Mothers Day is only a few days away, and single dads out there are likely to feel uncertain, confused, hurt, or angry at the thought of the day. Below are seven suggestions to turn Mother’s Day from frightful to fun.
1) Pamper Yourself
If you are the custodial parent you are likely wearing two hats every day. Mother’s Day is about honoring the hard work a mother does for her family. Since you are often in the position where you shoulder most of the burden of that hard work, why not take a moment and give yourself a pat yourself on the back? Go out to the spa and get a massage, make plans in advance to have the kids taken care of the evening before and go out to your favorite place with your friends. Just because you aren’t a woman doesn’t mean you don’t work just as hard and should have a day to honor that work outside of Father’s Day.
2) Acknowledge your Ex
The love has faded, and the breakup may or may not have been messy, and she may now be the last person you really want to have a conversation with. But, even if that is the worst case scenario she is still the mother of your children. If the breakup is new your children need stability and need to feel they are free to love both parents. Honor the day through your children and acknowledge that whatever good or bad came of the relationship you received a gift by having your children in your life that wouldn’t have been possible without her. Avoiding the subject all together, or being callous when it comes up, is likely to cause additional tensions on the whole family.
3) Make Time
If possible, plan in advance for you children to have the opportunity to spend time with their mother on Mother’s Day. Even if it is one of your few precious days that week or month when you are supposed to have them the gesture will not be forgotten and be greatly appreciated on her side. It is gestures like this that when Father’s Day comes around will help make sure you get your own special time then.
4) Plan Ahead
This is especially important with younger children who don’t have the means of transportation or the foresight to create structure which allows them to prepare for Mother’s Day. Planning ahead will help make time and give your children something fun to look forward to. It can also be a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with your children as you make Mother’s Day cards or crafts.
5) Create an Open Atmosphere
It may be the first Mother’s Day you are not spending in your previous family structure. If this is the case you and your children will be struggling to fit into the “new normal.” Create an open atmosphere that allows them to talk about their feelings. Don’t push them farther than they want to go but encourage them to understand that they can still have a strong relationship with you and your ex.
6) Handling A “New Woman”
If it has been some time since you separated from your children’s birth mother than it is possible you have committed to another woman and perhaps even re-married. Children may be uncertain how this new mother figure is fitting into their life, and what to do on Mother’s Day. Much like number five, allow your kids to voice their opinions on how they feel and don’t push them too far. They may not feel comfortable yet writing “Happy Mother’s Day” cards for anyone but their biological mother. However, they may also be willing to realize the active role the new figure is playing in their life and a simple “Thank You” card acknowledging their efforts may be easier for the kids, and still speak volumes for the new spouse.
7) Keep it in Perspective
Remember what the day is about: Family. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrate the hard work parents do for their kids, but without those kids there would be no one to work hard for! So when times get tough remember your children are at the root of all celebrating which occurs on this day and make it just as much about making happy memories and spending time together. When all else fails, remember Father’s Day is right around the corner! So it will son be you receiving macaroni cards, breakfast in bed, and all the warm displays of affection from your kids you can handle.
The Men’s Divorce Law Firm believes in the necessity for kids to have both parents in their life growing up to create a healthy and stable atmosphere. We fight for Fathers, Families and Fairness in family law. If you feel you don’t have the appropriate amount of access to your children contact us today to see how we can help.