After divorce, the navigation of holidays, including days like Mother’s Day, tends to be confusing. No matter if your children live with you or the other parent, these days can be difficult for the challenges that divorce brings, from shared time to communication breakdowns.

In all situations, you should follow your court orders for this day. That is, if the child’s mother was given the right to see the child, that should occur. If it is not your day to spend with the child, don’t sidestep court orders unless both parents agree.

However, you still need to learn a new way of navigating this difficult period. To do that, consider these steps to celebrate Mother’s Day after divorce.

Know that our divorce attorneys at Jersey Coast Family Law are here for you. If you feel your rights are not accounted for or there is a need to clarify your custody agreement, we would be happy to help you.

Acknowledging Emotions

It’s normal to feel a range of emotions on Mother’s Day after divorce. You may feel sad for the life you dreamed and expected to have not being the reality of today. You may be angry that this situation has occurred, or that you “wasted time” on the wrong person. You may even feel intense frustration about your life the way it is right now.

It’s also normal to feel lonely. Loneliness, whether you are a mother whose child is not with you or a father who wishes you did not have to be in this situation, loneliness is a very real, raw emotion in divorce. Allow yourself to feel these emotions. Validate them. They are impactful to your life and who you are.

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Self-care is a priority in these situations for multiple reasons:

  • Caring for yourself means you’re putting your family’s best advocate first.
  • Listening to your heart and emotions enables your brain to process those challenges in a healthy manner.
  • Taking care of yourself makes you the best version of yourself.

Co-Parenting Communication

Quite often, parents who divorce do not share good communication skills. Yet, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to improve those circumstances.

  • Communicate openly with your co-parent about Mother’s Day plans. Do not wait until the last minute to find out what opportunities exist or do not exist to change those plans.
  • Prioritize the child’s well-being over anything else. Your goal is not to just have the child with you, if that creates hardship, but rather to ensure they have a positive experience no matter what you do.
  • Consider creating new traditions. Instead of focusing heavily on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, consider new traditions that celebrate both parents.

Co-parenting is a lot of work, but it tends to support each member of the family in a positive manner when you can put aside the pain and focus on healing.

Creating New Traditions

One of the most important strategies you must have a more enjoyable experience for all members of the family is to focus on new traditions. There is no rule that says that Mother’s Day needs to follow a very specific path or involve specific tasks. Instead, consider these tips.

  • Move away from old traditions that trigger sadness. If you cannot be with your mother or your child cannot be with you, find something new to do on this day that takes your mind off what used to be.
  • Look for new traditions that fit your family’s current dynamic. This may include activities that do not focus on just one parent. It may include heading to the movies instead of a fancy dinner.
  • Look for activities that you can do with your children that are meaningful and enjoyable to everyone. This could include spending time with friends or family. You may even want to treat yourself to something special to honor the hard work you do.

New traditions can help complement life as it is now. It is not necessarily a bad thing to leave behind the traditions you used to have. Often, this can help to spur healing for everyone especially if you are not trying to create something that is otherwise not there.

Focusing on Positivity

Mother’s Day is a chance to celebrate motherhood. You do not have to celebrate this in a specific manner – be non-traditional! The most important aspect of this day (or any day) is to find a way to be positive.

Focus on the joy of being a mother. Consider the bond that you share with your children. Honor that bond by showcasing your love in a positive manner. It is often necessary to refrain from thinking negatively on this day. What “could have been” or what “should be” is not reality. Instead of focusing on what you do not have, focus on practicing gratitude instead. Look at all that you have that is working for you in a positive manner.

Self-Care Is Essential

This Mother’s Day, take time for yourself. Even if it is just a few moments that you step away and listen to the birds or go for a walk. Do something that you enjoy, and that allows you to relax in some manner.

Recharge, recognizing how much work and passion you put into raising and caring for your family, no matter the structure of it.

Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Prioritizing your well-being impacts every other person as well. You should not feel guilty about doing so, either. You deserve it!

When It Is Time to Get Help, Reach Out to a Legal Team That Cares

As family law attorneys, the team at Jersey Coast Family Law is here to help you through these big changes in your life. If you are approaching the decision to file for divorce or struggling with child custody matters, now is the time to empower yourself with a bit of help. Contact Jersey Coast Family Law now at 732-361-4718 and learn more about how we can help you.

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