Father’s Day may not fall during the time you are with your children. Consider doing a Let’s Make a Deal with your co-parent and letting her have them for an extra day in order to be with them on your holiday to help make the most of Father’s Day Post-Divorce. Suggest that every year she gets them on Mother’s Day, and you on Father’s Day. Be creative in negotiating a compromise so that you may spend the day with your youngsters. If this is not going to happen, then here are seven suggestions on how to get through the holiday when alone.
Alone on Father’s Day Post-Divorce?
1. Borrow a Kid for the Day
Perhaps a family member, neighbor, or co-worker is a single parent and would be happy to loan out her offspring. Do something extra fun, such as going to the zoo, amusement park, or street festival. Run around and play football, take a bike ride, or participate in other sports. Do activities that you both would find entertaining.
2. Spend the Day with Your Own Father
That is a gift in itself. Ask about his younger years and reconnect with each other. Do an activity that you both enjoyed when you were a lad. Fishing is what a few guys told me that they like to do with their Dads.
3. Enjoy a Film
If cinemas are open in your area, consider going to the movies; if not, set up a “Watch Together” and enjoy watching a video virtually with one or more friends. I have an empty nest and occasionally go alone or with a divorced pal to see a movie. Select a film rated “R” or “NC-17” or one that you wouldn’t see with your children. I go to chick flicks and my male friends pick action ones that are too violent for their kids.
4. Get out of Town
Go camping or hiking, or stay in a cabin in the mountains. There are various tour companies that have active trips such as Outward Bound and The Sierra Club. You can choose white-water rafting, mountain climbing, or biking in remote areas, for example. I have attended travel talks given by guys who motorcycled through Asia, trekked the Inca Trail in Peru, or had different adventures. Others have volunteered with groups such as Earth Watch and participated in programs helping wildlife or the environment. Visiting an old college friend works too.
5. Do Something Special for Yourself
Have you been putting off indulging in a sports massage? Gyms often offer these spa services on weekends and this is a relaxing treat. Think of about what would nurture you or give you pleasure on your special day. It may be watching a boxed set of DVDs or sports with yummy food. Invite other single or divorced guys over to share your feast in front of the television. Alternatively, plan a get-together for buddies that are free on Father’s Day post-divorce.
6. Postpone Father’s Day – or Have it Early
Father’s Day does not have to be celebrated on the actual calendar date, but rather whenever you are with your children. I was born on Mother’s Day and it sometimes falls on my birthday. When this happens, I pick another Sunday to commemorate it, and we only celebrate my birthday. Father’s Day does not even have to be celebrated on a Sunday if a weekday works better.
The important thing is to keep busy. Sitting around the house with nothing on the agenda can lead to sadness on Father’s Day post-divorce. Have some distractions, even if that’s just reading an exciting new novel. Various studies indicate the health benefits of doing physical activities outdoors, including lessening depression. Keeping active can help dispel gloomy thoughts. Run an extra mile, hit golf balls, go to a batting cage. Whatever you decide to do, remember to appreciate what a great father you are.