There are few days in the year which are as emotional as Mother’s Day for parents and children who have experienced divorce or separation.
Mother’s Day is portrayed in the media as a day of giving, loving, kindness and togetherness – it is also sadly a day where so many separated parents feel guilt, shame and loss.
If you are a separated parent who has to navigate Mother’s and Father’s Day and other special days throughout the year, here are some tips to help you make the day as smooth as possible and focused on your children.
Tip 1 – Keep your children out of the conflict. There is nothing worse for children than having to play peace-maker between their parents or having to choose between their parents.
Tip 2 – It is obvious that children should spend the day with their mother on Mother’s Day or their father on Father’s Day. If this is not possible because of distance or location, then if you are caring for the children ensure that the children make telephone or Zoom contact with their mother.
Tip 3 – If you have young children or teenagers, encourage them to make or purchase Mother’s Day cards and have a thoughtful gift for their mother available to give to her on Mother’s Day. Teach your children the importance of appreciating and giving a special gift to their Mother.
Tip 4 – If you have re-married or re-partnered and new family member and friends have entered the children’s life, this does not mean that on Mother’s Day, they take preference. Children need to spend time with their biological or adopted Mother on this day.
Tip 5 – Enjoy the day with your children. Do something you love together such as going for a bike ride, or feeding the ducks at the park or going to a favourite movie.
What if you aren’t seeing your children on Mother’s Day?
For many reasons, you may not be able to see your children on Mother’s Day if you are separated or divorce. This is certainly a sad reality for many mothers. If you are a woman in that situation then you need to take care of you, even when you don’t feel like it!
Here are some ideas for you:
- Spend the day with your parents or siblings
- arrange to meet up with a friend who is supportive and understanding of your situation
- Move your body- go for a run, a long walk or bike ride
- Take your dog for a walk or pat a friendly dog or cat
- If possible, call your children , you don’t need to wait for them to call you.
- Send your children messages of love and support, so that they know you are always there for them.
Mother’s day is an emotional day and can be stressful for everyone, to make it the best day possible, focus on your children and enjoy every moment you can with them.