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The Effect of Divorce on Mother’s Day

Posted By Jolyn Rudelson On 05.06.2011 @ 4:44 PM In Children of Divorce,General,Motherhood | Comments Disabled

I don’t think divorce was on the mind of  Congress when they created Mother’s Day almost 100 years ago.  First the House of representatives adopted a resolution asking the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation to remember American mothers.   Finally a joint resolution was passed to create an official holiday on the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.   On May 8,1914 President Woodrow Wilson made it official calling it “a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

One wonders, since WWI started only two months later, whether the whispers of war had reached to our shores and those who had voted were aware of the sacrifices that these mothers would have to make in the years ahead. Sacrifices they would be called on to make not only in the 20th Century but now in the 21st Century as well.

The timing of Mother’s Day can be traced back to spring time celebrations which honored, first mothers of Greek gods and later Mother Church.  Florists everywhere were delighted that they had another perfect flower holiday, and this time in spring when flowers were plentiful.   I am sure that no thought was given in 1914 to the fact that it was also planned perfectly to coincide with the last month of the school year.  In the 21st Century it would mean that custodial mothers would still have their children of divorce at home with them before they left for summers at daddy’s house.

But custodial mothers don’t have everything going their way on this holiday either.  Unless they are remarried or their children are teenagers, that Mother’s Day breakfast will not be quite gourmet.  No one will be there to arrange the gift for mom and unless school planned a craft project there won’t be a card either.

For you custodial grandmothers out there, here is a suggestion from my book IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU: A Grandparent’s Guide to Surviving Divorce in the Family:”

“You can…instill a little thoughtfulness by helping your grandchildren make drawings or cards for their Mother for those special occasions, since the other parent is no longer there to remind them.”

Also you can do the same for a non-custodial mother who doesn’t have custody of her child(ren).  And please don’t forget those wonderful mothers and wives of service men overseas who need your extra support on these special days too.

Now let’s look at how divorce impacts the non-custodial grandmothers.  There rarely will be cards, poems, calls or Skype visits.  Hardest of all there will be none of those special grandmother-grandchildren hugs and definitely no dinner out with their precious grandchildren to capture in those photos that records the passing years

Custodial Moms this might be a wonderful time for you to demonstrate your generosity of heart and help your children remember not only your mom but also their other grandmother who they won’t be seeing on Mother’s Day.   Work with them to make a card, help them on the computer keyboard to send an E-mail or place a call to their dad’s mom. It will be a lovely gesture that a grandmother will forever remember.



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