I am a single mother. Not just a single mother, but a single mother in which my son’s father was not ever a father to him (see my blog here on my single mom story). So for my son and I, father’s day is really just another day.
Of course we called male family members and wished them a happy father’s day. But as for my son spending time with his father that is something that he does not know. And guess what? That is okay. There is no bitterness, anger, or any type of animosity coming from me about his father’s shortcomings. I am a mother to my son and I cannot control what other people do. As a single mother that is the first lesson you need to know about dead beat dads. They are their own person and you cannot control how they feel, what they think, or what they do. The sooner you accept that, the easier it is for you to cope. As long as you are doing what you need to do, what they do won’t matter that much. You cannot change anyone. If they do not want to be involved in your child’s life then that is their problem. Do not beat yourself up about it or get yourself down on their mistake.
I am not going to harp on my son not having dad, but instead offer encouragement and hope to all those single mother out there that sit alone on father’s day. Perhaps you are in a state of depression over the fact that your child has no one to celebrate father’s day with.
I am sure my son’s father is sitting around somewhere thinking that someone has robbed him of a father’s day. Making up lies in his head that he has made up as his own truth, telling himself that it is not fair. But that is how selfish people are. They want to make things about them whenever necessary. And on the other 364 days a year when it is not father’s day; they could care less that they have a child out there that they do not see or take care of.
Or maybe your dead beat father is different. Maybe he could care less that it is father’s day nor do they care what their children are doing. Whatever their mind set is; who cares. It is not our problem as a single mother we cannot care about their mindset or their shortcomings as fathers. After all, as single mother we do our job. It is the dead beat dad’s that do not do their job.
On mother’s day, no matter what is done or not done for me; I am a mother. No one is going to take that away from me. No matter if I get a gift or not. Spending time with my son all on our own, is enough for me. I never knew what is was to love someone unconditionally until I had a child. There is nothing that he can do that will make me love him less.
And doing your job as single mother does not mean that your household runs perfect every day. Being a mother means that you are there for your child and they know you are there for them no matter what. Although I want my child to have a good father one day; if that day never comes I am sure that he had a really good mother. One that was perfect for him and that loved and nurtured him beyond a shadow of a doubt. And I will not let it be diminished by the fact that his father, for a lack of a better word, sucks.
And so on father’s day my son and I will do something that we do almost every day. We spent time together. We laugh, joke, eat, and play video games. I will be happy and my son will be happy. If my son does question me about his father on father’s day, like he sometimes does. I have the relationship with my son where I’m just honest with him.
So many mothers think they have to lie and cover up the inadequacies of their child’s father. So many single mothers do this. But why? If they are a bad father do not try to convince your child that they are a good one. So they can think that being a bad dad is normal. I do not ever want my son to think that the way his father is, is normal. That way when he has children he will know, that he needs to be there for his kids. And that being dead beat dad is not okay.
My son once told me that he felt it was his fault as to why his father did not see him. I made sure that he knew this was false. I explained to him that some men do not know how to be fathers, and that is the truth. And as harsh as it may seem, that feeling that my son had of not feeling like he was good enough to have a father; turned into him understanding that other people’s short comings had nothing to do with him.
My son and I have talked about his father going to prison for over 6 years and him being gone for all of his life. And all of a sudden to him it made sense. He understood that some people just have problems and their own demons to work out; and like with anyone other people problems or demons has nothing to do with us. It is their problem. I do not have to tell my son what I good mother I am. Because he sees it every day. If you are a good mother, your children will see it, and if they have a bad father the children will see it. There is no need to tell them how their dad sucks and isn’t about anything, as I am sure so many single mother are tempted to do. But still be honest.
I watched The Single Mom’s Club by Tyler Perry (spoiler alert). Nia Long’s character child’s father was a drug addict. After much frustration and disappointment on the side of the child. He finally found out about his father and the frustration turned to his mother. Asking her, why did she not tell him the truth? Although the truth may have hurt him. It would have saved him from the waiting and wondering where his father was. It may have saved him from going in a rough neighborhood looking for his father only to be taken advantage of by his father; had he just known his father was on drugs. Children can handle more than you think.
It is a fine line between letting your child know the truth and just bashing their father. But please trust me that the truth is always better. In a way that is age appropriate. So in short, not being able to celebrate with a father on father’s day, is not the end of the world. Nor is it your fault. Sometimes father’s die, sometimes they leave, or sometimes they were never there. Things happen, we as single mothers cannot allow this fact to diminish what we do as mothers.