One of the saddest consequences of divorce for parents are the alone-times without the children. Whether your children are living with their other parent or just away on a short visit, parents are always challenged by learning to cope with alone time. This is even more difficult when facing holidays and special occasions.
Mother’s Day alone can be particularly difficult for divorced moms. It’s easy to fall prey to depression, anger or despair. Preparing in advance, finding activities to enjoy and the support of caring friends will help keep mom from being overwhelmed with self-pity. In addition, mom must also be careful not to make her children feel guilty about not being with her. Most times, it’s out of the kids' control, so don’t lay on the blame.
Here are some suggestions to help divorced moms get through this Mother’s Day without the kids at their side:
Schedule a video call with the kids at a particular time in the morning so everyone can chat, share greetings and express their love for mom.
Send an email or text message just to stay in touch once or twice during the day. Make sure you clear this with dad in advance so he’s supportive and not caught off guard.
Make plans to see the same movie or TV show as your kids on Mother’ Day and then schedule a call the next day to discuss the show and share the experience together.
Schedule a weekend of indulgence. A spa day, soothing massage or other form of pampering will remind mom she deserves attention and relaxation on a regular basis.
Start a personal journal. It’s a place where mom can vent, express her frustrations and share sensitive emotions as they come up. Writing is an amazingly satisfying way to release sadness, guilt, shame, anger and other powerful feelings without acting on them.
Start a souvenir box to share with the children next time you see them. Keep brochures, ticket stubs, paper menus, T-shirts or other trinkets from museums, plays, restaurants or other places you’ve visited to bring those experiences to life for the kids and stimulate conversation.
Be creative. Tap into the marvels of today’s technology via smart phones, tablets, Skype, videos and more. Think out of the box in healthy ways and you can keep connected to your children on Mother’s Day while keeping sadness or sorrow at bay.