03 Jun 3 important tips on how to cope with being a single parent on Father’s Day
Significant days in the yearly calendar can be difficult to handle if you are a single parent. They are traditionally times for family and therefore can highlight feelings of loneliness, despair and low self-esteem. Whilst Christmas is the main event that draws most attention and thoughtfulness from others, it’s surprising just how much heartache and pain the smaller celebrations can cause too.
Father’s Day is a perfect example. For those of us who are single parents it can throw up a variety of different issues that you need to deal with. Society doesn’t cater for single parents on these kind of days and if you are a single parent the day can pass unrecognised with no card or present to make you feel loved and appreciated for all your hard work, sleepless nights and constant worrying.
Challenges can arise when Father’s Day falls on a Sunday when it’s not “Dad’s weekend”. Who the child spends the day with will then depend on the state of the relationship the parents have. In amicable situations it can be an obvious agreement that the child spends the day with the father regardless of normal arrangements. However where tensions run high and there is no goodwill then the child may well spend the day with the parent whose allocated weekend it is.
Sara’s top tip for this situation: Organise Father’s Day on a different day! Remember you can create your own rules in life and set the game up so that you win. Choose a Sunday that you DO have your child and let them know that you will celebrate Father’s Day that day instead. You can plan something special to do so you don’t miss out on the experience.
Many Dad’s will find it hard if they don’t have their child on Father’s Day, especially in the early days after the break up as they get used to dealing to these kind of situations.
The main reason it can be emotionally difficult is because you feel that you are not getting the recognition you deserve. It’s a time that other dad’s are feeling loved and cherished by their children and if you don’t have them with you it can be isolating.
It’s funny how the little things like not getting a present or a card can make you feel low. Obviously if you have a young child they will not be able to think of things like this so you will have to face up to the fact that you will not be getting anything, unless you have a friend or relative who will think of these things for you.
Sara’s top tip: You can flip this situation to your advantage and go out and buy your own Father’s Day gift for yourself. If your child is old enough they can wrap it up for you and give it to you on your chosen celebration day. It’s a perfect solution as you are guaranteed to like your gift!
Father’s Day can be hard for single Mum’s too if their ex is not around to celebrate with the kids. It can be hard for Mum’s to know what to do and how to handle the day if their friends are with their fathers and they feel like they are missing out.
Sara’s top tip: Many single parent mums I know make this a fun day out with the kids and keep them busy. Some will invite Grandad over to spend the day and others will organise to spend it with other single parents in a similar situation.
Don’t worry about the things you cannot control. Focus on finding a way to flip a negative situation around. Often it’s not about a fixed date or time, it’s about not missing out on an experience. Instead of stressing about what you don’t have or what you can’t have – focus your attention and energy on finding a solution that means that you and your child don’t miss out and have fun in the process.
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