Father’s Day for single mums can be a tough time. Not every child has their dad active and involved in their daily lives. There are many who have limited to no contact. The reasons for their absence may be many; they may be travelling, unwell, have court orders pertaining to the situation or may have never been a part of their lives. Rachael Scharrer, divorce expert and founder of Divorce Answered, gives guidance to how to handle Father’s Day.
Although there is a trend toward children of divorce primarily living with their mother, Father’s Day can be a difficult day for blended families, single or solo mums. But recognising the day reinforces that there are many great men who love, support and take an interest in the wellbeing of the child.
Father’s Day for single mums: What to do in the absence of a dad
If the child’s father isn’t around on Father’s Day, creating your own tradition for that day can become of greater importance. You can focus on your own relationship and favourite activities; or, no doubt there are amazing men already in your child’s life that you can recognise and be grateful for on Father’s Day. You may consider their grandfather, uncle, neighbour, friend’s husband, GP, dentist and teachers in this light.
Suggestions on simple ways to celebrate
To people who don’t want to make a big fuss on Father’s Day but do want to recognise a positive male, a special made-with-love, thought-filled present might help mark the day. Some meaningful but affordable suggestions include:
- Card or drawing for a neighbour
- Baked goods for a neighbour
- Let the child pick some lollies and create a lolly jar for a role model or friends
- Download some online fun home craft creations (or visit the craft shop and let your children make something special)
Handling emotions on and around the day
You know your child better than anyone else. Some children may be super sensitive about Father’s Day. You may wish to start a conversation about how Father’s Day is approaching even though their father doesn’t live with them and offer “do you want to mark the occasion for a special male in our lives?” If they don’t respond or if they aren’t enthusiastic, you could offer “would you like to do something fun? how about we go to the beach, the aquarium, zoo or have a picnic?”.
Create a positive, uplifting experience, association and memory. Often school asks young children to recount their Father’s Day, share what they did or create a drawing. By creating a fun memory, you are giving your child something to boast about that they did on that special day, either as a little family without a male figure or recognising Father’s Day with a special male.
For more information on separation, divorce and parenting, visit Divorce Answered.