I usually shy away from topics where I have to make a definitive stand on either side of an issue. I’m so open minded, I can usually see both sides on an argument. However, on this issue, this is not the case.
A few years ago I woke up Sunday morning to Happy Father’s Day texts. At first I was taken aback but once I realized why people were texting me Happy Father’s Day, I was ok with it. Kind of. But not really. Because I’m not married I guess I am considered a single mother. But I stopped considering myself a single parent because single means one. And one thing I am not doing is raising my kids on my own. I have a great support system in my family and friends so I don’t take too well to the term single mother. I also don’t take too well to being told Happy Father’s Day. Why do you ask? Isn’t the answer obvious? I AM NOT A FATHER!
I have my role in my children’s life and it is that of a mother. At no point have I ever aspired to fulfill the role of father in the lives of my kids. They have fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, and friends of the family that fulfill that role.
I find it highly offensive when people tell single mothers Happy Father’s Day. Do we tell single fathers Happy Mother’s Day? There are a lot of men that need to beef up their parenting skills but there are some really great fathers that do more than just pay child supprt. So to tell me, a woman, Happy Father’s Day is just plain wrong. Men already get such negativity when it comes to being father. Absent, deadbeat and financial fathers make it really hard for some of us to recognize there are some men that move heaven and earth to be there for their kids. Some women make it hard, but that’s another post for another day.
I think Father’s Day should be recognized for what it was intended for: to celebrate the men that are fathers to their kids AND with the same caliber that we celebrate women on Mother’s Day. If your children’s father isn’t active in their life, this isn’t the day to run to social media to broadcast how much you despise him. There are 364 other days for this. I know everything is situational and you may have legitimate reasons to dislike him. But Father’s day was established to celebrate and remember our fathers. Recognize your dad, uncle, neighbor…somebody. There are too many men that are fathers that need to be recognized, not just on Father’s Day, but everyday.
I recently told my oldest son’s father that I appreciate everything he does for our son. He told me I didn’t have to thank him because that’s what he’s supposed to do. I agreed with him, but we all like to know that we are appreciated. He told me Happy Mother’s Day and I will tell him Happy Father’s Day. As parents, we recognized that our role is to be there for our son, regardless of if our relationship worked out or not. Has this always been the case? No. But we both matured to the level where we recognized our son benefits when we can support him together. So telling me Happy Father’s Day is a slap in the face to the man that is loving, caring and building our son into a man.
To each her own: if you like to be recognized on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, who am I to knock it? BUT…don’t come to me on Father’s Day. I’ll politely tell you I am not a father, never have been, and never will be. And I’ll ask if you need the number of great father that deserves to be recognized.