Who To Honor? By Whom? And How?

At the request of Drake and Josh, I purchased a gift for their mother over the weekend.  My reflection on the experience has prompted many questions and I’m wondering how others feel.  Please chime in regarding any of the following…

Bio Parents:

  • Do you expect to be honored for Mother’s Day? (or Father’s Day, as the case may be)
  • How do you feel about your co-parent’s significant other assisting your children in selecting/purchasing gifts?
  • Do you help your children select/purchase gifts for your co-parent on Mother/Father’s Day?
  • Do you communicate to your children the value of your co-parent’s partner on Mother/Father’s Day?
  • Do you communicate to your children the value of your own partner on Mother/Father’s Day?

Partners of Parents:

  • How do you feel about honoring the children’s other parent on these holidays?
  • Do you participate in gift selection/purchase for the other parent?  (why or why not?)
  • Do you expect/desire to be recognized as a parental figure in the lives of your partner’s children?
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9 comments on “Who To Honor? By Whom? And How?

  1. KT says:

    Do you expect to be honored for Mother’s Day? (or Father’s Day, as the case may be)
    – Yes, I do, but not necessarily with gifts. Just something to let me know I’m appreciated. This year my very little one didn’t want me to lift a finger so she told me to sit on the couch. I did. After a while I went looking for her and found her perched on a stool in front of the sink trying to do the dishes for me. I of course told her she could stop. It was way too hard for her. But that little thing melted my heart in ways I can’t explain. It was already the best mother’s day I’ve ever had because of that. In my married days I would have loved a card from my ex, or just a comment telling me I was loved and appreciated as the mother of his kids. He never did. Oh well. That’s over. I don’t need a fancy brunch. I don’t need presents. I don’t need anything, but to feel appreciated and this year I surely did by my children’s actions. They didn’t buy me anything but I made sure to tell them over and over that I had the best mother’s day ever.

    How do you feel about your co-parent’s significant other assisting your children in selecting/purchasing gifts?
    – if she wants to help purchasing something then that’s fine. I think it would show the kids that she is a mature adult and understands that I’m important to these kids and doesn’t want to do anything to get in the way of or discourage that.

    Do you help your children select/purchase gifts for your co-parent on Mother/Father’s Day?
    – If they ask, I do. This year they want some help making cards for father’s day, so we are sitting down the weekend before with some craft supplies to do so. It’s important for the children to be able have something for him and show him all that love. And it’s important that they see that I understand that and believe it and will help them.

    Do you communicate to your children the value of your co-parent’s partner on Mother/Father’s Day?
    – Not really. At this point that partner is not involved as a parental figure. I will struggle with how that role plays out as time moves forward. We’ll see and play it by ear
    Do you communicate to your children the value of your own partner on Mother/Father’s Day?

  2. * Do you expect to be honored for Mother’s Day? (or Father’s Day, as the case may be)
    I do not expect to, but it’s nice when it happens.

    * How do you feel about your co-parent’s significant other assisting your children in selecting/purchasing gifts?
    I don’t like it. I think if anyone is assisting them, it should be their father.

    * Do you help your children select/purchase gifts for your co-parent on Mother/Father’s Day?
    Absolutely. My children are young, so we usually do something they can make on their own, and I select and purchase gifts for them to give him that I know he’ll like.

    * Do you communicate to your children the value of your co-parent’s partner on Mother/Father’s Day?
    Yes. My ex ended up being a crap husband, but so far he’s a good dad. I think that the more I can help my children honor him and engage him, the longer he’ll stay that way.

    * Do you communicate to your children the value of your own partner on Mother/Father’s Day?
    Not relevant.

    • Thanks for commenting! I was interested to see your answer to question #2. When Drake and Josh asked me to help them obtain a gift for their mother, I was eager to support their wishes and show them that I respect her as their mom. But I wasn’t sure how she would feel if she knew the cash came from my pocket (they picked the gift, all I did was pay for it). I think perhaps they asked me because either a) I’m female or b) they are aware of the previous conflict between their parents and consider me a more neutral party.

      • That’s a perspective I hadn’t considered, so let me amend my answer. My preference would be that if an adult is necessary to help select and pay for a gift for me, that adult be my ex, their father, rather than his girlfriend. My aversion to her help, however, is more likely based upon the fact that this girlfriend is someone he started an affair with while we were married, and while I was pregnant–I’m not sure I’d feel the same animosity if she were a partner somewhere down the line. That said, even under my current circumstances, if my kids asked her for help, as Drake and Josh asked you, then I would want for her to graciously assist them, be supportive of them, and do her part to help them show their appreciation for me. Just as you did. Mother’s Day or not, it’s really all about the kids in any of these co-parenting/new partner scenarios. Or it should be.

        • Indeed, it’s really about the kids. It’s hard because that perspective forces us to behave in ways that would otherwise indicate our support for the crimes of the other adults in their lives.

  3. Very, very true. And sometimes that’s tough to swallow.

  4. Jenn says:

    In my situation there are four adults (mom, dad, stepmom and stepdad)who have significant roles parenting my daughter, and ideally we would all be honored by her. She is five so right now she needs help with that. I am thrilled to get anything from her, and I am thrilled for either her dad or her stepmom to take an interest and help her pick gifts. I do think it is important to help her with getting gifts for her dad, and also her stepmom and stepdad. I want her to understand how many people love her. Of course, the goal is for her to one day realize that on her own and show her appreciation in the way she chooses…

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