We’re fast approaching Mother’s Day, where we honour our mum’s and, if we can afford it, shower them with gifts. If we’re doing it right, we let them put their feet up, and enjoy their dedicated day.
But Mother’s Day can be very different if Mum is divorced, especially if there’s a joint custody agreement, and if this day happens to fall on a day when Dad has rights to the children.
Celebrating Mother’s Day without your children is naturally very difficult, that’s before we consider it’s usually Dad’s who buy gifts and cards on behalf of their children. If you ended on bad terms, perhaps the father of your children doesn’t want to do that. That might be something you have to accept.
But how do you make sure you can see your child on Mother’s Day? We hope our tips can help you.
Our advice for mother’s
Being transparent and early with your request can make all the difference. Often ex partners can initially react badly to a request that is perfectly reasonable, and might need time to come to terms with what you want. Try to be open with your ex, and give a decent period of notice.
Try to keep your children out of it. It can be tempting to encourage them to tell Dad they want to spend Mother’s Day with you, but this will only make them upset if Dad says no, and it might give him ammunition against you, if he can then say you made the children sad.
If the answer is no, remember that it is just another day, and you can change the date of it if you wish, and celebrate Mother’s Day on a day when you have your children around.
You might want to pay particular attention to dates coming up later in the year, like Father’s Day, or the birthdays of people your ex partner loves, and suggest swapping if they fall on a day when you have the children. We know this seems very ‘tit-for-tat’, but framed in the right way it can make a big difference. It’s sort of a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ agreement, and it usually works if done right.
For the fathers
Perhaps you want to take your children to your mother’s house on Mother’s Day, or maybe you have a doting partner, who would like to see her stepchildren. It is really important here that you are understanding. Of course you have women in your life who might want to see your children on this special day, but it is ‘Mother’s Day’. Your ex-partner might absolutely want to spend with her kids on this day, and this isn’t really something you can fight her right to, particularly if you have shared custody and Mother’s Day falls on one of her days.
Imagine how you would feel, if it was Father’s Day and things were the other way around.
If you do want to see your children on Mother’s Day, we suggest you mention it early, offer another day as a trade off, and, most importantly, accept the answer if your ex-partner says no. You never know, they might change their mind.
We recommend you put the children first, so don’t bring them into the argument by encouraging them to ask their mother to surrender them on Mother’s Day. This isn’t fair, and is emotional manipulation.
If your ex-partner says no, remember you can move Mother’s Day celebrations to another day. There’s nothing to stop you doing that. Gently explain to grandma or step-mum why you can’t see the children, and arrange something special for another time.
If you have children, you’re connected for life to your ex-spouse. That’s a very important thing to remember. Being on good terms with an ex-partner means your children get to enjoy the love and attention of everyone who cares about them, and that’s the most important thing.
It’s really important that you try to keep things pleasant between you, regardless of what happened, and however desperate you are to have the sole attention of your children on this special day.
If you’re having ongoing issues around seeing your children as a result of a separation or divorce, it might be time to seek legal advice. A solicitor will help you get access to your children with as little disruption as possible, whilst considering your personal circumstances, as well as those of your ex partner.
For more information in relation to your current arrangement or any future ones, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can call 0161 491 3933, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s good to try to maintain a positive outlook and remember that your marriage although no more brought you your child or children. It brought you motherhood. Even when these times get scary or hard it’s good to remind yourself you are thankful for the ones you love.