The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. This means that Mother’s Day is this weekend. For those of you that are co-parenting your children, whether incident to a divorce or separation, holidays can be particularly difficult to navigate. If you have an Agreement in place for custody and parenting time, the first step is for you to review your Agreement to determine what time you or your co-parent has for Mother’s Day or any other holiday. If your Agreement is unclear, if you do not have an Agreement, or if Mother’s Day does not fall in line with the regular parenting time, the next step is to open the lines of communication with your co-parent to resolve the details of who is going to have the children for Mother’s Day and under what parameters.
Unfortunately, because Mother’s Day falls during May every year, it also occasionally coincides with prom weekends, First Holy Communions, weddings, and other spring time events. This may mean that Mom does not always get to spend Mother’s Day with the children on her own.
If you are co-parenting your children, here are three options for dealing with Mother’s Day:
PLAN A: If Mom is able to spend Mother’s Day with the children, she should have the day with the children. Mom should choose activities that she and the children enjoy. Some ideas for activities are going for a hike, a picnic in the park, seeing a movie, or going to brunch! The co-parent that is not celebrating Mother’s Day also plays an important role for the holiday. The other parent can assist the children in making cards for Mom, picking out and purchasing a gift for Mother’s Day, or helping the children plan breakfast in bed or some other special celebration for their mom.
PLAN B: In the event that Mom is not able to spend Mother’s Day with the children or there is an event that takes precedent, the parents should work together to find an alternative day for Mom and the children to spend time together on their own. If an event interferes with the holiday parenting time and Mom is able to attend, Mom should attend the event or at least participate in some way. If Mom is unable to attend for any reason, if the children have time in the morning or after the event, the parents should work together to make the time for Mom and the children to spend at least part of the day together. If that is still not possible, the other parent should ensure that the children call Mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day and perhaps, have flowers delivered so that Mom feels special on her day. Finally, Mom should pick another day and make extra special plans for her to share with the children.
PLAN C: In cases where children are lucky enough to have two moms in their life, both moms need to find a way to share or split the day so that the children can experience Mother’s Day with both of them. Perhaps the children have breakfast or lunch with one mom and dinner with the other mom, or they do a morning activity with one and spend the afternoon with the other.
Regardless of how you are spending Mother’s Day, remember that your children are the most important part of your life and your most important job as a parent is to make sure that they don’t feel any of the bumps along the road in scheduling holidays or other events!
From all of us at Seiden Family Law, LLC, we wish all the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, moms-to-be, and other maternal figures, a Happy Mother’s Day!