have you ever said things to someone else that you never intended for your kids to hear but they heard it anyway? Yeah, it’s happened to me. This goes beyond Valentine’s Day though. I have developed a very negative outlook on romantic relationships and love. I have been a bit more outspoken about it than I probably should have considering little ears were listening.

This is Conner. He swears up and down he will never get married and never fall in love. Now anyone reading this is probably thinking he’s just a kid and doesn’t know yet. You’re right. He is just a kid but I see in some of his mannerisms and remarks he makes that make me aware of my mistake. Both his father and I have repeatedly said over the past 6 years that we will never remarry.

Over the years he has developed the same attitude and I don’t like it. Not one bit. While I understand as a parent I do have the most influence over my kids, I also encourage them to find their own way. Their dad and I both encourage our boys to have their own opinions and beliefs. But here I am with a child who sees something he barely understands the same way I do. It’s not fair to him. I don’t want my boy to go out into the world with this cynicism about love and relationships.

my son at the arcade_fighting Valentine's Day cynicism_rockinrandommom

So My ex and I had a conversation about this and we thought, “Hey, why not turn this day into a fun family day?” We both decided in order to change our children’s way of thinking about this holiday and about love and relationships, the best way to start would be Valentine’s Day.

We are in agreement that yes, we are both products of divorce and we were never really shown what a healthy relationship looks like. We know that while our marriage failed we have worked very hard to have a healthy co-parent relationship and friendship. We also agree that just because we aren’t together doesn’t mean we’ve doomed our kids to a lifetime of negative relationships.

So to fight our own Valentine’s Day cynicism and to help fight for our kids, we planned a fun night with our boys. I made them cupcakes and chocolate gift bags with their favorite candy inside. Then we took the boys to this new arcade that just opened up at the mall.

giant pac-man game at arcade_fightingvalentinesdaycynicism_rockinrandommom

As it turns out Valentine’s Day wasn’t so bad after all. It all depends on how you choose to celebrate it (or not). We didn’t need a whole bunch of extravagant gestures. All we needed was an evening at the arcade then we ordered some take out afterwards. It was a great night for all of us!

What do you think about how much influence you have over your kids? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for reading!

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with My 15 All-Time Favorite Love Songs

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As you all know, Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite holiday. However, this year I want to share with you my 10 favorite love songs of all time. Now, I have to be honest. When I decided to write this post I had no idea just how many love songs there actually are. I also had no idea just how many love songs I really enjoy so narrowing down to just 15 was extremely difficult. As I’m writing this I am still struggling to pick just 15 of my favorite love songs.

I have seen blog posts about TV’s best couples and the best romantic movies of all times. As a music enthusiast though, I really want to share my 15 favorite love songs because for me, in many ways, music trumps TV couples and romantic movies. Side note: I am aware many of these songs appear in the latter.

So without further ado, here are my 15 favorite all time love songs:

Oh, and these are in no particular order. That was just way too hard.

Nickelback is one of my favorite bands. A lot of people apparently think these guys are too corny but I love them and this was the song that made them a favorite. This video gets me in the feels every single time!

I mean, come on. Who in my generation hasn’t seen this movie or at the very least heard this song? I adore this song and I loved the friendship between Andie and Duckie, even though he was madly in love with her. I will always root for Duckie!

Everything by Lifehouse has to be on this list of my favorite love songs. The lyrics are so beautiful. “And how can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you?” It’s all about the vibe. Simply standing next to a person and feeling so moved. No words, no gestures. Just vibes. Or maybe a look. That is my favorite line in the whole song and makes this one of the best!

Now you know I wouldn’t have any playlist on my blog without a Bon Jovi song! There are a lot of songs to choose from here. I’ll be There for You, Always, and Thank You come to mind when I think of Bon Jovi songs but Born to be My Baby is my all-time favorite. I love that his wife is in this video too. Their real life love story is inspiring.

Lover Dearest is by Marianas Trench. I discovered them through this song while watching Mass Effect music videos so it’s only fitting that I use the video that started it all.

One of the best TV shows of all time equals one of my favorite love songs of all time. I can’t really say much else about this song other than it always cheers me up. Most love songs don’t do that.

Now I went way back and I personally don’t think you can have any list without at least one song from the King.

Theory of a Deadman isn’t a band most people are familiar with but they are another one of my favorites. The end of a relationship is never easy and this song says it wonderfully.

If you grew up in the 80’s then you know this song. This song will ALWAYS be one of my all time favorite love songs!

This was one of the first songs I heard from Hinder. They still remain one of my favorite bands to this day. This song also partially inspired me to start writing supernatural fiction.

Oh yeah! Did you really think I wasn’t going to have Buffy on the list? Not a chance! While this song was in a different episode, the song sums up Buffy and Angel’s beautiful but tumultuous relationship.

Dido’s song Here With Me became the opening theme song of one of my favorite shows, Roswell. Jason Behr changed the way I looked at aliens;)

Madonna was my first introduction to the love song. When I was little she was my idol. I wanted to be just like her. This song will always be my favorite Madonna song.

Okay so I know this song is cheesy but the romantic in me really loves this song. This is another song that actually lifts my mood. I can’t help but sing along every time I hear it.

Okay so now for my last song. Ya’ll have no idea how hard this was to pick this last song. But I couldn’t let this list go without the beautiful angelic voice of the late, great Whitney Houston.

Wow! That was rough! I have so many other really great songs on my list but these are the ones I chose for the purpose of this post. What are your favorite love songs? Let me know in the comments.

Want to read my other Valentine’s Day related posts? Here ya go:

You’re Prince Will Come

Why I’m Not In Love With Valentine’s Day

Real Love

Thanks so much for reading!

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Why I’m Not in Love with Valentine’s Day

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I’m just going to put this out there and get it out of the way…I am not a Valentine’s Day person. That’s right, Valentine’s Day is not my thing. It’s not that I hate Valentine’s Day but that I don’t put much stock in it. I find it boring and a waste of time. I mean seriously, we take one day each year where we HAVE TO show love and affection to our other half, spend a boat load of unnecessary money, just because some holiday says we have to. Where is the fun in that? Here are just a few reasons why I’m not in love with Valentine’s Day:

  • It’s not spontaneous! I realized this while I was married. Each year, my ex and I had certain expectations. Because we were parents and we had little money, we did the same thing every year: dinner, movie, hotel, hot tub. After year three of this, I realized that the best part about romance and sex is that, for me, it needs to be spontaneous. Call me crazy but sex is one of those things that if the spirit moves me, I’m going for it but if it is expected of me, I get cranky and uh, no…just no.
  • Where is the surprise? One of the things I love twillowborednowvalentinesday_rockinrandommomo do is surprise my man. I used to buy sexy cards for my ex for no damn reason. It was just because and I really enjoyed the look on his face when he got those cards. I love surprising the ones I love because I love doing things on a whim. That’s just who I am. Valentine’s Day doesn’t do that for me. Instead, the surprise is limited by “ooh, what’s _______ going to get me this year?” First off, we just left Christmas behind where I’m sure we pretty much got what we wanted. Secondly, if you have been with your other half for a long time, you start to predict what it is they will get you every year. You know each other so well, you can predict this and this becomes boring. Unless that person is truly unpredictable and is able to come up with all sorts of creative ways to surprise you and vice versa, I say leave the gift giving to Christmas and birthdays.
  • Kids get in the way. Let’s face it, as parents, we really don’t have time to be spontaneous and romantic and sexy… We have kids who need our constant attention.  Either they mysteriously get sick that day (this has happened to me a few times), or you can’t find a babysitter at the last minute because, well, in all honesty you forgot about Valentine’s Day until it suddenly smacks you in the face and oh damn, it’s Valentine’s Day already?, or the babysitter decides to cancel on you at the last minute so you resign, once again, to parking your ass in front of the TV with some take-out and you’re lucky if sex even makes an appearance.
  • Romantic gestures should be all year! Now, as a parent, romance isn’t always on my mind. I have a lot going on in my life and I really don’t have time for it. I’m also a single parent so that sort of plays into it but when I was married, the little every day things like when he got up with the baby in the middle of the night or let me sleep in on Sundays, were more important than one big romantic gesture once a year.
  • It adds Stress! We adults are under enough stress just going to work every day, then coming home and raising kids who we are always thinking that we have damaged somehow. Having to remember the holiday and then having to come up with a plan for the day and money to spend is not my idea of romance. Romance should be fun, not stressful.

sheldonlovevalentinesday_rockinrandommomWhen it comes to love, romance, and sex I’m all about the fun and the spontaneity. I love being completely surprised because it makes it that much more special to me. I love living in the moment with it and allowing it to sweep me up into a momentary whirlwind. I am also not one for the big romantic gestures that the movies make such a big deal about. Also, as a single parent, my kids are my Valentines this year

I have my day planned out:

  1.  Take the kids out that day. Maybe some Laser tag and a movie
  2. Order take out for dinner. Chinese take out has become my Valentine’s Day go-to
  3. Have a date with my favorite zombie hunters watching The Walking Dead

 

You can view my post on Lose the Cape which are tips for celebrating for single parents and it’s called Valentine’s Day for the Single Parent

Happy Valentine’s Day and Thanks so much for reading!

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Rockin’ Quote #20: Your Prince Will Come

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Hahaha!! Long gone are the days when I believed that my prince will come or knights in shining armor (who I actually preferred long ago anyway) but I saw this a while back and thought, “Yep, my thoughts exactly!” I also wanted to add some humor to my quotes sections and this quote does that.

princewillcome_rockinrandommomWhen I was little, yes, I believed in fairy tales but as I got older I realized not just that prince charmings and warrior knights don’t exist but that I don’t need them. And no, this isn’t one of those radical feminist I’m so strong I don’t need a man crap. That’s not it at all actually. Yes, I am a strong woman and no, I don’t need a man to protect me or be a hero of any kind, unless he’s being his own hero. That’s okay.

Life experience just gave me a different prospective on love and relationships and in my opinion, the fairy tales simply don’t hold a candle to the kind of relationship I want, when I’m ready to have it. If you really read the quote, my kind of man would be stubborn and head-strong.

My kind of man has a strong mind and stands on his own two feet. He tells it like it is but knows how to be respectful when he speaks. He is charming but honest. None of that fake shit that narcissists usually convey. Most of all though, someone who is just as flawed as me and my kinda weird! The prince need not apply. He also has a great sense of humor and sarcastic wit and respects my space as I respect his. My space is very important to me.

Update: February 11, 2018. I’m going to add to the quote because I think about this a lot.

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I often think about the idea of a soul mate. I’m conflicted because while I would love for that to be true, the cynical side of me takes over and since I am almost always thinking in cosmic terms in my head, this quote came out. Maybe that’s why I don’t need a prince. Why ask for a prince when you can have soul mate? So this funny little quote is what I use to lift me up on the rare occasions I get a little lonely.

Now, I could be wrong, though I don’t think I am, but there isn’t one fairy tale prince in the history of fairy tales that fills these requirements. What about you? Do you want Prince Charming, a knight in shining armor to come sweep you off your feet, or do you want something different?

Thanks so much for reading!

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