Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Father's Day is for Dads... Can We Leave it That Way?

This weekend is Father’s Day. It’s for dad, daddy, pop-pop, papi, papa – fathers.  For many people, young and old, it’s a sad reminder of the dads who aren’t present in their life, for the myriad of reasons why, spanning from choice to illness to death to prison to deployment to even not knowing who dad is and many others.  And there’s a lot of moms out there trying to fill that space. But it’s not mom’s day – that was back in May, it was called Mother’s Day.

There seems to be a growing trend over the recent years to honor the single mom on Father’s Day. I think I’ve actually seen more ads for gifts and cards for mom than dads for this weekend. 

Single moms, no doubt, have quite a challenge in raising their children alone, for whatever reason they are alone. And this is where I note that some of my favorite people are or were single moms and I acknowledge all that they are doing for their children.  But they aren’t dads.  A dad is a male parental figure. Moms aren’t that. No matter if they are the one who brings home the bacon, changes the tire, cuts the grass, coaches basketball, as well as cooks dinner, plants the flowers, and sews dance costumes. (Yes, I know I am invoking strong gender roled tasks here.)  Regardless of all that, mom is the female parental figure. Give her the honor of a really hard working mom. Give mom extra flowers on Mother’s Day or even give her an extra day and let her celebrate Mother’s weekend.

Don’t let dads off the hook or reinforce the “my kid doesn’t need a dad” message by letting mom take the glory. Don’t make moms have to man-up by celebrating Father’s Day.  Don’t dismiss the memory of a father.  Don’t take away from the dads who are there and present in their kids life by making them share it with single moms.

To all the kids who are missing their dads this weekend and everyday, God bless you.

And to all the dads out there, hanging out with their kids this weekend - Happy Father’s Day.

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