Celebrating Your First Mother’s Day after Divorce or Separation

Mothers Day

Guest post by Amanda Moore

Mother’s Day can be an emotionally loaded holiday, especially after a divorce or separation. You probably used to celebrate it with your whole family, your former spouse included.

Hopefully your ex will let your children be with you on Mother’s Day, even if it’s not your usual weekend.

Here are some tips for making every Mother’s Day a happy occasion, even after a divorce.

Make New Traditions

Do something different with your kids than what you used to do. If your tradition was going out to brunch, try going out to lunch and then taking the kids to see a movie. Decide to start the day with a pillow fight or hot chocolate.  Just choose something deliberately different and start making a new tradition.

Celebrate with Other Moms

Sometimes being with other people is the cheeriest way to celebrate. Instead of spending a lot of money on pricey brunches, throw a brunch at home and invite other mom friends and their kids. It’s easy to do if you make some dishes ahead of time. Or, make it into a potluck brunch, assigning friends food categories.

Another fun idea for Mother’s Day is an afternoon tea. At tea rooms, these are usually held in the afternoon and booked months ahead of time, but you can also host one at home. Plan a menu that includes tea sandwiches and treats such as cookies and scones and small cakes. Many sandwiches are simple to make with store-bought ingredients. If you enjoy baking, there are plenty of recipes for proper British sweets, but you may also choose to purchase some at your local bakery to keep your prep simple. Then, all you’ll need is a tea pot, tea, and some mugs or cups, and you’ll be set.

Thinking of Special Gifts

If you’re buying a gift for your own Mom or a friend who’s a Mom, think about what would be a nice splurge for her instead of something totally practical, like a vacuum cleaner (unless, of course, you know her really really well and know she would rather have a vacuum cleaner!).

A gift certificate to a spa would be an excellent choice. Even better would be to pair that with free babysitting, if necessary. Spas let you choose specific services or a monetary amount. If you’re going for a monetary amount, try to give her enough to cover at least a massage, with tip.

Another thing busy moms would appreciate is a thorough housecleaning, particularly if that’s something she normally has to take on by herself. Look for a vetted and insured house cleaner and either prepay or arrange to have the bill sent to you.

A gift certificate to the mom’s favorite restaurant would also be another thoughtful choice. If you’re purchasing through a service like OpenTable, make sure that restaurant participates in the gift card program first. Purchase an amount that will be enough for two people to enjoy a dinner, plus tip. That way she can make the meal into an experience and treat a friend.

Do Something Nice

It’s been scientifically proven that acts of kindness toward others produce feel-good endorphins. So, especially if you’re feeling a little down, look for opportunities to do small acts of kindness toward other mothers.

  • Buy coffee for a mom in line behind you at the drive-through or coffee counter.
  • If you see a frazzled mom in the grocery store, buy her a small bunch of flowers and tell her she’s doing a good job.
  • If you see a mother anywhere, you can just tell her she’s doing a good job– it will be appreciated.
  • Send flowers to a retirement or nursing home for all the residents to enjoy.
  • Purchase flowers and give them to a children’s hospital to give to mothers whose kids are hospitalized. You could buy a bunch of roses and hand out individual ones.

Going Solo

If your kids can’t be with you for Mother’s Day, it’s really important to do something positive for yourself. Schedule time with friends. Take a class that will keep you absorbed. If you can, schedule a weekend trip to someplace fun that will get you out of town.

No matter what you do, keep in mind that Mother’s Day is only one day out of a whole year. Your children show you they appreciate you in many ways– this holiday is only one of them. Focus on the good and having new, fun experiences, and your Mother’s Day will be a positive and relaxing one.

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