Mother’s Day: Ideas for Married and Divorced Families

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Mother’s Day: Ideas for Married and Divorced Families

May 4, 2015, ACES

General Tips

Step One

Mothers Day, Mom and ChildPlan Early. The earlier you and your ex can agree on what she would like to do on Mother’s Day the easier the day will be. Be specific about who is doing what and when. Clear, specific plans help everyone remain more calm and enjoy the day. Check websites for ideas.

Step Two

Communicate with your child. Once you and you ex agree on plans for the day decide how you will communicate this with your child with autism as well as with other children you have together. Again, have clear and specific plans.

Step Three

Stay flexible. You know all too well that even the best plans have to be altered, sometimes at he last minute. Have backup plans; make changes fun; keep a good attitude.

For Divorced Dads

What role should divorced fathers of children on the autism spectrum play in preparing your child for Mother’s Day? One of the most important things any father can do is to teach his children to love, honor and respect their mother. Though you may no longer be married, your ex-wife is still the mother of your special needs child. Today is her day and that’s okay. Remember, Father’s Day is right around the corner and it will be your turn for a special day with your child.

Here are a few tips for specifically for divorced fathers in making the most of Mother’s Day.

Your Child’s Mother

Mothers Day, Mom and ChildBe flexible. It might be hard to do depending on your circumstances, but ask your ex what her preference is for Mother’s Day. Make an honest effort to accommodate her requests. Maybe she would like the child for the whole day and night, or perhaps she favors time alone or with friends. Be considerate of what she wants. Avoid at all costs putting the child in the middle of any negotiations with your ex. Your child benefits when parents treat one another with respect.

Your Child

As with any other day, put the needs of your child with autism first. Help your child demonstrate the love he has for his mother because he may have difficulty in doing that by himself. Set up a structured activity and make Mom a homemade gift and card. Check out Pinterest, or do a Google search for some DIY ideas. The main idea is to use this as an opportunity to spend time on cultivating a genuine connection with your child while also fostering the connection he has with his mother.


Take some time for yourself today. Thinking about the celebration your child is having with his mother when you are no longer living together as a family can be difficult. You may have memories of happier times when you were all together as a family on Mother’s Day. Go for a run, watch a game with a buddy, or head to a coffee shop and catch up on some reading. Whatever you do, spend energy appreciating what you have (an exceptional child!) not what you don’t have. Be sure to reach out to your own mother if you can.

Helping your child get ready for Mother’s Day is going to help him feel good about himself. Furthermore, a little effort towards your ex on her special day not only benefits your child but can also contribute to a more harmonious co-parenting relationship.