My father passed away when I was 8 years old, close to Christmas. I miss him. My father was a wonderful father and I am grateful that I had him in my life. When I was a child, fathers day was hurtful. It was a reminder that I didn’t have something other people had.
Today, I look at Father’s Day as a day to acknowledge the incredible parenting I have received. I have many fathers, or people who have been parents. Mother’s Day and Father’s day aren’t reserved for YOUR gender normative parent ideals.
Why am I writing this? I saw two tweets today, and it felt wrong to not at least acknowledge that they are out there in the world, and how HURTFUL these comments are, not just to the women they are targeted at, but to the proud children of single parents. One tweet read: “Instead of wishing happy father’s day to moms, and happy mom’s day to dads, can we just not? Everyone already has their own damn day.” and the second was a retweet: “If you’re a single mom, and you’ve decided Father’s Day is about you, you’re a self absorbed cunt. No wonder you’re single.”
I could break down the use of the word “cunt” by a man. I could break down the gender normative feelings that I see in these tweets. Or I could make it really simple.
Single moms don’t “decide” that fathers day is about them. It IS about them. It is about the parents who step into both roles. Fathers Day and Mothers Day are celebrations of the people who took on these parts in your lives, even when they weren’t biologically your parents. I have so many fathers. I have Greg, I have Thom, I have Jack, and yes – I have my MOM.
Being a single parent is not easy. It takes hard work, and from what I can tell, a hell of a lot of sacrifice to maintain a lifestyle for you and your child. Save your hate for someone who deserves it. Save your hate for someone who actually does something wrong.
All parents should be celebrated on these days. ALL OF THEM. I remember being bitter and angry about Father’s Day. I remember saying that I hated that it was a thing, and now I recognize that there’s more to it than just the word father. Maybe others should consider that too, and consider that the children of single parents will celebrate whatever holiday they choose, with pride and love.
I love the village that raised me.
Happy Father’s Day, Mom. Happy Father’s day, Dad. Happy Fathers Day, Village.