Happy Father’s Day, Mom…

… If you are tempted to send me something like, please don’t.

The sentiment is appreciated but I’m not a father and I can never do a father’s work. You hear this all time, mother’s being mom and dad. No, they’re just mothers working hard to raise their kids the best they can in the absence of an immediate father figure. They don’t replace fathers or do their work. Father’s day is father’s day, not single or divorced mother’s day.

I wrote a little about this in the past. It’s just not physically possible to be both parents at the same time. It’s also confusing and damaging to your kids to pretend so.

Another temptation single mothers have is to dismiss the importance of fathers all together. They feel it will lessen the sting of rejection if they tell their child, “It’s ok Daddy’s not around. We don’t need him.”

Now think about that. If you have a son you are raising him to believe that being a father is not an important vocation. Will this son grow up to value the role of father in his own marriage? Will this son, should fatherhood be thrust upon him through unplanned circumstances, be compelled to step up and assume a role he’s been told all his life is unimportant? No. You can blame the perpetual cycle of fatherless children on men, or you can examine the mother’s negative attitude toward men that has been ingrained into her children.

And if you have a daughter what respect for men are you instilling in her if she’s repeatedly told her daddy’s not important. The last thing this world needs is more man hating feminists.

I implore you, single mothers, please don’t be tempted to ignore this day or use it to nurse old bitter hurts. Never tell a child without a father that it doesn’t matter, it’s ok, or that you are better off. It does matter to your child and when you say these appeasing things, even with best intentions, all your child hears is that their feelings of rejection are unimportant and not valid.

So what to do instead? Honor other fathers in your life. Grandfathers, uncles, priests, and most importantly emphasize God the Father – the One that never leaves or abandons. Stress to your children, especially your sons, how important fatherhood is and ask them to pray for theirs whether they are around or not.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • zai

    This really hit home for me. I was essentially without a father and knew my mother was not the same as my father. I knew that that was missing and I could not get it from my mother. Thankfully, I had a grandfather and a former uncle (from marriage) who were fatherly to me. The only problem was we don’t live that close to family. So, my lessons were few and far in between. I got a few good lessons from my father as well, but those were even fewer as I learned mostly from a negative example.

    It baffles me how we have went from lamenting the loss of fathers (particularly in my community, the black community) to saying any configuration of parents is just as good. Despite what I have been through, I am thankful I at least had a father around. There were good things about it (I learned toughness in the masculine sense (I got toughness in the more feminine sense from my mother)). Anyway, we seem fixated on the number of parents…if there are 2 people who love them everything is okay. But, that isn’t the reality. Being raised by your grandparents or whatever combination you may end up with is not the same. Thanks for writing this.

  • LisaTwaronite

    You know……..I have to disagree with this part of the post you linked:

    “If you’ve ever noticed, in this dynamic you will have one partner assuming the feminine role of nurturer and the other will have the masculine role of disciplinary. This is the natural order of things and why same sex couples subconsciously assume these roles. We are wired this way. It is the way it is. You can’t force it or change it.
    So mother’s, you will never be fathers and it is unnatural and fruitless to pretend you can be one or replace one.”

    Biologically, men will never give birth, or lactate. But I believe everything else about human nature is pretty gender neutral, when it comes down to individuals. I could surely discipline my kids as well as any man — and lots of men are much more nurturing than I happen to be.

    I’m about to put my beliefs into practice: My partner is about to be transferred overseas, and I have decided not to go with him, and to stay put and keep the kids with me, because I truly believe this will be best for everyone. So while I didn’t choose this particular situation, I am choosing single motherhood.