I would never try to pretend… or replace the father of my sons
Planet Earth and her homo sapien occupants continue to exist under an ever-deepening cloud of uncertainty.
The norm is way out of form and the known has morphed into the unknown, wherein he is acceptably she, gay is the order of the day, and no need to get vexed, but beginning from birth there can also be a bender of the gender.
On the subject of gender, we are gradually approaching Father’s Day and this brings us to the crux of the matter. I am not expecting to get any thumbs up for this article, but I feel strongly that it is a subject that merits exploration and, at best, dialogue.
Over the past couple of years I have observed a trend wherein single mothers wish other single mothers a Happy Father’s Day, and while it is inarguably your democratic right to do so, as a single mom you may not like what I am saying. Hopefully, your concern for your child’s welfare will override any tendency to become defensive. And if the note doesn’t apply, dear sisters, just let it fly.
My heart aches for so many women raising their children entirely on their own, in the absence of visitation or child support. Yes, these women deserve to be honored and celebrated every day of the year, especially on Mother’s Day. Then again, we do not have to call them father to acknowledge that they are parenting with the weight of the world on their shoulders. No, we do not have to say Happy Father’s Day to praise them for doing an incredible job.
Mothers have Mother’s Day; single parents have a day as well, so that by wishing a mother Happy Father’s Day we are watering down or de-valuing the importance of a father. I would never try to pretend or replace the father of my sons, regardless of the fact that we are apart.
That being said, with as much as we hold it down on our own we’re still not our children’s fathers, we are their mothers. No doubt, our role is vital. We are the nucleus of our family and no one can argue that.
No doubt, day in and day out you go to bat for your children and no one can argue that. No doubt, you’ve got to make a dollar out of 75 cents, especially if your child’s father is not doing right by his child, and no one can argue that either.
Having been a single parent myself I can personally attest to the fact that single mothers do have a heavy burden to bear. With limited resources, support and help we are saddled with the ginormous task of ensuring the healthy, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and social development of our children, especially males. Not to mention keeping food on the table (appetite sizes considered), a roof over their heads, and keeping them away from negativity and the lure of the streets as best as we can.
Be that as it may, I am careful and particular about accepting a Father’s day acknowledgement on behalf of a father who is definitely missing in action, and whose input is missing and not. But to all the single moms, please know that no matter how much you are holding it down, in the words of a well-known television host: YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER.
When a father is missing in action for whatever reason, no matter how much a mother loves and nurtures the child, on some level the child still internalizes his father’s absence as an absence of his or her worth or value.
In the natural ebb and flow of life the role of a father is so critical that when he is discounted or missing in action you are left with broken homes, dysfunctional communities and an unhealthy model for fatherhood and manhood. Plainly translated this means that as a mother you have to be extremely enthused and proactive about ensuring that your children know that they are valued and worthy.
Okay, let me cut close to the chase, or bare the bones. Your son cannot learn how to be a man if he never sees a man. In addition, your daughter will never fully understand that her worth and value comes solely from her mind and not her behind. If she has never had a stable adult male in her life (who is not trying to come at her sexually) show her what non-sexual love from a male feels like.
Another thing to keep in mind from both a sociological and spiritual standpoint is that males and females bring different aspects into the life of any child. While a mother provides nurturing, a sense of family and a foundation for growth and personal efficacy, a father provides a child with identity, self-image, legacy, paternal protection and a spiritual inheritance. This may be the underlying reason when a father chooses to walk out of his child’s life, chances are that his father was not around and left him with an inheritance also called generational imprint – SLAP (Succeeding Legacy of Absentee Paternalism).
On a secondary note, mothers should keep in mind that what appears like hate and indifference from a child concerning his or her father is often a protective mechanism created to dull the pain and loss that child feels. I share this simply to emphasize the point that just because a child is not in communication with a parent does not make that innate need to know and bond with that parent go away.
So, fathers, if you are missing in action, let this article serve as an inspiration for you to reach out and connect with your child. Single moms, a word of caution, if your child’s father reaches out to his children, don’t stand in the way.
On a final note, when Father’s Day comes around, please do not wish me a happy Father’s Day. Although I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have been a good mother who would give her life for her child and worked tooth and nail to ensure that my children had what they needed to thrive. I also know that I AM NOT THEIR FATHER.
Aleuta —The struggle continues.