Mother’s Day tips for divorced fathers

A broken marriage doesn't have to mean a broken family.
A broken marriage doesn't have to mean a broken family.

On Mother’s Day, we have the opportunity for an annual show of honour and appreciation for mothers – not only your own mother, but also the mother of your children.

Being divorced does not relieve you of the responsibility to teach your children the importance of special occasions.

Instead, it is also a chance to teach our children to consider the relationships they have with the women who gave birth to them and the roles that their mothers play in their lives.

As the father, your ex-spouse (the mother of your children) probably relies on you to initiate celebrations.

Here are some valuable tips:

1. Ignore her when she shrugs off the day as “not important” or “no big deal”. It IS a big deal and you should encourage your children to make a fuss over her.

2. Make arrangements well in advance with your ex-spouse and allow ample time for kids to spend with mom on mother’s day and do the same for father’s day.

3. If, for some reason, your children will not be able to spend the day with their mother, make an effort to enable communication between them, be it a phone call, messaging or Skype etc. Remember to afford them some privacy during this time.

4. If you are not available or able to organise things yourself, ask relatives or friends to assist your kids with the task of planning and purchasing for mother’s day.

5. Inspire and support your children with a yearly celebration of their mother, on mother’s day. Whatever her beliefs are about these special occasions, she is bound to appreciate your effort.

6. Ensure that your children are able to spend mother’s day with their mother and father’s day with you – it’s simply the right thing to do – good karma and all that…

7. Remind the children of the upcoming event in advance and take them shopping, for a small gift or a bunch of flowers to give to their mother.

8. Stock up on some arts and crafts stuff and get the kids involved in making some personalised cards or gifts for mom, when they are visiting you. It will be a pleasant surprise.

9. Offer to take the children an extra day, to give her some much needed time for pampering. It will be a thoughtful gift.

10. Regardless of how a stepmother feels about her stepchildren, she is not their mother and should not be the focus of mother’s day celebrations. It might be a good idea to celebrate stepmothers on a separate occasion such as stepmother’s day. However, as the father, you need to be sensitive and sensible about this.

11. Sometimes, other people do the mothering, or fulfil the role of a mother, like a grandmother, aunt or stepmother. Ensure that the mother of your children retain her position as mother, while the relationship with the other mother figures can be acknowledged as well.

12. Blended families succeed when all parties involved are afforded respect and issues are put aside while paying homage to everyone who nurtures the children, on these special days.

Honour your children’s mother – let her have a wonderful mother’s day!

*This article was originally published on

Are you a divorced father? Do you encourage your children to celebrate Mother's Day? How do you plan around holidays and special occasions with your former spouse? Tell us by emailing to and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.

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