Mother’s Day is a special holiday when all the mother’s out there, whether they be biological, adopted, foster, or a grandmother, are elevated and, ideally, get to be showered in love by those closest to them. In a perfect world, this holiday and all the pieces that make it so special shouldn’t change after a divorce—after all, you’re still a mom, whether you’re married or not. The truth, however, is that it can take a few years to adjust to a new life as a single parent, as well as all the new and different factors that can play a role in how the holiday itself pans out.
If, post-divorce, you’ve experienced a Mother’s Day that presented scheduling and personal struggles and disappointments, please know that you are not alone. Divorce stirs up a lot of deep emotions and can make even the strongest of people feel incredibly emotionally fragile. There are a lot of adjustments being made, one of the hardest of which is getting used to new custody and parenting time schedules. While most judges will advocate for children to be with their fathers on Father’s Day and their mothers on Mother’s Day, the reality is that sometimes geography, scheduling conflicts, or children having families of their own, could prevent your kids from being able to physically be there on the big day.
Whatever the reason, if you’re expecting you’ll be alone this Mother’s Day, there are still ways you can make the day a special one filled with joy. We’ve listed a few ideas to make the most of the holiday:
There is no distance too far for Skype to save the day! If your children are cities, states, or even countries away, make sure that you plan for a Skype or a Facetime call at some point during the day. Being able to connect with your kids visually and audibly is the next best thing to their physical presence. Let them know that the best gift they could give for Mother’s Day is their time via a call, and spend the time catching up, sharing your plans for the day, and letting them know how deeply you love being their Mother.
- Celebrate Your Own Mom
If your mom doesn’t live in the same town as you, she may have gotten used to not expecting to see you on Mother’s Day, as all children will eventually grow up and begin to create their own holiday traditions with their family. If this is the case, plan for a day celebrating her. Creating memories with her by getting out on a short trip, or even just hitting the town and going to a movie, will likely make her feel incredibly special. If your mom has passed away, take time during the day to remember her and how she positively impacted your life. People live on in our memories, so dedicating time in your day to honor her legacy is a special gift in and of itself.
- Create Your Own Traditions
It would be easy to spend Mother’s Day alone in sadness—if you emotionally are at a place where you need that time to process, then by all means take it. If, however, you feel up for taking control of the day and creating a special tradition of your own, you may find that doing so can bring forth unexpected relationships and joy in the day.
For example: you could create the tradition to visit a nursing home every Mother’s Day and spend a few hours of the day talking with the mothers there who’s children aren’t able to visit—your company very well may absolutely make their day. With May bringing forth great weather, you can make a tradition to go to the market and plant new flowers, run a local 5K or get your nails done. The beauty of creating any of these traditions is that, in following years when and if your children are able to be there for Mother’s Day, they can absolutely join in on the Mother’s Day traditions you’ve created and grown to love.
- Treat Yourself to Something Special
So, you have the day to yourself, and you’re not quite sure how you’re going to pass the time? By all means, take the opportunity to pamper yourself! Just because your kids aren’t able to be with you doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be celebrated and spoiled for all of your hard work as a mother. Get a massage or spend that extra money on a new hairstyle. If you have the whole weekend, fly out to visit a friend you’ve been trying to see for years but life keeps getting in the way. This is your day to feel special, so take control and make it one that genuinely brings you relaxation or happiness.
All this to be said, we understand that not having your children with you on Mother’s Day is inevitably going to be a challenge. If it’s not possible to be with them, however, there are options to brighten the day and still honor the holiday. The most important aspect to remember is that Mother’s Day is a holiday that can be celebrated in so many different ways. If you’re not able to be the center of the day, you have the power to celebrate your mother, someone else’s mother, or even the legacy of a mother. It may require a unique perspective and positive outlook, but Mother’s Day can still be an incredibly special celebration, even in your children’s absence.