A friend of mine posted this image on his Facebook page and I really wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I understand first-hand the rigors of being a single parent and understand why one would want to recognize single mothers who are successfully raising their children alone. However, it is an entirely different thing when single mothers take it upon themselves to demand acknowledgement on Father’s Day. I won’t even get into the underlying message in the fact that the card is part of Hallmark’s “Mahogany” line (and about to go online and see if they have a similar card in their regular line of Father’s Day cards). But I am really feeling some kind of way about this.
Bottom line, mothers are not fathers. There. I said it. Now before you take to the streets with torches and pitchforks, hear me out. I say this in love, with all due respect to single mothers and with the goal of healing the emotional and psychological trauma that won’t allow some women to fall back and allow the men to have their day. Father’s Day is to honor the people with penises that make a positive difference in children’s lives. It really doesn’t matter whether or not the relationship is a biological one. Ladies, we JUST had Mother’s Day a month ago. THAT was the time for us to get whatever accolades we were to receive (though I maintain that people shouldn’t get a cookie (or a brunch at the Marriott for that matter) for doing what they are supposed to do, but that’s a whole other subject).
Single parent households exist in exponentially greater numbers than they did even a decade ago to the point that it is commonplace. However sometimes we get so used to wearing the “big draws” that when we are presented with a man who is ready, willing and able to take his place as the head of our household (or even just be a factor in his children’s lives), we are unable to relinquish the reins or at least share them. We are quick to talk about how our “baby daddy ain’t this” or “this man and that man ain’t that” and whine, wheedle and moan about how badly we’ve been treated BY THE MAN WITH WHOM WE CHOSE TO PROCREATE. But what happens when presented with an opportunity to honor the men that are doing the right thing? We have to try to take that over too.
It is a dangerous thing we do when we are unable to allow our men to be in the spotlight. We impose our pain and damage onto society and project our negative, emasculating image of men onto every man around us. Just because we may have made a poor relationship choice, doesn’t mean that there aren’t men out there somewhere who deserve a special day. What about our own dads? What about our uncles or grandfathers or pastors or even our friends’ fathers? If you, as a parent, cannot name a single positive male influence in your child’s life, then you are not doing the best job you can as a mother. It is critical that our children grow up with a balanced outlook on life with an understanding that people are individuals and that good people exist even if not all the ones closest to us are that great.
I think that next year, I’m going to start a “Happy Mother’s Day to all the Single Fathers” campaign and see how many single mothers get on board………………………
Last 5 posts by Traci Adedeji
- 5 Possible Reasons You're Still Single - May 28th, 2012