Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult life events to endure. As hard as it is on the two people going through it, joint custody situations can be even harder on the life of the children in the family.
It doesn’t matter what has happened between the grown-ups, the children ALWAYS have to be the focus of every decision, every interaction, and every action. Co-parenting isn’t easy. It can be hard to have shared custody and work out a parenting plan with someone who may be your least favorite person in the world.
That’s why every custody agreement decision and parenting plan aspect has to be about your favorite people on earth- your children.
Keep reading for divorce tips for moms who are worried about Mother’s Day 2020 in a joint custody situation.
If you don’t already have a co-parenting plan in writing, it is important to do so. Not only for your peace of mind but for your children. There will be much less stress and turmoil if both parents know in advance when they have time with the children and when they will not.
The more details and plans you work out before the issue arises, the easier it will be to avoid arguments and aggravation. You won’t have to fight for your rights because they’ll already be laid out in a well constructed and thought out parenting plan.
This will be easier for some co-parents than others. If you don’t know where to start you may want to start with some legal advice to protect your rights and the rights of your children. For some couples, this won’t be necessary to work out parenting time as both parties will be focused on the most efficient and effective plan for the children.
Other couples may find themselves bickering over every line and detail. That’s why it’s better to get it out of the way all at once and just have to do some fine tuning to an already established agreement rather than having to argue over every exchange and visitation.
No matter what your situation, there are ways to figure out a plan that works for everyone.
Many times holidays can be filled with stress because parents are worried about what is fair for them. Or getting the upper hand. It can make it hard to make any holiday schedule work. But if you both sit down, either separately or together and write down what you think is best to give the children the best holiday possible, it will be easier to come to an agreement.
Some parents insist on splitting a holiday like Christmas morning between the two houses. This may seem fair to the parents but the children end up spending their Christmas morning rushing through the experience at both houses and dealing with the custody exchange rather than enjoying their Christmas presents.
Try to envision a new tradition of switching on Boxing Day and having Christmas morning twice for the kids instead of them only really getting a fragment of one. Many parents decide to alternate years where they experience Christmas eve and morning with the children.
Mother’s day and Father’s day are a little different. They are a day that you may want to ensure part of the day is spent with mom on Mother’s day and Dad on Father’s Day. Often it is stipulated in the custody agreement or parenting plan what the arrangement will be each year no matter who’s weekend it falls on.
The crisis of a marriage or family breaking up and the dynamics changing is hard for everyone. But even after the dust settles, the children have to live with the parenting plan. You are deciding not who gets them when but how they spend their life and their special occasions.
Vindictive decisions about what time you agree to give another parent or not considering how the arrangement works in a five, ten or twelve year old’s mind can cause long term stress for everyone. It may be fair to switch between the two houses every day for the parents but that could cause a lot of stress of a kid who is dealing with school and homework, friends, and other life stresses that are compounded by bouncing back and forth.
Each time they switch between parents they end up stressed and often nagged about whether they remembered everything, or why they didn’t bring something that they should have. They may not get to enjoy their time with either parent and the parenting plan isn’t serving its purpose. It needs to be the best thing for the kids.
Most children want to be celebrating Mother’s day with their mom. While that isn’t always possible there are ways to still try and find a way to make it special for the children. If the kids are at dad’s maybe they could be allotted some time on Skype, Facetime or Zoom to have a virtual brunch with mom.
You may be struggling to communicate with your ex right now. In fact, the sight of them may make you feel ill but it won’t always be like that. Whether you like it or not your ex is a big part of your children’s life. Just because they are doesn’t make it any easier to deal with them.
There are options to make it easier. After you have a written parenting plan and are putting it into action, you may need to use tools to help ease daily tension and assist in communicating.
Having a public safe drop off place can help. Using an app or service that specializes in helping implement successful parenting plans is a great resource.
Even if you can’t celebrate Mother’s Day on the actual day that everyone else does it doesn’t mean you can’t have your own special day. In fact, you are such an incredible mom you get a day all of your own!
It can be any day you want and it is Mother’s Day in your home. Do some awesome activity with the kids that you’ll all love. Have a Mother’s Day tea party or make it a dance party if that’s more your style.
If you aren’t with the kids on the actual date of Mother’s Day then spend it pampering you! You spend 365 taking care of the needs of everyone else. You spend the entire year worrying about and catering to the needs and wants of your children.
You don’t have to look at not getting time with them on Mother’s Day as a negative thing. It can be an awesome gift of letting mom take care of mom. You can spend the day at the spa or sleep in and take a bubble bath and create a spa at home.
Shop online and take a nap without anyone asking for a snack. You can spend the day surrounded by the scent of your new apple cinnamon candle instead of the smell of a house full of your kids and their friend’s latest farting contest.
You can make fantastic memories that will last your children a lifetime with simple ways of making the day special. A family cupcake recipe can not only be a delicious treat but a fun activity to spend the afternoon doing together. You could create cards for your mom or another significant woman in their lives.
You could have a movie festival where you build a fort in the living room, make apple caramel and popcorn balls and watch all your favorite movies from your childhood.
Better yet, watch home videos of years gone by and enjoy the memories you’ve already created while you laugh and create some more. You could use Mother’s Day as a great time to get pictures of you and the kids, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Give the kids the phone or camera and let them shoot a video or take a photo journal of this year’s Mother’s Day.
You’ll not only have fun making the movie or finding the perfect pictures to take but you’ll have media to enjoy in the years to come and be able to witness how much all of you have changed over the years.
Not only as you watch each year’s memories but also as you observe your children’s change in how they capture the day. It could be a tradition that you look forward to and cherish and for your grandchildren in generations to come to cherish as well.
How you let your children celebrate holidays and special occasions isn’t just about the now, it’s about the beloved activities they’ll carry on as family traditions, it is the joy and cherished memories that will become the story of their lives.
It won’t matter to them whether they celebrated Mother’s Day on the actual date that year. They won’t remember the calendar or the hour they saw you, they’ll hold on to the fun and love you shared in the time you did spend together.
If you need help making your parenting plan work for your kids then 2houses may be the solution you need.
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