Over the past week or so I have seen people go back and forth about whether or not single mothers should be wished Happy Father’s Day.
As a person, it is not my responsibility to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. However, I do caution everyone to use “good form” when deciding to hijack a holiday intended for fathers—even the good ones often go unappreciated.
Why Not Celebrate Parents on Grandparent’s Day
We blame a lot of issues on the lack of real grandmothers nowadays. I think incapable grandmothers are ridiculed almost as much as, if not more than, absent fathers. Can moms and dads whose parents are not grandparent material be celebrated on Grandparent’s Day, too?
It is obscene to even consider it, right?
Dispelling the “She was my mother and my father” argument
Children (even grown ones) have a hard enough time trying to come to grips with the absence of a parent without the added confusion of pacifying themselves with untruths. I get it. Every child wants both parents in his or her life. There is nothing like feeling abandoned or unwanted. No matter how much you tell yourself that you didn’t need your father or that you still don’t need him will never make it true.
If you use your mother as both mother and father, you are setting yourself up for psychological failure by creating a habit of using people in places they are not equipped for. This is one of the reasons why fatherless daughters end up in relationships with the wrong kind of man and suffer from depression and even suicidal thoughts. No matter how much you deny the pain of an absent father, psychologically you find yourself trying to satiate the craving of that relationship in all of the wrong places. A former client Kristin Mitchell covers this in her book He Wasn’t My Daddy: My Road to Restoration and Redemption.
Trying to replace your father with your mother build seeds of lies in you while putting even more unfair responsibility on your mother.
Having grown up, for the most part, with my mother and father—as well as two step parents—in my life I can tell you from experience that both parents are needed. There is nothing like the nurturing a mother can give nor the in your face tough love a father can give. I’ve seen it as I parent my own children.
A single mother who has children with a man who turns out to be an absent father should not be burdened with something else that isn’t her responsibility. She already has to be authority of everything from finances to homework to team mom to at home coach, don’t force her into more responsibilities. Give her Mother’s Day. Make it one of the best days of the year for her. Pour into her for everything she did for you as your mom.
If you must celebrate someone for Father’s Day, celebrate a single dad you know. Celebrate a man who is the type of man you needed in your life as a child. Better yet, send a card to an uncle, cousin, teacher coach or mentor who stepped in to meet a need that your mother could not.
Saying your mother couldn’t meet the needs left by an absent father is not indicative of failure. She was just being such a wonderful mother and didn’t have the time to be a dad.
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