So you are divorced and it’s almost Mother’s Day, you may be wondering what to do for your ex? It is difficult for newly divorced parents to navigate this new territory, and it’s a situation a large portion of the population has to deal with.I think we can agree that although you’re no longer together, your ex-wife is the mother of your children and deserves appropriate forms of recognition on Mother’s Day. It is a good idea to show your children you still get along, if only for the sake of civil parenting, and part of proving that is acknowledging Mother’s Day instead of avoiding the situation. Here are 5 tips to help you out.
- Time With the Kids
If you haven’t already worked out the Mother’s Day timeline with custody dates, and it is your weekend with the kids, do some communicating on perhaps sharing the date with your ex and navigating the time she may need or want with the kids. Or perhaps a gift to her would be a nice break to go to the spa or have some solo time, so offer to take them for the afternoon.
When she’s celebrating Mother’s Day as a newly single mom, this day is probably rough on her as well, so acknowledging you still respect her as a mother will boost her morale.
- The Gift Situation
Do you give gifts or not? Do some mindful maneuvering to pick out an appropriate gift. Should it come from you, or be labeled with your children’s names? Do whatever feels most comfortable. Truly it depends on what you feel is appropriate for your dynamic.
Standard Mother’s Day gifts like flowers or chocolates are a safe bet, and are perfectly appropriate to send to an ex-wife for Mother’s Day. You can even opt for a mail delivery so you can avoid in person situations.
A great option is allowing your children to pick out a personal gift such as a favorite movie, hobby supplies, or a gift card for her favorite restaurant. Or perhaps grab some markers and crayons and have them make something special for mom, while on your watch.
- Help With the Planning
In many cases, Mother’s Day celebrations are planned as a joint effort by the husband and children. Even though you’re divorced, your ex-wife will still appreciate you planning the celebrations for the day.
Help your child make a list of suggestions for places to go out to eat, fun things to do and other places that commonly came into play during celebrations in the past.
- Step Carefully Around Significant Others
If your ex-wife is dating or involved, talk with her to see if it is appropriate for you to help celebrate Mother’s Day. Her significant other may already have plans made. In that case, it’s most appropriate to send over your children with a small gift or card, and leave the rest to your ex-wife and her partner.
On the other hand, if you’re dating someone inform them that you’d like to celebrate Mother’s Day with your ex-wife and children, make it clear there are no romantic feelings attached to this choice.
- If all else fails stick to simplicity
If you can’t seem to do much of anything, perhaps a simple text “ happy mother’s day” is suffice. Sometimes the emotions are still raw and tense so do what can be the path of least conflict. You don’t want to run the risk of confrontation on a day that’s supposed to be celebrating the mother of your child, so do everything you can to keep any conflict out of the celebrations. Remember, communication is key, even after a divorce.
If you need some help navigating those waters, mediation is a great tool to discuss what and how to do so!
For additional support and guidance as you navigate divorce and/or co-parenting, we can help with fully virtual coaching and mediation services. Contact us today to learn more or for a free consultation.