6 tips for dealing with Mother’s Day as a divorcee

Mother’s Day can be fraught

For those of us that are divorcees, Mother’s Day can be a fraught celebration. Perhaps you have no access to your children, perhaps you feel overwhelmed having to care for your children alone (read Kathy’s blog about Mother’s Day as a “single” mum).  Perhaps you are grieving for the children that you never had because your relationship broke down (Read Ruth’s blog about Mother’s Day when you have no children).

Like other traditions, Mother’s day creates expectations within us and within others that can be difficult or impossible to achieve. Maybe you also have challenges with your own mother, grandmother, ex-in-laws and stepmothers? Everyone wants to be included in whatever Mothering Sunday means for them.

Children may be suffering too, feeling left out of the happy family days and gifts their friends are sharing with their mums. For separated Dads, it can be an emotional minefield too.  Can you or should you support your children to do things like make or buy a card or gift for their mum, even if your relationship with her is difficult? Would this support the building of a positive separated co-parenting relationship?

Whatever your circumstances you are not alone. The glossy picture perfect cliche of Mother’s Day is not true for many many families, even those that are married. At Restored Lives, we try to encourage people to plan ahead for days like this to try to make good choices that minimise and hurt and build a better future. Be kind to yourself.

Some tips for managing Mother’s Day

– Stay away from social media if seeing other people’s expressions of Mother’s Day is painful

– If appropriate, help children to buy a card or gift for their mum

– If no-one else is going to buy you a card don’t feel shy to buy one for your own kids (and maybe a present and flowers too!) and get them to give it to you

– Make a plan for something you’d like to do or carve out some time for yourself even if it is just a little

– Don’t get isolated if you are finding it hard, try to speak to supportive friends about how you feel

– Be a good Mum to yourself, do what feels good and don’t pile on too much pressure