During a divorce, one of the toughest issues with co-parenting is how to handle holidays. Mother’s day is particularly unique since it focuses on your ex-partner. During the divorce mediation process, we believe that people don’t have to like each other to co-parent; instead, they just have to be amicable and cooperative. Therefore, we suggest that you have a plan for the upcoming Mother’s Day. It shows respect for your ex-spouse and keeps the relationship with your children healthy.
For Mother’s Day, it is ideal for the kids to spend the day with their mom, even if it isn’t their planned day to visit. If you live far from your kids and can’t spend the exact day with them, plan a different day to celebrate. We always approach mediation with an eye toward protecting children and one of the most important things to remember is to keep your kids out of the middle of your relationship with each other. One of the ways dads can help kids is to participate in the planning of the day. Take your kids to get a card or help them make a card. Ask them if they want to get their mom a gift and help out with the gift process. You cannot expect children to manage these things on their own. They need the guidance of their parents. Gift giving is also a great lesson in kindness. You can chose to see this as an opportunity to teach your children.
While you might only be able to arrange a couple hours, whatever time you have with your children, let it be quality time. As the father, you can help your children come up with ideas of what to do. Don’t be afraid to ask your ex-spouse what they might like as well. If you are a mom, spend time appreciating your role as a mother and think about what your kids mean to you. If your ex-spouse helped with the planning process, say “thank you.” Acknowledgement of the positives can go a long way to further help your co-parenting process. In addition, part of being a good parent is demonstrating respect for others. This is a day to enjoy, not to stress over.
Moms are important people and have one of the hardest jobs in the world. So enjoy your day and take a moment to know you are appreciated.