Father’s Day is a wonderful way to celebrate the important relationship between your child and their dad.
Father’s Day is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday in September each year. On this day it’s a lovely time to step back and reflect and mark the role father’s play in the lives of their children.
It can be a bit of a challenge sometimes to work out how to best mark the day, especially if your little one is too small to really understand what is going on!
Realistically the responsibility of celebrating Father’s Day is going to fall to you in the first few years of your little one’s life. Planning ahead for Father’s day can go a long way to making it a memorable one for the man in your life and the apple of your little one’s eye.
The key influence on how you celebrate the day is how old your child or children are. The day is meant to be special for their father, but you also need to ensure that your child’s routines are not disrupted too much. Coping with a toddler meltdown of epic proportions can make Father’s Day memorable, but probably not for the right reasons!
Bub has yet to make an appearance but you’d still like to mark the day in a special way. The lovely thing about this is that you can pick and choose where and when you might like to go on an outing together without having to consider the needs of your little one just yet.
This is a great time to do something he enjoys, for instance, see a movie he has mentioned previously or go out for a meal at his favourite restaurant.
There are lots of cute and creative ideas you can get, including cufflinks that have your ultrasound pictures of bub printed on them. Other suggestions are matching jerseys for his favourite team, one his size and one for a baby. It’s a lovely way to remind him on the day of the activities they will be able to do together in the future.
Keep any planned outings for the day close to home so that the day is a positive one for everyone involved. A practical idea is to schedule a catch up with the other fathers in your life and celebrate together.
Dad’s name collage: this is a beautiful colourful activity you can do with your little one that doesn’t take too much time and is visually very appealing.
Plan any activities round you little one’s nap-time to avoid anyone getting over-tired. Activities that might be enjoyed on the day by the family are a picnic at the local lake or a bbq. Make sure to plan what you’ll need for the outing in advance and have it all packed and organised the night before the big day out.
Cards: Making a card to mark the day is a great place to start. Templates like this one are easily downloadable and can be filled in and decorated by your child.
Father’s Day photo frame: together you can make a photo frame and pop in a picture of your little one.
For some families Father’s Day can be a challenging affair. This could be because your partner is often away for work and therefore isn’t able to celebrate the day with you as a family. Alternatively if you and the father of your child are no longer together, Father’s day can be painful for a variety of reasons.
When this is the case, the physical or emotional reasons that you can’t celebrate Father’s day can be difficult for you to process. If your little one is too small to understand what is going on this can make it easier. Remember to take some time for yourself. For your partner who works away you can always send a card, or Skype with them on Father’s Day to acknowledge the day itself. You can set aside time when they are home from site to celebrate Father’s Day as a family then.
If you are separated from your partner for other reasons and if it is appropriate for you, try to ensure your child has some contact with their dad on the day.
If your child has limited contact with their father it may be a good idea for them to spend some time on the day, with a male role model in their life like a grandfather or cousin. If however, you do not have access to your child on this day you should ensure that you have plans of your own. This may help with some of the painful, emotional aspects the day may create for you.
The key to making Father’s day special is thinking about meaningful ways to celebrate it that are suitable for him. When it comes to gifts you might also want to get him a gift from you, as well as the gift that comes from bub. If he enjoys cooking keep an eye out for a cookbook he might enjoy. Alternatively, if he is interested in a particular sport then get him something that might be useful for it.
Usually though, it is the gifts that you and your child hand-make for him for Father’s Day that will be appreciated the most.
In addition, another suggestion for making Father’s day special for him is by making the time to cook his favourite dinner. It is important not to get too overtired or stressed when organising these things, particularly if his ideal meal is a complicated one. So shop for the ingredients in the week beforehand, or alternatively check if a local restaurant can make it instead!
A little forward planning and thought can go a long way to making it a special occasion for the whole family. These suggestions will help in making the first Sunday in September, Father’s Day a happy one for everyone involved.