Mother’s day is a special time for families to express appreciation and love they have for mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, and other maternal figures. It’s also a day that could stir up mixed emotions for families who have dealt with or are currently dealing with divorce. When a blended family is involved, it may require a little extra sensitivity and time management to ensure everyone is happy on this day.
Some divorced couples aren’t as amicable as others, but it is important to try to facilitate parenting time with Mom on a day like Mother’s Day. This is a great way to show children that even if their parents are not together, everyone respects the mother’s role in the family (even in a family that has shifted). A lot of times with divorced families, the mother and/or father remarries, and stepparents can play an important role in the upbringing of the children. To that end, showing appreciation for step-parents (or bonus parents as we like to call them) can show children the positive aspects of being a part of a blended family.
Here are some tips on how to spend Mother’s Day for divorced parents and blended families:
• Children should be able to spend Mother’s Day with their mother, so if it’s not addressed in your parenting plan, try to see if any adjustments can be made informally so that the children and mom can have an enjoyable day together. Negotiating is never easy, but you can gain a lot of cooperation in the future by showing a willingness to compromise.
• Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for the other parent to show the children they respect the relationship between the children and their mom no matter what. Let the children plan what they would like to do with their mom, and help them make these plans happen.
• Whether you are the birth mother or Bonus mother, it’s important to show respect for the other woman’s role in the children’s lives. Where a Bonus mom is very involved with the children, try to make her feel involved in the special day (even if they have spent a portion of the day with their mother). Perhaps plan something the day before or the day after. Being tied to that day is simply semantics. As long as they are celebrated- that’s what matters. Please note, this of course depends on the nature of the relationship between the Bonus mother and the children, so follow your children’s lead on this. Bonus parents can be an integral part of a child’s life, and it’s important to make them feel appreciated.
The key to celebrating Mother’s Day for divorced/blended families is respecting the mother’s role and facilitating any plans. Parents, stepparents, and the children will feel more connected if everyone puts aside their differences and works together to make it a great day.
Have a great Mother’s Day!