Divorced Dads! A gentle reminder to all of you great dads out there. Mother's Day is May 9th! Be extra amazing and remember mom on her special day.
Dealing with holidays and birthdays isn't always easy when you are newly divorced. Sometimes when families go through a separations and divorce the traditions and special ways we celebrate each other can get dropped like a bad habit.
When married, we typically work together to make sure the holidays are full of joy, family memories, and sometimes presents. When divorced, we are two separate entities. It can be a challenge to keep things organized and straight. Our goal is to be mindful during these special occasions and try to make sure everyone is happy. This is an opportunity to SHINE as a co-parent! You have an opportunity to maintain traditions or create new ones. Even though there is a divorce, you can show your kids you are still a family that is full of love and kindness.
If you forget about your x on special days, it affects the children in a negative way and takes away from family cohesiveness and harmony.
The child may feel guilty and personally responsible that they forgot.
They feel embarrassed or feel inconsiderate.
They may feel bad that they don’t have money to buy you anything.
They may hold feelings of resentment against the other parent for not helping them remember.
They will remember “the year we forgot mommy” forever; you don’t want that.
Believe me.. it is not about the presents. It is about modeling thoughtful behavior for the family and making people feel special. One of my favorite quotes on this is from Maya Angelou, " I have learned that people will forget what you have said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Isn't that the truth?
You want your children to feel that they have contributed in some small way to making mom feel happy, loved, appreciated and special.
So, how do you handle the birthday, holiday, special memories moments with grace and positivity?
YOU BE THE EXAMPLE!
Always give and take the high road.
Try to remember that you can’t control anyone's behavior except your own.
But, you can plan ahead and include your children in fun ways to be thoughtful of your x.
Because Mother’s Day is right around the corner.
(Obviously this applies to moms and remembering Dads on
Father's Day as well!)
Here are a few simple ways to remember mom!
Get a calendar for the fridge and put everyone’s birthday on the calendar. Use technology to synch birthdays and reminders on everyone’s phone.
Send birthday text reminders to the whole family.
Ask your kids to ask mom what her perfect mother’s day would look like and make a list.
Always send mom a card in the mail and have all the kids sign.
If finances are tight, keep it simple! Kids can create adorable coupons for “free hugs” or “Sleeping in late!”
Make something! Let the creative juices flow by making a painting or videotaping a birthday message ahead of time.
Take the kids out for a nature walk and pick a few flowers.
Take some fantastic pictures and make a little picture collage.
Head to the grocery store and help the kids shop for an easy mother’s day brunch.
Offer to do something nice with your kids for mom, like washing her car or cleaning the yard.
Help your kids write a poem or song and sing it for mom!
These little gestures help the kids know that you still care about their mom and you are helping make mom feel special. I realize that you might be angry or upset with your x and the challenge of being kind might sound tough! But, when you take a minute to think about the cooperative goals in divorced co-parenting- it is easier to take the right steps.
Raising children in a loving, respectful, and safe environment happens when parents work together and put the kids emotional needs above their own.
Your little one is the perfect combination of you and your x. With that in mind, remember to take care of the whole child. Kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and cooperation go a long way to surviving and thriving through a divorce with kids.