Popular culture boasts a two-parent family having a turkey dinner complete with the family pet in the picture. But many American children today have to forgo their expectations and imagination of a Thanksgiving dinner with their parents and their family pet. It is not just the kids who face the challenges having an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday, but a single parent running a household is in rough waters too at this time of the year. These challenges however can be dealt with once you have planned the occasion strategically in order to give your kids a joyous Thanksgiving Day.
Each day is a challenge for a single mom family. It starts with keeping the bills paid, food in the kids’ bellies and ends with meeting deadlines at work and running the whole household single-handedly. All these challenges increase by double when Thanksgiving is around the corner. Apart from limited finances and other challenges, one of the biggest problems single moms face is to make this holiday enjoyable for the kids so that they do not miss the other parent. For many single moms a non-traditional thanksgiving is an easy way out though many of the challenges they face can be overcome with some planning.
The missing parent problem
Popular culture has time and again featured Thanksgiving as a nuclear family tradition – both the parents having a turkey dinner with their kids. This image has cemented itself so deeply in many American children’s minds that they now expect Thanksgiving to be a family tradition, and rightly so even though the changing times have forced a review of this tradition. For kids who belong to single parent families, the expectation to celebrate Thanksgiving with the love and security of both the parents might be hard to attain.
It might be difficult for single moms to give the warmth and security that the father figure brings along but they can make the Thanksgiving Day a happier occasion. Redefine what Thanksgiving means for your children. Remind them of the traditions related to this occasion. Every household has its own set of rituals that form the core of this joyous occasion. Decide with your kids what they will enjoy doing the most. For instance, the kids may decide to dress up as pilgrims as your thanksgiving family traditions. To make it even more interesting, get involved in their favorite activities. Carry out an act so that your kids can change the image of Thanksgiving in their minds that it is not just a turkey dinner for the family but a combination of traditions, rituals, family and merriment. It’s difficult to fill the gap a missing parent creates but it’s crucial for kids to enjoy such traditional occasions.
The money matters
Thanksgiving Day might seem an oxymoron for single moms. Unless they manage to work two jobs, single moms have only one source of income. Life for single parent families are often lived on paycheck-to-paycheck basis. This means that a traditional occasion is likely to throw the expenses of a single parent family in a tailspin.
Thanksgiving for a single mom is not just making turkey and mashed potatoes. She has to create a festive environment for her kids to enjoy their Thanksgiving supper in so that they don’t miss the love, warmth and security that they used to feel on Thanksgiving in the previous years with both their parents around.
To avoid this financial tailspin, plan well ahead of the start of the holiday season. Save up on cash all the year so that you have something to spend when the time comes.
Challenges at work
Thanksgiving holiday is a good opportunity for a single mom to de-stress. Seeking recluse from the humdrum of work, single moms may want to spend the break enjoying bed tea and a late breakfast. When the work routine breaks for a single mom, chances are she wouldn’t want to spend it in the kitchen baking turkey and peeling potatoes.
Moreover, pre-Thanksgiving preparations may require single moms to compromise on the time and energy they give to their work. It might become somewhat of a challenge for single moms to manage pressures at work as well as Thanksgiving preparations.