Holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day usually brings on a rash of calls from new clients, upset about their custody arrangements and how that affected their holidays with their children. It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. Nothing would seem worse in the moment, than for a father to not spend Father’s Day with his children. Ditto for mothers on Mother’s Day. So inspired by the many people who battled frustration and loneliness on those special days, we have assembled some pointers for divorced mothers to keep in mind for next year.
Father’s Day can be a difficult time for divorced parents, we understand that. However, while you’re no longer married to each other, your ex-husband is still the father of your children and deserves the recognition that honors his role in your children’s lives. Showing your children that the two of you are able to respect of each other, even if you’re no longer in a relationship, can go a long way towards easing tensions and reducing animosity in your family.
While flowers or chocolates are an easy pick for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day can be a little harder to shop for. Consider practical but thoughtful options like a gift card to his favorite restaurant or tickets to a movie he could enjoy with your children. You could also involve your children in the process and allow them to pick out a gift or create something handmade at home.
If you choose to give a Father’s Day gift to your ex, give some thought as to whether it should come from your children or from you. Whatever feels most comfortable for you is most likely to be your best choice. As Brandy Thompson points out, “Think of what is best for the children. Will they be embarrassed or sad if they don’t have something special to give their dad on Father’s Day?”
“Assisting your children in making a special dad doesn’t have to be about your ex, but instead about the best interests of your children. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but your children will appreciate being able to make it a special day. My own children delight in making their dad homemade cards or breakfast in bed on Father’s Day. Almost no expense but the joy on their faces in being able to make a special day for dad is undeniable.”
For those parents with joint custody arrangements, if Father’s Day happens to fall on one of your days with your children, make a concession and allow them to spent the day with their dad.
Father’s Day can be a difficult holiday for fathers to spend alone, so being able to be with their children for that day can be very important. While you may not personally want to spent any time with your ex, there is merit in allowing your children to participate in a tradition that honors and celebrates each of their parents as people.
Prior to divorce, Father’s Day celebrations are usually planned by the mother and children together. So even though you are now divorced, your ex-husband may still appreciate a special Father’s Day outing or dinner.
If your ex-husband is dating or remarried, find out first if their new partner has made any plans before making any yourself. If something has been planned for the day, a simple card or gift sent with your children will suffice.
However, if you are dating someone else, discuss with them the option of your spending the day with your children and former spouse. Be clear that this carries no romantic involvement, simply a chance to acknowledge the other parent.
Whatever you choose to do for Father’s Day, remember that communication is vital, even after divorce. Anything you can do to reduce confrontation or conflict on a day meant for celebrating the father of your children will be appreciated, not just by your ex, but by your children too!
Making relationships with the other parent can be difficult in the wake of a divorce, but the effort is worth it for your kids. However, if your ex has made no effort to accommodate you over holidays, and you don’t see your children as often as you would like, contact the skilled family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. We have spend decades helping parents to pursue the custody agreements that work best for them. We can help you too.