Father's Day

Dear Single Mothers: Father’s Day isn’t for You

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“For Mom on Father’s Day.” No. Just…no.

I’m going to go ahead and get the obvious out of the way: My opinions about single mothers and Father’s Day are exactly that. Opinions. Take what I say with a grain of salt if you must, but I assure you I am not alone in this. So, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Dear single mothers,

Stop. Father’s Day is not for you. Why? Well, because you’re not a father. Yes, being a single parent is one of the toughest things to be in life. No one aspires to be a single parent. I sure as hell didn’t. Still don’t. But things happen, I get that. Life has a way of pimp-slapping us in the face sometimes, and we find ourselves in the exact positions we fought hard to avoid.

However…

Being a single mother means you’re a mother who shoulders a bulk – if not all – of the responsibility of rearing your child(ren). You’re not playing the role of both parents. You’re a fulfilling the role of an awesome mother who’s doing what she can to make sure her kids are well taken care of. No matter how you feel about the matter, dads and father figures are important and necessary. If they weren’t, folks wouldn’t be running around here with daddy issues.

I’m just saying.

Speaking of awesomeness, let’s get one thing clear. Just because you are a single mother, it doesn’t mean you’re a great mother. There’s more than a few ladies out there who are just as bad as the deadbeat dads they bash on social media every June. So, before you go around tweeting about how hard it is being a single mom, please make sure you’re actually, you know, being a mom.

A little back story: I wasn’t raised with my dad. Didn’t formally meet him until I was around 11 years old. My mom spent most of my childhood with my younger brothers’ dad. I would say he was the one who raised me, but the only thing he raised was his voice when he heard Keith Sweat.

He’s a terrible singer. And so is my brothers’ dad.

Anyway, growing up, I celebrated my brothers’ dad on Father’s Day out of obligation. He was the man in the house, for better or for worse, so he got the praise on that June Sunday. As I got older, I realized that he was nothing more than a body and a sperm donor. My mother became the sole provider of the family in every way. Though she was not perfect, she did what she could with what she had. And you know what? I appreciate her for that. Every year I peel back more of her layers and discover just how hard it was for her to raise my brothers and I with little next to nothing and man who was only good for being the fifth member of our household.

Not once did she get a Happy Father’s Day anything from me.

I recognize her as an amazing mother every chance I get. Whenever I can, I spoil her. Been doing it for years. But come Father’s Day, I chill. I recognize the men around me who take care of their children, love their children. I recognize those men who took on the responsibility of another man’s seed without complaint. Contrary to popular belief, good men and good fathers still exist. They’re not all deadbeats.

That brings me to the next topic. Single mothers, please stop badmouthing your children’s fathers online on Father’s Day. Every May, my newsfeeds are filled to the brim with posts showing an abundance of love to mothers and motherly figures. And then we have June’s newsfeeds.

“My kids don’t need a father. They got me.”

“Shout out to all the single moms who pull double duty.”

“My sperm donor/baby daddy ain’t done nothing since…”

*Sigh*

Look, if you want to celebrate being a single mother on Father’s Day, that’s your prerogative. Do you. You will anyway. However, I don’t think it’s fair to hijack a day meant for acknowledging exceptional fathers and father figures (uncles, granddads, mentors, etc.) to bash the person you made a child with just because he’s not living up to your standards. And for the record, I say “your standards” because I know plenty of men who do their absolute best and get shut down and blocked by bitter baby moms.

Don’t be that. Don’t be a bitter baby mom.

Take this day to give a shout out to a special man in your life, or in your child’s life. Or don’t give a shout out at all. It’s Sunday. Have a fun day. But don’t devalue the men out here who take the time to be good fathers by talking shit on social media and making this “Single Mother’s Day.” Today is not for you.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re so adamant about getting recognition for “doing it all on your own,” National Single Parents’ Day is March 21st. You already have 2. Let the good dads have one.

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