4 Tips for An Unconventional Mother’s Day Plan

May 1, 2018
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Mother’s Day is an international holiday which honors all mothers and mother figures.  Here, in the United States, Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday in May.  You may think this holiday is an easy one in the parenting time context: Obviously this is one of the holidays that Mom should claim for parenting time, and, in turn, Dad will get to have Father’s Day.  But not so fast!  It’s not always that simple!  What if there is more than one mother in the child’s life?  What if there is an active step-mother in the picture?  What if there is no mother?  The possibilities to remedy these conundrums are endless, but they are also highly personal depending on the family.

Here are some factors to consider when crafting your unconventional Mother’s Day parenting plan:

1.What is The Child Used To?

Does the family consider Mother’s Day to be a “Hallmark holiday?”  Or is it usually celebrated with all of the pomp and circumstance?  Depending on the family, Mother’s Day can be a day when the whole family gets together or it can be a day when Mom gets a break and can get pampered for a day.  Remember that this holiday is for children as much as it is for mother(s)!

2.Can The Day Be Split?

Could one mother figure have the morning with the children while the other mother figure enjoys the afternoon, and then switch every year?  Each mother figure would be able to spend time with the children in their own distinct way.  For instance, perhaps breakfast in bed for one mother figure and an early dinner with the other mother figure.  That way, the children have two separate events to look forward to and plan for.

3.Can an Alternate Be Selected to Celebrate?

Almost every single day is a holiday in the US.  We can celebrate everything from National Doughnut Day to Twilight Zone Day!  So, it should be no surprise that National Step Family Day is celebrated on September 16th.  You can even create your family’s own “Mom’s Day” or “Mama’s Day” to be celebrated whenever your family designates.  Especially for younger children who do not understand the significance of the specific date, make sure to promote both celebrations equally so the child understands that neither date is more important than the other.  In cases where there are two mother figures and no father figures, perhaps alternating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day between two mothers will work.  That way, the child does not feel like he or she is missing out on Father’s Day because it is still a celebration of a parent.

4.How Can You Honor The Holiday?

If there is no mother figure in the child’s life or if the child’s mother is not currently exercising regular parenting time, still try to give the child something to celebrate.  Remember, the child will probably see his or her classmates making Mother’s Day cards at school and seeing all of the advertisements on television or online and may feel sad that he or she does not have that traditional experience.  Try opting to celebrate with another mother figure in the child’s life like a grandmother or an aunt, and always remind that child that his or her life is still whole and complete even if the characters are composed differently from other families.

The universal canon that all parents and counsel should abide by is to respect all of the parties involved.  The goal is to be inclusive and sensitive to the needs of the children.