Your child custody agreement may address holidays like Thanksgiving, and special events like your child’s birthday. But what about other special celebration days during the year…like Mothers Day? As we get set to honor moms this Sunday, let’s take a look at how Mothers Day (and Fathers Day) can be worked into parenting time agreements.
Typically, when parents separate, one of the items that they negotiate is a holiday parenting schedule and with that, who gets the child for what holidays throughout the year. Some holidays are more important than other to the individual parent. For example, an observant Catholic may place more emphasis on Christmas or Easter rather than the 4th of July or Halloween. But, at least traditionally, Mothers’ Day is usually spent with mom and Fathers’ Day is usually spent with dad.
Of course, holiday time spent with children is a preference and a matter of scheduling. A mother who perhaps works on Sundays may not be able to spend that exact day with her children to celebrate Mothers’ Day. In that situation, parents can work together to come up with an alternate day to substitute for the missed holiday. Children’s schedules can sometimes get in the way, as well. Little league and soccer games can occur right in the middle of Fathers’ Day and dad can certainly opt to spend time with their son or daughter at the field.
A newer trend, as reported on scarymommy.com, is moms choosing to spend Mother’s Day without their children, leaving the parenting duties to their other parent, giving them a much needed and well-deserved break. According to that article, moms don’t want brunch or breakfast in bed:
“You know what we do want? Sleep. So much sleep. Uninterrupted sleep. And a nap. Maybe two naps. And no cooking. No dishes. No laundry. No breaking up fights. No refilling milk cups. No changing diapers. No getting up with the kids in the middle of the night. We are out.
And by out, I mean we are out to our favorite shop. Or nail salon. Or bar. Or curled up alone with a good book. Or all of those things. Because we don’t remember the last time we had an adult conversation that wasn’t interrupted with “Mom!”
Above all else, when it comes to holiday parenting time, whatever your schedules or the activities of the kids, it is always best to work out whatever is best for the entire family. No one wants a battle over pick-up or drop-off locations. No one in your family wants to have an argument over what time your child should be returned after dinner. Stop and think about what is in your child’s best interests. If they are having a great time with dad or with mom and would like to stay an extra hour to finish the movie, consider it. Dismissing these types of requests simply because you wish to adopt a “dig-in-your-heels” attitude toward your ex is never a good approach and a good way to find yourself back in court and in front of a judge.
If you and your spouse are having a hard time with a current schedule or cannot seem to work out a new parenting time plan going forward, consider sitting down with a trained mediator to go over all of your options, your rights and responsibilities. The mediator can sit with you both and offer way for the two of you to come up with a parenting time or custody plan that works for your entire family, now and going forward.
If you would like more information regarding holiday parenting time or need assistance with a current custody plan, please contact us to schedule your free and confidential consultation with one of our qualified family attorneys who can assist you.