How to Survive and Thrive on Your First Mother’s Day as a Divorced Parent
Happy Mother’s Day! We celebrate Mothers on this day and every day.
When you were married, Mother’s Day was all about you. Breakfast in bed, a trip to the spa for a massage and a manicure, a family brunch, or perhaps an elaborate celebratory dinner served by your husband and children. It was a day of pampering; a day of your families taking care of the day-to-day stuff and celebrating you as a wife and mother.
Then you got divorced.
And Mother’s Day, once a celebration of YOU, now becomes a day where you simply continue the everyday routine of being a mom. And while your new Mother’s Day experience is probably different from what you are used to, the changing routine can be an extremely positive experience for you and (most importantly) your children.
Here are a few things to consider as you think about Mother’s Day as a divorced parent:
It’s Still About You - But the Way You Celebrate Has Changed
Let’s face it. Mother’s Day is still about you and celebrating you as a mom. However, the method of celebrating has changed. It’s no longer about being pampered, but about paying homage to the day-to-day routine of being a mom.
This means waking up in the morning, cooking breakfast, getting the children dressed, and planning a fun-filled day. And then taking a step back, seeing how satisfied and happy your children are, and patting yourself on the back for a job well done.
Mother’s Day Can Feel Lonely but It Doesn’t Have to Be
Our new Mother’s Day can feel lonely as a divorced parent. Many of our friends are enjoying a day of pampering, maybe even meeting for lunch or a trip to the spa while you are home with your children. This can make us feel resentful but with a bit of a mental shift and some planning ahead, the day doesn’t have to feel lonely.
Many divorced mothers don’t have as much time with their children as they once did due to shared parenting arrangements. So, an entire day with your children can be seen as a blessing. A chance to just have some fun. Consider doing things that other single mothers will be doing on Mother’s Day. There’s nothing like seeing other mothers adjusting to a new routine to lift your spirits about the changes in your own life.
Keep Your Expectations of Your Ex-Spouse Low
Depending on the situation with your spouse, you might have support for a joyful Mother’s Day, or you might have resistance, and worse you might have someone working hard to detract from your day. As we all know, divorce is about learning the new rules of the game and and not setting yourself up to be disappointed when you already know how the game is played. We believe that false expectations are what lead to disappointment, so be realistic and with luck your spouse will rise to the occasion (after all, his day is only a month away)!
If you are an ex-spouse reading this, please consider being flexible on Mother’s Day and helping your children celebrate with their mother. You can be supportive simply to support your child rather than “helping” your ex-spouse. All it takes is a shift in perspective.
Just Try to Make it a Happy Day for Everyone!
So many things surrounding the divorce process are serious. We talk about child custody and dividing assets. We worry about losing our children and our homes. We wonder if we’ll ever find love again, whether our friends will leave, whether our faith will accept us. What affect will all of this have on our children? It’s easy to let worry and negative thoughts consume our day-to-day.
On Mother’s Day, if at all possible, it helps to put all of those thoughts on the back burner and try to just enjoy the privilege of being a mother with your children. This is a day to celebrate, not to worry. Your children will appreciate the levity.
Happy Mother’s Day. You’ve got this!
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