The first Father’s Day after separation or divorce can be surprisingly difficult for many dads. You may not have realized just how many of the things your kids did for you were actually orchestrated by your wife – particularly if she chooses not to help your kids celebrate the day any longer.
If you included Father’s Day and Mother’s Day in your custody agreement so that each of you could have the kids on “your” day, that’s great. Some co-parents don’t consider those holidays or haven’t finished negotiating their agreement when these days roll around.
Make the most of whatever time you have with your kids
If you’re able to see your kids on Father’s Day, make the most of whatever time you have with them, even if it’s not the full weekend. If they haven’t bought you presents or even cards because their mom didn’t facilitate it, don’t let it bother you – or make them feel bad. Let them know that the best gift is getting to spend time with them.
If you’re not able to spend Father’s Day with them and they seem to want to celebrate, you can have a “Father’s Day” whenever you see them next. For divorced parents, it’s often important not to be stuck on celebrating things on specific days. Holidays can be whenever you decide to celebrate them.
If you can at least arrange for a video call with your kids on Father’s Day, that can help all of you feel better. However, don’t let them feel like you’re sitting home depressed because they can’t be with you.
Better yet, don’t sit home depressed. Maybe you can join in your parents’ or a sibling’s Father’s Day cookout. Do something with friends who aren’t celebrating Father’s Day. There are plenty of possibilities.
Don’t get hung up on specific dates
If having your kids on this holiday weekend is especially important to you, you can include it in your custody agreement. Remember, however, that if your co-parent decides to schedule a summer vacation with the kids that overlaps with it, that might take precedence.
While you have every right to enjoy holiday celebrations with your kids throughout the year, just keep in mind that they won’t always be exactly what you hoped or what you’re used to. The important thing is to make the celebrations, whenever they are, special times that your kids will remember fondly.