Father’s Day : How To Get Through It Without Your Children – 7 top tips by Wendi Schuller

Father’s Day may fall during the shared time period when the children are with their mother. Ideally, she would let you have the youngsters on your special day, but this is not always the case.

1. Try negotiating

Approach your almost ex-spouse with “You may have them every Mothering Sunday if I get them on Father’s Day.” Or do a trade, “You can have the kids an extra day, if I can be with them on Father’s Day.”  When putting together a co-parenting plan, think about this issue.

2. In an acrimonious divorce, just let it go

Not worth a battle, or having the kids caught in the middle when trying to get them on Father’s Day. During my divorce and beyond, we had zero communication between us. All co-parenting, etc. issues went through a mediator. I was on my own for Mothering Sunday in the midst of my divorce and planned enjoyable pursuits. I went to my favourite coffee shop with an exciting mystery novel. I got to read uninterrupted while devouring treats.  My sons voiced their concerns about me being alone. I had to reassure them that I would be okay and not to worry about me.

3. Find out what your mates are doing

A popular suggestion from guys was to have your mates over for a cook-out at your place. You may want to make it informal, “Pop in for a beer.” You could play a sport or watch a match on television with them.  Perhaps see if there are any other fathers without kids for that day. Have a rowdy time at a pub with your mates.

4. Consider a physical activity

Release pent up emotions through physical exorcise. Whacking a ball in tennis or squash can reduce anger.  Perhaps there is a hike you have been wanting to do with friends. Plan it for this day if the guys are available. Physical activity lowers stress hormones. It helps your mind stay focused on the sport, instead of dwelling on missing your kids. MeetUp.com has many types of get-togethers, including on holidays.

5. Be king for a day

This is fun to do the Sunday after Father’s Day if you have young children. Tell them that you are king for the day and make the day quite silly. If you have a Christmas cracker left over, pop it open and put on the paper crown while at home. You are in charge. Go out for lunch and command that only dessert can be ordered (have the healthy food later).  Go to a carnival or amusement park. The point is to laugh a lot and have fun in unexpected ways.  You dream up what to do the Sunday before, on Father’s Day.  This will be a day your offspring will remember fondly for years.

6. Be around other people

When no one is available on Father’s Day, do not sit home and mope. Get out and be around others. Go to the cinema and see an action film which is too intense for your children. There will be other solos in the audience, including mums whose kids are with their dads. This is a way to distract you from feeling alone.  Or volunteer, which helps you feel good when seeing your positive effect on others.  Cafés often have community tables which encourages individuals to interact with each other. I have been in some interesting discussions with strangers in coffee shops.

Acknowledge your emotions. Are you angry? Hurt? Disappointed?  Whatever you are feeling is valid. The important thing is to know what you are feeling, not to deny or get stuck in it. Dwelling in negativity is not going to help you move on, but keeping busy on that day will.

7. Be with your own father

You may live across the country or continent from your father. Consider getting out of town and spending the holiday with him.  Good time to reminisce about fun childhood adventures and share a few laughs. Whatever you decide to do, celebrate being a wonderful father to your children, whether it is on the official day or not.


Wendi Schuller is the author of The Global Guide To Divorce. She has a series of children’s books with the third, Jack Jack The Cat Loose In London released in October 2020. She is a dating coach who specializes in helping people date after divorce. www.globalguidetodivorce.com


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If you would like more details on this or want to discuss your family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact James, Frank, or Evelyn. Paradigm Family Law offers a free initial consultation with a top rated divorce lawyer and our fixed fee solutions cover financial proceedings from start to finish. You can call us on 01904 217225 or email us to [email protected].