Divorce has a way of changing aspects in your life that you never expected. It changes feelings about traditions and often stops traditions all together, especially regarding holidays. I have found that Mother’s Day, like any other holiday, takes on a new look post divorce. For you, this may mean an absence of someone pampering you and making the day extra special. It may mean a day that trips the reality switch that things are different than before and that may not be what you wanted. This may cause feelings of sadness and loneliness to creep into a day that is supposed to be special.
Mother’s Day slowly became a day I would dread. For many reasons that I can only guess, my ex seemed to do everything in his power to make me feel awful on Mother’s Day. From not acknowledging my first Mother’s Day after having our son only a month and a half before to deliberate attempts at making the day not only mundane, but actually more difficult than usual. One specific Mother’s Day stands out in my mind. My boys were three year old and a six month old at the time. He slept on and off all day and when he was awake, he walked around with earbuds in refusing to help or interact with us at all. I felt like I was being punished for something, but had no idea what I had done. Later that evening, my three year old asked me what Mother’s Day meant. I told him “It’s a day when other people do nice things for moms and give them the day off”. My ex looked right at me and replied “Well, I think you are a mother everyday and today is no different”. My heart sank and that sums up Mother’s Day for me in my marriage.
Since my divorce, I am learning to take back Mother’s Day. It is empowering to know that you can choose how the day goes and you are ultimately in charge about how you feel when the day is done. Here are 5 things you can do to have a Happy Single Mother’s Day!
Start New Traditions
As stated before, holidays are an easy time to get wrapped up in how things used to be or even how you wished they could have been. These markers often serve as a painful reminder that things didn’t go the way you had planned. So, what better time to change things up? Start new traditions with your kids! From doing an outing that becomes your new yearly event to working as team to tackle yard work, anything goes! Just make it different from what was done in the past. This gives both you and the kids a break from the glaring reminder that things are no longer the same.
Give Yourself a Break
This too may look different from the spa day or marathon afternoon nap that we hear others being treated to, but you can be creative! Get your kids busy playing outside or watching a movie (their brains won’t rot and you deserve it) and pick something something you typically put off because other things need done first. Read a book, paint your nails, listen to your choice of music, binge watch Netflix, or sit and do absolutely nothing. Whatever you choose, just know the laundry and dishes can wait.
Take the Day Off as House Chef
This does not have to be an elaborate dinner out. I know that is not always feasible or enjoyable when toting kids along. This can be anything that allows you to not cook a meal or have to clean up! Bonus point if everyone likes where you are going so there is no fussing at dinner!
Do Something Fun with your Kids
Pick something that everyone likes to do and have some fun! Get out the board games, play catch in the yard, read to each other, or do an art craft. Whatever makes you all smile will work just fine. This shows you kids that you love being their mom and love the quality time you have with them.
Find the Joy
I saved the best for last! This has become my go to on Mother’s Day. You can choose to find happiness in the day and ultimately have control over your emotional outcome. It is all too easy to slide into the sad feelings over missing what you don’t have. By doing so, you often miss all of the great things you have right in front of you.
Nobody ever said days as a single mom are easy, and that includes Mother’s Day. You deserve to be happy and make this best day possible for yourself. Have a Happy Single Mother’s Day!!!!