To Single Mothers On Father's Day - Baby Chick
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To Single Mothers On Father’s Day

Father's Day can be tough when you're a single mom. Find out what other single mothers recommend doing on this tough day.

Updated April 24, 2024

by Nina Spears

The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Many families don’t have a dad in the picture. Maybe you and your partner are separating. Perhaps he has passed, or maybe he was never in the picture. Single mothers have a difficult time on Father’s Day. It can be confusing as to what you should do for the day. Do you celebrate? Do you not? What should you do if you’re a single mom? Several single moms who don’t have dads in their lives gave me some tips to share.

Don’t Ignore Father’s Day

I was told, “You might be able to get away with not celebrating Father’s Day when your baby is little. But the older they get, the more difficult it will be for your child.” I can see what she means and how that could impact a child. Not celebrating their dad can cause them to reflect on their identity in (possibly) a negative light. As mothers, this (of course) is the last thing we want our children to think. They are not at fault as to why their dad is not present or maybe is not supportive.

Recommendations for Single Mothers on Father’s Day

So what do you do if you’re not supposed to ignore Father’s Day? After speaking with a few women, it’s evident that every single mother approaches Father’s Day differently. However, they did have several common tips though and great advice. Here are a few common recommendations they had based on their situations.

1. Celebrate the Other Strong Men in Your Child’s Life

If your child’s father is absent by choice or was never in the picture, a tip I was given is that Father’s Day can be a day to recognize and celebrate the other influential men who positively impact your child’s life. I’m sure that you are (or will) prioritize having amazing male role models around your child. So whether that’s their grandpa, uncle, neighbor, teacher, etc., there are strong men around them whom they can thank on this holiday.

What can you do? Go on a picnic, go to the park, and do something fun with one (or a few) of their male role models.

One single mom (her child’s real dad was never in the picture) told me she has her son make cards for the great men in his life — even his real dad. She said, “I want my son to know that even though his real dad is not around, everyone around him loves him. I tell him we can still be thankful for his father because he helped create my son, which is the greatest gift of all.” Making a card for your child’s father can be therapeutic for your child since they will always love their father.

2. Think Ahead

Your child might not be in school yet, but one single mother said it’s a good idea to consider the activities your kid’s school will hold — especially on Father’s Day. For Mother’s Day, a school might host a Mother’s Day Tea where everyone celebrates mothers with their children. The same type of event might be planned for Father’s Day, like a “Donuts with Dad” Father’s Day event, so you will want to think about who should go with your child.

What can you do? Send a family member or a friend who is a constant supportive and loving man in your child’s life. Check that person’s schedule beforehand and make sure he can mark it on his calendar.

3. Talk About Their Dad

Whether their father has never been a part of their life or their father has passed, it’s always important for a single mother to acknowledge their child’s father on Father’s Day and have an open discussion. It’s only normal for your child to ask questions on the day about dad.

What can you do?

  • If their dad was never there: Acknowledge that your child has a father and use Father’s Day to talk about him honestly yet respectfully. Even if they have never had contact with their father or don’t know their father, it’s good to heal and make peace on a difficult holiday.
  • If their dad has passed: This holiday will be difficult for everyone, but try to make it a day of remembrance. Choose to celebrate the memory of their father and how great of a dad he was. You could make his favorite meal or go to his favorite restaurant and take turns sharing your favorite memories of their dad.

4. Keep It Positive

You must embrace the fact that your children love their father. Even if their father left the family or they never met him, they love their father. One single mother told me, “As difficult as it may be, it is an important day for you to allow them to celebrate their father without feeling guilt or fear that they might hurt your feelings. You have to let it go.” Whether sad, mad, angry, or depressed, try approaching this day positively for your children. Otherwise, your kids will pick up on your negativity, and it could cause them to create a negative association with their dad, Father’s Day, and potentially with other men in the future.

What can you do? Plan a day of exciting events your children enjoy and keep a positive and teaching spirit.

5. Brace Yourself, It Will Be An Emotional Day

Not only is Father’s Day a difficult day for single mothers, but you must remember that it is also difficult for children and a day that is overflowing with emotions.

What can you do? Acknowledge that this day will be challenging, and prepare to feel your emotions. It’s okay to feel your feelings, and teaching your children that is healthy. Communicate with your child (appropriately) and let them know that it’s okay to be emotional on this day. Several moms said it was helpful to keep themselves and their kids occupied throughout the day to distract them with the positive things they have and keep them from overthinking about the negative.

6. It’s Okay to Treat Yourself

You are doing the work of two! I say this all the time: single mothers are incredible. It’s perfectly okay to treat yourself and do something just for you. You deserve it! If your ex has or wants the kids for the day, look at it as an opportunity to take a breather for yourself and do something for you.

What can you do? Spend the day at the spa, get a massage, get a mani-pedi, buy something nice for yourself, go to the beach, relax by a pool, or hang out with your other single mom girlfriends. There’s nothing like drinking wine with your fellow single mom friends and celebrating each of you!

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Nina Spears The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Nina is The Baby Chick® & Editor-in-Chief of Baby Chick®. She received her baby planning certification in early 2011 and began attending births that same year. Since then, Nina has… Read more

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