Father’s Day for single mums can be a difficult day when it crops up in September, emotions can run riot depending on your circumstances. Father’s Day is not a day that should be ignored, regardless of the reason why dad isn’t around to celebrate. So how do you celebrate when there is no dad?
Celebrating a new family tradition on Father’s Day for single mums
For one reason or another, if your children have never really known Dad, you may feel there’s no real reason to celebrate the traditional Father’s Day. That said, there’s no reason why you can’t introduce a new family tradition into the house to mark the occasion in a different way.
You may choose to rename the occasion Family Day and celebrate the extended family on Father’s Day. If you hold a close relationship with your own parents, you and your children could celebrate Grandpa instead. There’s no reason why your child’s kindy or school Father’s Day themed activities couldn’t be focused on Grandpa or Uncle instead.
Most educational centres these days are accepting of the non-traditional ‘nuclear family’ model, and will not exclude kids that don’t have Dad around on Father’s Day.
Celebrating a child’s late father on Father’s Day
For many children, Father’s Day is a joyous celebration, but if your child’s father has passed this is undoubtedly a difficult time for your family.
How this is done will depend on your circumstance, but some suggestions include:
- Encourage expression through art. Death of a loved one is incredibly difficult to talk about, but is a little easier when using a pen, pencil, paints and paper. If your child enjoys drawing or writing, Father’s Day can be a way to express feelings through artistic endeavours.
- Visit Dad’s special place. Depending on the age of your child, a visit to Dad’s grave on Father’s Day may be too difficult to manage. Instead, consider spending some time at one of Dad’s favourite spots; the beach or his favourite fishing spot perhaps.
Rather than dreading the occasion, you can use Father’s Day as a time to reflect and remember Dad.
Father’s Day after a separation or divorce
When you are separated or divorced, there may be friction between you and your child’s father. If there is a mutual care arrangement, there is no reason why your child can’t celebrate Father’s Day with Dad, although it is important to have the day and times arranged in advance to avoid conflict.
Negotiating with your ex partner may not be easy, but it is important to put yourselves in the shoes of your children. If Father’s Day happens to fall on a weekend when you have the children, you may need to switch it around to suit.
Remember Father’s Day is special to your child as much as it is for their dad, so it is important to understand what they would like to do to celebrate. You may not like the thought of buying a gift or a card for your ex partner, but if your child wants to, give them a little cash to choose something for Dad if it’s what they want to do.
Make Father’s Day work for your family
There isno denying that celebrating Father’s Day for single mums has its challenges. Whatever you decide to do for Father’s Day when Dad isn’t in the picture is up to you and your family. There are no right or wrongs; just do whatever it takes to support your children, depending on your situation.