Father’s Day is a wonderful day to celebrate the men in our lives who deserve applause and honor. For a family without a father, however, it can be very painful and is a yearly reminder of the loss already experienced by them. Many single mothers have cringed as their children come home in tears after being asked to make a craft for their father, or spent their morning in Sunday school class watching other children make cards for their fathers.
Instead of Father’s Day being a day that makes you and your children feel alone or unloved, there are ways that you can celebrate this day and help your children feel positive about themselves.
Celebrate Another Male Role Model
Hopefully your children have a strong male role model who has made a difference in their life. On this day, use it as an opportunity to celebrate that strong male, or those strong males. Whether it is a grandpa, an uncle, or a close family friend, let your children call them and wish them an honorary Happy Father’s Day. If they make a card or craft in school, let them make it for this individual.
Celebrate Your Unique Family
Find ways to celebrate your family unit. There may not be a father involved, but your family is still very much a complete family, and nothing can take that away. Go on a small road trip together, or go out for an ice cream on Father’s Day to remind yourselves that you deserve a celebration too.
Skip the Painful Reminders
If it is bringing your children a lot of pain to have to celebrate a person they don’t know or have access to, plan in advance. Avoid the card aisles in stores for the month preceding Father’s Day. Check with their teacher in advance and see if your children can opt out of the Father’s Day craft, or take a break from church that day and do a special activity together instead.
Don’t Minimize Your Children’s Pain
Father’s Day is understandably painful for your children. As much as you can help ease the pain, you cannot ignore it or take it away altogether. Be a soft cushion for your children to land on, and be there to listen when they need to vent or cry to you. This will be a great gift that you can give to them.
Don’t Minimize Your Own Pain
Father’s Day can be just as painful for a single mom as it is for her children. Give yourself a break. Be as positive as you can for the sake of your children, but don’t feel as though you have to be all smiles and sunshine. Spend time with your children, but take a little time alone if at all possible in order to give yourself the opportunity to work through your own tears and grief.
Being a single mom on Father’s Day is not easy. There are many ways you can ease the pain for yourself and your children, though, with a little creativity and care. Do your best to work through this day and you will feel empowered as the beautiful and unique family that you are.