10 Tips for Celebrating Mother’s Day After Divorce

Mother and Child Fun

Celebrating Mother’s Day after divorce may initially have the same appeal as a root canal. Holidays are all difficult in the beginning, but this one can have a particular sting to it because it’s the day to celebrate you as a mom — a time when your husband and kids would come together in your honor, showing their love and appreciation for you with flowers, gifts and other special things.

Or maybe not. When you’re in an unhappy marriage, holidays often do not live up to Hallmark versions of the day. It could be that you were hoping for your family to shower you with love, but reality fell short, leaving you feeling rejected and hurt. Regardless of marriage troubles, this is the one day your husband and father of your kids should honor you as a mother. When it doesn’t happen, the cut is deep.

You’re in a new chapter now, and this is your chance to create new traditions, making Mother’s Day special and important to you. Depending upon the ages of your kids, you may need to take the reins in planning the day. Ideally, their father really should help the kids with a card and buying something special for you regardless of his feelings for you. You will always be the mother of his kids and that should be appreciated. Unfortunately, not all men will rise to the occasion. Remember, this is a reflection on him as a person, not you as a mother!

Here are some tips for creating your new Mother’s Day:

  1. Make a plan. Talk with your kids about what would be a special way to spend the day as a family. It’s a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of doing things for others.
  2. Pamper yourself. In the day or two before Mother’s Day, take some time out for yourself to do what makes you feel like a queen! Get a massage, pedicure or facial. Maybe get your hair done. You deserve to take a break and have someone take care of you for a change!
  3. Enjoy that breakfast in bed! Granted, more than likely you won’t be the lady of leisure waiting to be served. Since you’ll be a part of the process, you can be sure to have the breakfast you want. Maybe make some blueberry pancakes from scratch and serve with fresh fruit and special coffee for you and hot cocoa for the kids. Head back to your room and enjoy your breakfast in bed with your kids!
  4. Plant your garden. This has been my tradition since my daughter was two months old. I planted flowers as she hung out in her baby swing next to me. It’s much more fun now that my daughter and son are old enough to help. We plant herbs and flowers and these become a point of connection for us as they bring me herbs for cooking and pick pretty bouquets for me throughout the summer.
  5. Go for a bike ride or hike. Hit some beautiful surroundings to work in a little physical exercise. If you’re a mom who is parenting alone 50% of the time or more, exercise may be a very valuable commodity. This is your day, so put yourself first on the list!
  6. Buy yourself fresh flowers. Just because the father of your kids isn’t facilitating the purchase doesn’t mean you should go without. And don’t just wait for Mother’s Day. Beautiful, fresh flowers always make any room look and feel special.
  7. Go out to your favorite restaurant. Just beware that this could be a trigger for you with all those two-parent families out celebrating as well. If so, avoid it. Stay home and cook a special dinner. Or opt out of cooking and order take out. Set the table nicely, enjoy those flowers you bought, and pick up some Prosecco and sparkling grape juice for a Mother’s Day toast!
  8. Write a letter to yourself. Give yourself the appreciation, love and compassion you deserve! Tuck the letter away and pull it out next time you are feeling low.
  9. Add a four-legged friend to your family. Have you been thinking about adding a dog or cat to your family? It’s a great day for it! Check out your local shelters and find the little one who is looking for their forever home!
  10. Celebrate other single mothers. Send flowers or a card to another single mom. Let her know how wonderful of a mother she is and how much her kids love and appreciate her. Sometimes the best way to improve your mood is to make somebody else’s day! You can also invite another single mom to celebrate the day with you — you guys and the kids could start your own brunch or dinner tradition, or go for a hike with the kids that culminates in a gourmet picnic.

If these ideas aren’t resonating with you right now, go ahead and ignore them! You have a giant permission slip to feel any way you want and do anything you want. If you don’t want to do the traditional brunch with extended family — don’t. If you want to cuddle up with the kids in jammies and have a movie day, do that. It’s your day. Be kind to yourself!

Learn more about Untangle The Knot can support you through your divorce.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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