After many years of being a single mother, I have been looking back on my thoughts about Father’s Day. If I am truthful, it has been a difficult day for me, and I can see it is also a difficult day for many others.
You see, my son was born on Father’s Day weekend. Each year, I re-focused my whole heart and mind on my son’s birthday, and avoided Father’s Day, because of the absence his dad has in our lives, and the far distance we live from my own dad. It just was easier to send a card, and place a nice phone call to my dad, and then just avoid Father’s Day as a whole; then party on with birthday fun and festivities.
But now, I am re-married. My husband invests in my son, and in our home, and I want to make Father’s Day an occasion for him. And, my dad, although still far away, is more important to me than a phone call and card can express, and I want him to know how much I love him.
So, I am changing, and I am growing, and have met many wonderful, active single fathers who give it up day in and day out for their children!
Maybe I am over complicating things, but between my volunteer work with Single Parent Advocate and the families we care about, and my own life, I have had to answer questions of all kinds, like: Who should we involve/honor? What do we do or say that is meaningful? When should we connect? Where is the best place to eat? How should we celebrate? What should we give? ….all these are questions being asked by many people. It is unexpectedly complicated. So, on this Father’s Day, I invite you to explore this with me.
Who should we honor? It is important to remember that there are MANY Single Dads among us “carrying the load alone” and face the same challenges and opportunities as single mothers do. We should honor them and their efforts! Cards, meals, time together, doing something with their children that celebrates this, even if it is simple is VERY much in order on Father’s Day, especially!
This question has been a loaded one, though for many single mothers. Many children grow up with no father in the home, so it is a question that is not easily answered by all. We honor Fathers, Step Fathers, Grand Fathers, Uncles, Brothers, Ministers, Caregivers, Coaches, Teachers and/or Managers. Even Single Moms acting as “both” parents have been brought to my attention. I think we should honor fathers of all kinds; however, I agree with the idea that Father’s Day is the time of year we honor our Male Role Models. If you ask yourself and/or your child(ren) who are the male role models in life that make them/you feel safe, special, smart, and hopeful, you will know who to honor in addition to the biological fathers and grandfathers, etc.
What do we do or say that is meaningful? I am going to speak for my own dad and my husband here – and tell you that quality focused time together with a good meal means the most. In the case of a male role model, a special note and/or thank you card alongside a nice phone call might be the best approach. I have even thought about framed photos, certificates/awards, and/or gift cards. One question I have asked myself is to take time to notice more of the little things that the men in our lives do, and acknowledge them, thank them, and bless them with recognition and something to remember that by.
When should we connect? Where is the best place to eat? How should we celebrate? What should we give? All of these questions are important, but if we start with the small stuff, we will never get to the significant. All of these types of things are the small stuff, really. Our dads just want to be loved, and need to be reminded of how important they are to us.
God, the Father, and Father’s Day? I am also going to say something along the spiritual lines here as we are reflecting on Father’s Day. In sharing our family’s story, I shared about my dad, my husband, my son, his dad, and now I will share something heavenly that has been a truth in our lives as well. My son and I would go to church and I would be reminded of a scripture in the Bible that tells us that God is a father to the fatherless, and a husband to widows. I have always found comfort in that promise. I have reminded my son of this, and told him that he has a Heavenly Father that is always by his side, by our sides. This is a truth for us that not only has been an incredible comfort, it has also been an incredible reality from practical perspectives. So many worries have been wilted by our answered (and some unanswered) prayers. So on Father’s Day, it is also very appropriate to pay tribute to God for His love and faithfulness too.
If your father is missing in your life, it is difficult to identify with these thoughts. It is also frankly very surprisingly emotional to think about Father’s Day. But I encourage you, to redirect any negative thoughts or emotions and do something positive by acknowledging the male role models in your life on this day. You could not only improve your own reality, you could really impact the world around you with positive and life giving change.
Huffington Post has a great article about Single Dads I recommend everyone read. You can CLICK HERE to see it – it is called “12 Things No One Ever Tells You About Being A Single Dad”.
To all of the single dad’s out there, and all the male role models for our kids who also mean so much – Happy Father’s Day!! We honor you!! Let’s make it a good one!
This year, we will be honoring Single Fathers in ways that they find meaningful. If you are searching, just ask one you know and they will tell you! The most important thing is that you have thought of them, recognized their efforts, and make the day one of love, warmth, and respectfulness.