Mother’s Day

What’s the deal with Mother’s Day? 

Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May each year. 

Mother’s Day is a special day to celebrate the Mother’s or the significant female parental figures in our lives. It’s an occasion to say, “thank you,” and to show appreciation to “mom” for her important role. Flowers, crafts, cards and special meals are examples of how some show gratitude.

As a young child, Mother’s Day is actually about the child. Mother’s Day is an opportunity for the child to learn how to recognize and how describe the positive traits in their mother. It’s a chance to learn how to show gratitude.

Who’s responsible for the Mother’s Day gift? 

It’s a social norm for the father to take initiative and to help their child celebrate their mother on Mother’s Day. Some meet this obligation with relatively little effort because it’s simply something that they have to do for the child. Others do it for the mother. 

In high-conflict situations, doing nothing for Mother’s Day is normal. If the school or teachers do not take the initiative to have the students make a card or a prepare a craft, the child doesn’t have any help whatsoever in celebrating their mom on her special day. 

Sometimes the lack of effort for Mother’s Day is blamed on the amount of effort that was made for Father’s Day the year before. Sometimes the personal opinion is that she does not “deserve” the time, effort or money. The root of the issue is often linked to the negative feelings that have nothing to do with the child. The parent is only focused on their view of the mother instead of the child’s opinion. The child is the victim in these situations.

What if Mother’s Day lands during his weekend?

Sometimes Mother’s Day does not fall within the Mother’s time based on the regular parenting schedule. 

A parent with already limited time (ie, alternating weekends) might be reluctant to give up any of their allotted time. Some parents are commendable and find a way to make it work to allow the child to celebrate with the mother. In high-conflict situations, this usually does not happen. The child might not even be allowed to call, text or visit the mother on Mother’s Day without a court order. The child is not put first in these situations.

A court order can include a special visit for Mother’s Day but the order probably can’t direct much more than that for the occasion. It’s up to parents to use “Mother’s Day” as an opportunity and to set their feelings aside, and to remember that the holiday is actually a learning experience for the child. The gift to the mother is actually a gift to the child.

Edmonton Family Network has connections to legal professionals and community support services. Email us to learn more.

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