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Tips for helping divorced moms handle Father's Day

One of the most difficult things about being a newly-separated or divorced parent is not being able to have your children with you every holiday. Two unexpectedly-emotional holidays are Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Of course, it's generally best if kids can spend those holidays with the appropriate parent. However, too often they turn into a parental power struggle. Since Mother's Day comes first, a mom who feels like her ex didn't handle that day well may be tempted to give her ex a taste of his own medicine when Father's Day rolls around the next month.

It's essential to remember, however, that these days are both important for your kids. Regardless of their parents' relationship, children should be allowed to enjoy those days with no guilt about being away from the other parent.

Regardless of how your ex handled Mother's Day, here are some tips for making Father's Day the celebration it should be for your kids:

-- Help your kids pick out cards and gifts for their dad. If they see that you're supportive of that relationship, they'll feel more secure about the new family dynamic.-- If your ex is within driving distance, make sure that the kids get to spend the day or weekend with him, even if Father's Day falls on "your" weekend. If your ex lives far away, make sure that the kids call, Skype or otherwise spend time with him on Father's Day.-- If your current husband and/or your dad want to have a Father's Day celebration with the kids, arrange something for another day. Kids shouldn't be forced to choose between the dads in their life or be shuttled around to make everyone happy.-- Make plans for yourself. You're less likely to dwell on your anger or resentment of your ex if you're doing something you enjoy on Father's Day. Take your own dad out or get together with other divorced moms who are alone.-- If you're going to be encountering your ex on Father's Day weekend, keep it civil. That's always a good rule of thumb, but particularly on special days.

If Mother's Day and Father's Day are still problematic for you and your ex, you may want to add something about them into your parenting plan so that things go more smoothly next year. Your Tennessee family law attorney can help you with this.

Source: divorcehelpforparents.com, "Celebrating Mothers Day and Fathers Day," accessed May 13, 2016

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