Happy Father’s Day to All the Single Moms???

“Happy Father’s Day to all of the single moms who play both roles” “Happy Father’s Day to the moms who wear both hats” are two things that we hear and see each year on Father’s Day.
And, while I understand the idea of showing compassion for those that raise children on their own, this act of “compassion” is of no purpose because it does not provide a solution to the underlying problem, yes – problem, the increasing number of children being raised without their father or other positive male role models in their lives.
I get it, it’s hard raising a child on your own. But, the question that’s never asked is “why are you raising your child alone to the point that the person you choose to have your child recognize and say “happy Father’s Day” to is their mother? What have you done to change the notion that raising a child without a father or father figure is to be applauded?
Don’t get me wrong, I get it…I understand the struggle that single moms face daily trying to do it on their own. However, more importantly, I understand the struggle that CHILDREN of single parent homes face (both openly and silently) everyday, especially on days like “fathers day” and for this reason, celebrating single mothers on Father’s Day is problematic.
Let’s not forget that children in single parent homes are more likely to drop out of school, experience teenage pregnancy, and need therapy.
So, Rather than celebrating single moms on Father’s Day, we should be taking the steps to resolve the single parent epidemic and figure out how to ensure that our children have their fathers in their lives, and if that’s not possible, we should ensure that they have an alternative father figure in their life who they too can celebrate on Father’s Day.
I know, I know…you raised your kids all on your own (or know someone who is) and they turned out “okay” or “just fine.” And while that may be true, the standard that we are striving for when it comes to raising our children should be far above “okay” or “just fine.” The truth of the matter is, while a woman can and often does do great job raising their child on their own, this is not an ideal situation for most, especially not children.  No little girl wants to grow up as a “daddy less daughter” and no son wants to grow up feeling like he has to use the streets or google to learn about manhood.
You know the saying…”it takes a village to raise a child” – villages consist of both women AND men…and quite frankly there are some lessons that only a man can teach a child, just as there are some things that only women can teach.
I saw a post on facebook on Father’s Day from one friend to her best-friend saying “thank you for sharing your dad with me all these years” and also thanking the friend’s dad for being there for her since her dad was absent. This really made me smile, because although that dad has no obligation to step up and be there for this young woman, he saw a need and fulfilled that need, and she didn’t have to see herself as a “daddy-less daughter.”
If you are a male and know a child who is fatherless or whose father is absent, what have YOU done to step up and join that child’s village?
If your child’s father is alive, what are you going to do to facilitate your child’s relationship with him. What have you tried to accomplish this? How many times have you tried? I encouraged one of my clients to reach out to her child’s father who has been a deadbeat for the last 3 years, and to her surprise, when she did, he admitted to WANTING to reach out and establish a relationship with their child, but was so ashamed, afraid, and assumed she was Unforgiving, so he didn’t. They now have a day scheduled to reunify him and the child.
If your child’s father is unwilling or unable to be involved in his child’s life, who have you surrounded your child’s with that can step in and be a positive father like figure for your child? (Your spouse? Close friend? Family members? Coaches? Etc.) and rather than telling YOU “Happy Father’s Day,” why isn’t the focus on these men who are stepping up and being a positive model for your child.
Your child’s father may be a no good deadbeat. However, choosing to highlight that on a day of positive celebration of the men who are the exact opposite no only overshadows the point of the holiday, but it shines a bright light of reality of your fatherless child, who deep down inside likely feels abandoned, unloved, unwanted, or worse, all because rather than ensuring they have positive men in their lives, Nd emphasizing them, YOU selfishly focus on yourself and the man they wish was there, but sadly is not.
I go into much more detail on how to deal with “deadbeats” and how to get out of the “deadbeat zone” in my book series, The Business of Co-Parenting for Single Moms and Dads. If you are struggling with establishing or maintaining a positive relationship with your child’s other parent, make sure you grab a copy.
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