Direct from
Dr. Lowenstein

Celebrating Mother’s Day after Your Divorce

If you’re recently divorced, you already know that holidays look different than they did in the past. And if you have children, those changes may be even more dramatic. This is especially true on Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day), holidays that highlight the role of being a parent. With any luck–or with careful planning–you’ll be able to spend this Mother’s Day with your kids. But distance and other circumstances make that impossible for some. If you’ll be without your kids this Mother’s Day, you’ll need a Plan B to get through the holiday. The following tips may help.

Plan ahead. Ideally, you probably want to make plans for your kids to spend the day with you. Depending on the relationship you have with your ex-spouse; however, that may not be possible. If the date falls on a weekend when your children will be with their dad, you and your ex-spouse may agree to adjust the schedule. You can reciprocate for Father’s Day. But even if your kids won’t be with you on Mother’s Day, plan to do something special for yourself–perhaps with another single mom who understands how you might be feeling emotionally. Remember that Mother’s Day is just a date on the calendar. You can celebrate it with your kids when you’re all together again.

Create a new tradition. Before your divorce, you may have spent Mother’s Day with a family brunch. Or Maybe your kids brought you breakfast in bed, and Dad was there to supervise the food prep. Instead of pining over the way things were, start something new. You can still head out to a restaurant, if your budget allows, but consider a new place to dine. Or do something radically different than you’ve done in the past, such as a hike in the woods or a trip to a local children’s museum.  

Avoid social media. I’ve talked about the downsides of social media in many of my past articles, and the reasons remain the same for this situation. On Mother’s Day, your feed will be flooded with photos of happy moms and their children. If you’re alone on that day–and even if you’re not–these photos could make you sad or envious. Keep in mind that what you see on social media is not always an accurate depiction of the truth. If you’re still reeling from the upheavals of your divorce, it’s best not to subject yourself to the pitfalls of social media.

Cooperate with your ex-spouse. Depending on the nature of your divorce, this may be easier for some than others. But your kids are watching how you behave, and they’re learning from that behavior. You and your ex should do everything possible to make Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) the happy holidays they’ve always been. That means working together to ensure your kids can enjoy the holidays with each respective parent. Be willing to make schedule adjustments if necessary. Help your kids make or buy a gift to honor the other parent. And assist with the planning of a celebration. By doing so, you convey to your kids that despite the divorce, you and your ex are still a team when it comes to parenting. 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

Dr. David Lowenstein is a Columbus, Ohio-based psychologist with more than 35 years of experience. He conducts individual, family, and group therapy sessions in his German Village office and also via telehealth. Dr. Lowenstein is also available for expert forensic testimony, and for educational workshops and presentations. He is frequently called upon as an expert source for print, radio, and broadcast media. Contact Dr. Lowenstein at Lowenstein & Associates, 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.