If you read my blog regularly, you know that I am often taking about the collatoral damage in divorce. Grandmothers can be collatoral damage for lots of reasons, but the two reasons I pick are: it’s difficult to get along with a former in-law, and if you are the grandmother who has gotten divorced you might have issues with your adult children (or children in-law).
In some families, grandmothers are included in Mother’s Day celebrations as a matter of course. I remember a couple Mother’s Days in my childhood where I thought it was grandmother’s day because there was so much deference paid to my grandmother. If this is your first Mother’s Day after divorce, you may feel like you don’t want to include a grandmother in your celebrations. It may feel too painful to have an in-law or it may create other emotional baggage for you related to the divorce. However, let me offer some advice…your children are watching you.
If you never included grandmothers before, don’t feel that you need to change the tradition, unless my writing inspires you to consider the idea. However, if you have included grandmothers previously and you stop at the divorce, what message will this send your children? Remember, children are always watching what you do. What advice would you provide your child about this, if your child was the mother?
Tips for Including Grandma in Post-Divorce Mother’s Day Celebrations
Here are a few tips for including grandmother in Mother’s Day after divorce, if you feel so moved. Again, these issues are up for debate, but you might find it is a nice tradition. I know in my first marriage it was easier to include my mother-in-law than to deal with the drama of not.
Set some boundaries for grandma.
Make sure she knows you are not going to be talking about your divorce from her child, she’s not to talk to your children about said divorce, etc. This is a day to celebrate motherhood and that’s all.
Encourage grandma to participate in something related to the day.
This way you don’t feel like it is extra work for you. I would suggest going to brunch because then no one has to cook, but you can include cooking if you want. Maybe grandma can get brunch for you and the kids, and you can pay for her brunch. Maybe she’ll take you all out to brunch, which is the best thing.
Go out in public.
This is always a sound practice, it prevents conflict from escalating in many circumstances, and if your ex accompanies grandma, it will help you keep perspective.
Remember, no one is perfect, and you’re divorcing your spouse, not necessarily the other family members. The grandparents of our children remain their grandparents even after the divorce, and this can create a lot of difficulty, but if you carry yourself with grace, poise, and dignity, you will be able to hold your head high and survive anything that comes up.