What Love Looks Like As A Single Parent

Valentine's Day, redefined.

Don't think for a second that single parents suffer from a lack of love in their lives: It's hard to feel like anything is missing when you have little ones following your lead with so much love and adoration.

Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, we decided to ask HuffPost bloggers and readers to share what love looks like as divorced or single parents. From sweet refrigerator door illustrations to adorable selfies, see what they had to say below:

Dina Strada
"For me, Valentine's Day has always just been a day to celebrate love and friendship, not just romantic love. So now I spend the day with my kids and my closest friends doing something special. And I feel just as loved and special now as I did when I had a partner." -- Dina Strada
Matt Sweetwood
"Love for me is the chance to see my children grow into superstar adults. And to celebrate and share the biggest moments of their lives with all of them." -- Matt Sweetwood
Terri Linton
“Since my divorce, love for me looks like a smaller ‘better-half.' My son holds my heart in the greatest way I’ve ever known.” -- Terri Linton
Leah Porritt
"Love is... getting random love notes from my son, even when it's not Valentine's Day!" -- Leah Porritt
Dave Heiges
"What does love look like after divorce? Playing slug bug. Science fair projects. Catching a football. Reading and being read to. Hide-and-go-seek. Love after divorce is always seeking, with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever -- only the savored moments linger. Love becomes re-written love songs. It's your kid saying, 'Dad? Do you know why you’re awesome?' Why, babe? 'Because you know love.' You know how I know love? 'How?' Because 'I’ve Got You Babe.' Love is a reward in and of itself. There is no door prize. You must be present to win." -- Dave Heiges
Jessica Hoefer Land
"Since my divorce, my relationship with my children has become more focused, centered and intentional. Our time together is valued and I believe we have grown closer and honest with each other. Even though my marriage to their father ended, the gift of my kids grounds me and reminds me what truly matters. Their love is unconditional and I'm stronger because of it." -- Jessica Hoefer Land
Laura Liftshitz
"After her dad and I split, my daughter took it incredibly hard. For some time after, her little drawings had sad or straight expressions. Almost two years later, love to me looks like a very happy almost five-year-old daughter drawing her imaginary world and characters that all have very happy faces on them. Two years later, I am still very much single and I still hope for someone to enter our lives that will make our worlds even more brighter than they already are. In the meantime, there are princesses and fairy tale worlds we can create and enjoy together, just the two of us. Or as she calls us 'just two foxy ladies.'" -- Laura Liftshitz
Lindsey Light
"Love looks like late night runs to Target with my main man and day dates to the aquarium. Love looks like two homemade Valentine's Day cards hanging on my fridge to remind me how loved I am. Love looks like driving them wherever they need to go, even though I really hate driving!" -- Lindsey Light
Shelley Wetton
"Valentine's Day is anything we want it to be, whether we honor our spouse, child, parents, friends or siblings. After divorce, I naturally focused on my little boy. Every year, I buy him a box of chocolates and write him a little love note. If I'm lucky enough to have him on Valentine's Day, I do something fun and get outdoors if possible. A trail run, bike ride or boating trip to find hearts in the clouds, are at the top of my list. Valentine's Day can be a sweet tradition no matter who it is we love most." -- Shelley Wetton
Honoree Corder
"Since my divorce, my daughter and I have been each other's valentines and go out of our way to make each other feel special. I make her a special dish or order a heart-shaped pizza and get a yummy dessert. We cuddle and watch movies on the Hallmark Channel. She buys me some sort of candy or chocolate and then we share. We talk about the things we love most about each other. I've tried to teach her that while Valentine's Day has its origins in romantic love, there's an infinite amount of love we can share with each other." -- Honorée Corder
Stacey Freeman
"After my divorce, I compensated by buying cards and gifts with fancy wrapping as I had always done in the past for my kids. A couple of years ago, when I heard my children speculating about what gifts they would be receiving on Valentine's Day, I finally put an end to the facade and requested we all come up with a list detailing five things we love about each member of our immediate family. The end result was a greater appreciation of the material things we have which, post-divorce, are harder to come by and an even greater appreciation of what we can never put a price on. This collage is a gift to me from my eldest daughter one year (she was 13 when she made it)." -- Stacey Freeman
Sky Mandala
"My daughter and I were quite the unit and had a unique, happy relationship when it was just us. I I will never forget. it. I think when you are positive with your children they feel the connection and love and that's what truly matters most to a child." -- Sky Mandala Marcano

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