Handling Father’s Day if you have limited time with your kids

If you’re a divorced dad — particularly one who doesn’t have primary custody of your kids — Father’s Day may come with all sorts of mixed feelings and perhaps pressure.

If you’re not able to see your kids that weekend, either because of distance or because the holiday doesn’t fall during your scheduled custody or visitation time, you can still Skype with them. Schedule enough time to have a nice long video chat. You may even send them each an email or letter just sharing your feelings and hopes for them and what this day means for you as their dad.

Maybe you’re able to spend just part of the day with them because your co-parent has other plans for them (such as a visit with your former father-in-law). Make the most of the time you do have. Plan something that you can finish in the allotted time. Maybe you can take them to brunch or have a backyard barbeque. Take them to a movie or a ball game.

If you’re going to be alone for all or part of the day, find something to do that will keep your mind off how sad and/or angry you may be. Make plans with friends who don’t have kids or won’t be with them. Plan a hike or an afternoon at the gym. Binge watch that TV show everyone’s been telling you about. If your dad is still around, spend some time with him. There’s nothing like a day of volunteering to take your mind off your own troubles.

If you haven’t included Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) custody in your parenting plan and your co-parent isn’t amenable to making an exception in the custody schedule so you and your kids can spend the day together, you may want to seek a modification before next year. That way, no matter how you and your ex may be feeling about one another, you know you’ll have those days with your kids.

Source: LiveAbout, “Father’s Day for Divorced Dads,” Wayne Parker, accessed May 29, 2018

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