Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Telling Single Moms They Are Fathers Too Doesn't Help Our Daughters or the Absent Dad Crisis!

I am a mom who does all the parenting. I am not alone I am just like 86% of the divorced parents raising children with ASD.  Yes, my friends and others say “Happy Father’s Day, Mom!”  For years I thought wow it’s true, I’m both parents so this is my day too.  Then I thought maybe we should just have a parent’s day.  Why not have a day dedicated to celebrating anyone who parents and traditional roles be damned!  If you parent, you get recognized. I mean, isn't it the constant delivery of love, guidance and support we give our kids that’s being celebrated and not so much who gave it?  I used to think so, but not anymore.

This year, I changed her mind. Although a well intentioned gesture, it hit me that telling single moms we are fathers too does not help the crisis so many of us single moms are no left in, and it doesn't encourage men to step in and step up. As much as this hardworking mother found it had to accept at first, I don't think Father’s Day is not for single mothers. This day is designed for the men who embrace their roles as dads. Dads who stay, dads who make a difference need to be celebrated, and if there are fewer men showing up to be counted, so be it.  The truth is there are great men out there, who are dedicated dads or granddads and our children need to know they exist. As a mom, I owe it to my son and especially my daughter to teach her, that no matter her father’s choices, there are good men in the world instead of me unintentionally teaching her to expect so little.  

So next year - instead of minimizing the holiday, crying about my absent dad , and my children’s absent dad – I’m going to find a place where my children can watch a dedicated dad in action.  If I can’t find a family open to sharing their dad on this special day I’ll find a strong man who is loving and able to show my kids that men can be wonderful.  That's the reality I want my children to believe in. :) 

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