Mother’s Day as a single parent, or any celebration day for that matter, can feel especially tricky when you’re separating or divorcing. Our tips for Mother’s Day will smooth the way and help you celebrate.
Use a Parenting Plan to agree arrangements for special days
Make a parenting plan when you separate or divorce. A parenting plan details how you’ll co-parent your children. It typically includes arrangements for special days such as Mother’s Day or birthdays or Christmas. Make sure everyone knows what’s happening ahead of time and what’s expected to minimise stress. You can use our co-parenting app to make your parenting plan.
Plan Mother’s Day ahead of time
If you don’t have a parenting plan, plan Mother’s Day as a single parent .Give yourselves plenty of time to make arrangements. If possible, your children should spend time with their mum. This may mean extra flexibility on both your parts. You may need to swap a weekend, a day or a few hours. If you have scheduled your weekends for the coming months ahead – try to compensate creatively rather than disrupt the on-going schedule as this can cause bad feeling and be a barrier to your co-parent being flexible.
If you haven’t planned ahead of time – be creative
Celebrate Mother’s day next Wednesday after school if it’s not possible to see the kids on Sunday. Try to stay focused on what’s important – the celebration of your relationship with your kids. Whilst it may not feel fair, or be fair, turning the day into a battle ground won’t feel like much of a celebration of love. If it doesn’t go to plan this year – think about what changes need to be implemented within your co-parenting relationship for next year and other important days. You can email us your experience of Mother’s Day as a single parent to [email protected]
A single-mum’s best friend? Another single-mum of course
If you’re a single mum with the lion’s share of the care of your kids, Mother’s Day may not be quite the TV ad rest you’d hoped for. If your ex isn’t cooperative presents or cards may not be forthcoming. So instead, why not make the day different. Create your own new traditions… maybe Mother’s Day as a single parent means a family trip to the cinema or maybe you have another single-mum friend you can split the day with – one having all the kids in the morning and one in the afternoon so you both get some time off.
Dad’s, help your kids appreciate their mum
This Mother’s Day as a single parent tip goes out to all single Dad’s. If it’s not possible for the children to see their mum on Mother’s Day think about what can be achieved instead. Can the children send cards or a small gift? Can they skype/call or text their mum to let her know they’re thinking about her? Depending on the age and nature of your kids, homemade cards can be a great idea. I love these really simple, effective ideas.
Be the co-parent not the ex
Most kids, especially older ones, need more than a bit of nudging to get themselves into gear. Remind them in good time to get a card or small gift, to phone or text or visit – ensure there is an expectation from you that they will make a fuss of their Mum. Supporting their relationship with their Mum is one of the key loving acts of being a successful co-parent!
Our final tip for Mother’s Day as a single parent
Take some time for yourself. Whichever parent you are, if you don’t have the kids with you on Mother’s Day take the opportunity to do something nice for you. Don’t work, do chores or waste the day – celebration days are an opportunity to enjoy and reward yourself…chances are you’ll deserve some fun if this is your first Mother’s Day as a single parent.