I'm pretty far from a perfect dad, so I don't often dish out advice on how to be one, but there is one thing that I learned from my dad that I think will pay out in the long run.  Always remember that the person you see as your ex, your child just sees as Mom.  In other words, if you and your kid's mom have a less than amicable relationship (even downright nasty sometimes), do everything you can to keep those adult thoughts and arguments amongst the adults and leave the kids out of it.

I'm bringing this up now because Mother's Day is Sunday and somewhere out there is a separated couple who still have a lot of hostility towards each other.  It's hard to think about doing anything nice for someone who fires up the bad side of your emotions like no other human being on earth, but if you have a kid that is too young to handle Mother's Day on their own, you have to step in and help.  If you're raising a decent human being, they will remember how you treated their mother.

I know that what I've said isn't universally true.  Not every woman is fit to be a mother and there are some out there who don't have a good relationship with their child, but that isn't the norm.  If your ex is a good mom to your child and they have a loving relationship, suck it up and don't let your kid feel like they let their mom down on Mother's Day, her birthday, etc.  Remember, it's not for her, it's for the kid.

If you're a single dad and you're about to tell me something like "My ex is a cheating, lying, $#@! who deserves nothing!" I won't disagree with you, but I will say this....you're stuck with her.  Until that child is grown, you're probably going to have to make some decisions together, and if you can accept that and make the best of it, you'll save yourself some stress and be able to move on a little quicker.  I'll stop preaching now. Like I said, I'm not perfect.  This is one of the few things I've done right and I think my daughter and I have a better relationship because of it.