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My First Mother’s Day As A Single Mom

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As we approached Mother’s Day, I was thinking about what it was going to be like now that I’m a single parent. Previously, the kids’ father made sure all the usual Mother’s Day details were taken care of alongside the kids. This meant breakfast in bed, lunch out and a present or two.

So, what was going to happen this year? One option was to wallow in self-pity but that, I resolved, was no option at all! This year, I decided, I was going to grab the day by the horns, and enjoy myself!

Planning ahead

When you’re separating or divorcing, it’s important to develop a plan for how you’re going to parent your kids as co-parents living apart. One aspect of such a plan needs to set up arrangements for where the children spend special days like Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and so forth. This means not having a fight on your hands every time an important day is coming up.

Thankfully, my ex and I did draw up a parenting plan, and on Mother’s Day, our kids are scheduled to spend the day with me. Everyone knows this, so there are no nasty surprises in store for anyone.

If, on the other hand, you don’t have a parenting plan, raise the issue of where the children will spend Mother’s Day well in advance. This will reduce everybody’s stress levels and make everything a whole lot more pleasant than it could be.

What to do?

When my ex and I were together, the whole family would trek off to a restaurant for lunch. On what was a day that I believe should be a celebration of all that mothers do for their families, I ended up taking the kids to the restroom throughout the meal, worrying about their table manners, and finding myself irritable and dissatisfied.

Not this year, I vowed. This year, I was going to minimize stress and worry about making it more likely that the day would be enjoyable for everybody, especially me. So, I asked the kids what they would like to do.

Surprising answers

My children never cease to amaze me, and this was another time when I realized how wise children could be. They said they didn’t want to go to a restaurant. Instead, they wanted to spend the whole day with me at home, just playing games and spending real quality time with each other. I was only too happy with their suggestion, so we made plans on what we were going to eat and do in advance.

My kids even suggested that everyone stay off their electronic devices for the day! My jaw nearly dropped on the floor when I heard that, but I masked my surprise and accepted their suggestion with alacrity. Gifts for mom came up, but more as an afterthought than anything. It was the experience that seemed to matter.

What’s important

Clearly, the children had a good understanding of the importance of Mother’s Day. They simply wanted to spend good quality time with me, with few interruptions, and plenty of fun and laughter. And that’s what we had. We dragged out all the old board games and laughed our way through a couple of them.

We ate our favorite dish, Mac n Cheese, which I’d made in advance, and just popped in the oven when we were ready to eat. Then we played cards for matchsticks, which had my competitive middle child amassing a small ‘fortune.’ He’s going to be quite a player in the business world when he grows up, I reckon.

Anyway, my first Mother’s Day as a single mother was a day of simple joy with my children. I hope yours was just as good.

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