Celebrating Mother's Day and Father's Day After a Divorce

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can seem like a can of worms all of a sudden after a New Mexico divorce or legal separation. However, these life events don’t change the significance of either day, so they shouldn’t impact the celebration of them, either. Whatever your current situation is, try the tips below to help ensure these two holidays go smoothly for your kids.

Each Parent Should Have Their Day

If you haven’t worked out a parenting plan yet, be sure to include that both of these holidays should be spent with the parent being honored. This means that Dad should have the kids on Father’s Day, and Mom should have them on Mother’s Day. This may interrupt your regular parenting time schedule, but it’s a slight deviation that’s entirely worth it. In the absence of a parenting plan, talk to your co-parent and come to an agreement about how to handle these two days so you’re both on the same page.
If you and your co-parent don’t live near each other and a visit is just not possible, you can still make sure your children connect with their parent. A video chat, a phone call or another messaging or communication platform can brighten your kids’ day and help strengthen your co-parenting relationship.

Let Your Kids Celebrate Whom They Want

Many families today have more than two parents. There are grandparents, honorary parents and all sorts of roles a child may wish to honor on Father or Mother’s Day. If your child has one of these types of relationships with a family member on your co-parent’s side, don’t exclude them. This may require scheduling visits or celebrations the day before or after the holiday to accommodate everyone, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

Help With the Gift

Gifts are part of these two holidays, but chances are you were the one who helped your kids with gifts on your co-parent’s day in the past. Now, you can help them make something for your co-parent’s day instead, or if they want to buy something with their own money, you can take them shopping. This may be a bit of a challenge if things are still tense between you and your co-parent, but keep in mind that this is for your kids, who should have a good, loving relationship with both their parents.

Keep the Day Happy

Promise that you will leave conflict off the menu when it comes to these two days. Don’t mention tense topics, put your kids in the middle of any debates, or make them feel guilty in any way for spending the day with their other parent when it is your co-parent’s turn. Plan a day of fun for yourself on your co-parent’s celebration day if you’re concerned you’ll feel lonely while your kids are away. Visit family or friends, take a shopping trip or do something else that will take your mind off of it.
Facing Mother’s Day or Father’s Day after a separation or divorce is not easy at first, especially when it’s not your day coming up and your children won’t be at home with you. However, you can ensure it goes as smoothly as possible by putting your kids at the forefront, leaving your emotions at the door and remaining upbeat for their sake and your own. These two days won’t be what they were before your divorce or separation, but you will become used to the new way of handling them over time. You still deserve to have a happy day, whether you are being celebrated or someone else is.