Most people can't imagine how difficult Father's Day can be for a single mom.
News flash: It's tough!
If you are a single mom because of divorce, the day can unfold as an interminable 24 hours spent by yourself, dwelling on bittersweet memories of what was. If you are single mom due the death of your cherished man, the day can not only be challenging for you personally, but for your children, too, as each of you lament the husband and dad who is no longer. Even women who are single moms by decision find there is no rest for the weary, as they continue to try and fill both Mom's and Dad's shoes, every single day.
So here are five suggestions for all single moms to help manage the day for yourself and your children:
1. Realize the day may be difficult for your kids. For single moms dealing with a divorce situation, a day honoring the one you least like in your life, at the moment, can seem unfathomable. This is the time to step into your children's shoes. As tough as that pill is to swallow, you have to embrace the fact that they love you and they love him, too. It is an important day for you to allow them to celebrate their father without feeling any remorse or fear that they might be hurting your feelings.
2. Don't pass judgment. Keep an upbeat attitude about your former husband. Your kids still respect him and want to please him. It is in your best interest to always be level-headed around your children and keep your unfiltered ex thoughts to yourself. On Father's Day in particular you might even want to step up and share one of the reasons you fell in love with their dad in the first place. Extra brownie points for that!
3. Relax into the day. For divorced mommies an extra Sunday all to yourself can be a blessing. Try not to dwell on what the day used to be when you were one big "happy" family. Instead shift your focus and make it a day of cherished me-time. Do something for yourself that you wouldn't normally do. Spend the day at the spa, get a massage, take an extra long walk, go to the beach and take a cheeky novel or lounge by a pool. Hang out with your other single mom girlfriends, drink mimosas and have a TGIEF=Thank God It's Ex-Father's Day.
4. Honor the dad that once was. If Dad's no longer around because he's passed on, allow your children to choose how they want to honor him. They can spend the day creating a card, writing a poem, reminiscing with scrapbooks or doing an activity they always used to do with him. It can be particularly challenging because it opens wounds for the passing of your loved one too, so go easy on yourself. If you feel like being sad, it's okay. It's real and heartfelt. Share your fondest memories and tell the stories in great detail, they'll love hearing about him from your loving perspective.
5. Proudly embrace your mom and dadness. Single moms by decision, or because Dad's ditched the scene, don their breeches and stilettos every day. Today is no different, except you get to honor the amazing both part parents that you are! Round up your village to join in the celebration, put on your daddy cap, and fully own that you get two special Hallmark holidays.
How do you best celebrate fathers day as a single mom? I would love to hear about it. Please share your comments here. Happy Father's Day to one and all.