Uh oh…here it comes, right? Yes, I’m going to be that guy, even though I have a feeling I’m not entirely alone on this. And even if I was, hell…it won’t be the first time.
Let me get right to the point: Today is FATHERS’ DAY. Don’t believe me? Look on any calendar. It says so on all of them. It doesn’t say “Moms Pulling Double Duty Day.” At least not on any of the ones I’ve looked at.
There are always some of those who will say this. It doesn’t really bother me; it’s pretty laughable now. Yes, there are deadbeat fathers out there, but are they the ones who deserve the attention today? Seriously, you’re telling me that you don’t have ONE single male friend who is doing the right thing as a father? I’m guessing so. And even if you don’t, then that speaks to the company you keep. You might want to check yourself on that.
As much as I appreciate the praise, being a father is something I’ve always dreamed of ever since I was old enough to remember anything. So I don’t feel I deserve anything for simply doing my job. Being a father is an immense blessing, because not everyone gets that opportunity. So I certainly will not take that for granted.
Now, before ever-loving minds get misplaced here, my mother was a single mother who raised four of us. But I’m not calling her today to say “Happy Fathers’ Day.” She wasn’t our father. She was our mother. And I most certainly showed appreciation, as I always do, often, but also on that second Sunday in May. That one is dedicated to moms, in case you’ve forgotten. I mean, it was last month after all. Maybe it’s already slipped some of your minds.
Speaking of which, there are a lot of single fathers out there as well. Interesting that they don’t get nearly the same attention on Mothers’ Day. Not many “Happy Fathers Pulling Double Duty Day.” Why’s that? So only fathers are allowed to be deadbeats? There aren’t deadbeat moms out there as well?
Mothers are not pulling double duty. They’re raising their child(ren) as a mother. A father is not pulling double duty, either. He’s raising his kid(s) as a father. Here is why I say this.
Society has these beliefs of what a mother’s job and a father’s job is within a family. Well that’s the problem. Like anything else in life, labels have to be placed on people to make things easier for those who don’t like to think. I get the concept and why the beliefs exist. They’re just outdated.
Many feel that a mother’s job is to teach her daughter(s) how to be young ladies. That’s strange, because I’ve taught my daughter many aspects of being a young lady as my wife (her mother) is obviously in the picture. Same for my wife and our son. She tells him things as well that will shape him as young man if she catches it, as I’m right there. These are not, nor have they ever been “jobs” that each of us are limited to. When something needs to happen or be taught, it’s done. If our daughter sat down and didn’t smooth her dress out before doing so, I’m not going to stand up, wave my arms and say, “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! JILL, GET IN HERE! YOUR DAUGHTER IS NOT BEING LADYLIKE! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! DO SOMETHING! IT’S YOUR JOB TO TEACH HER! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! HELP! HELP!”
The sad thing is, there are people out there who really think like this.
Don’t get me wrong. Yes, it is MUCH easier when both parents are there. I’m not discounting that. Please don’t misunderstand. In saying this, I am not at all implying that the job is just as easy with one as it is for both parents being present. No way in the world.
But speaking of ridiculous thinking, I have actually been in restaurants with our two children and a woman has said to me, “Oh, your turn with the kids, huh?” or “Ah, you got ’em this weekend.”
My “turn”? That’s funny. I never arranged with my wife that we would “take turns” raising our children. We did this crazy thing before we decided to have them…we had the audacity to sit down and agree to raise them together.
Silly us, right?
Not to mention, the times this happened, here was my response: My wife and I are both in the Army. She’s stationed in Korea now.” The ladies would either give a nervous laugh or kind of just weasel away. Yeah, you can get out of my face now and go stereotype somewhere else.
And there’s another funny one. Whenever my wife does have to leave home for an extended period of time, there’s always ladies out there who give me that “Now you’ll know what it feels like,” or “Wow, you’ll have them by yourself for that long? They’re gonna drive you crazy! Good luck with that!”
Really…this IS funny. So “now I’ll know what it feels like.” I’ll know what what feels like? Being a parent? Sorry ladies, but I kinda already know that one. I didn’t just start yesterday. And children drive us crazy when both parents are present. They don’t drive me any crazier when my wife is gone somewhere than when she’s home. They do the same, crazy things that have me preparing bogus alibis in case one ends up, um…”missing.”
Oh, right…this is a thing to sort of “stick it to me” as a man, because I’m forced to be a “single” father (albeit temporary) and it’s a “victory” or some kind to certain women out there. So raising my children is supposed to “punishment” in some way? Hmm…I don’t get it. Oh, just because mom isn’t there. That’s the idea, right? Well, again…my wife and I have this crazy thing where we sit down with each other before she leaves and we talk and work everything out.
And by the way, I’ve left home often as well leaving her here with the children and low and behold, she doesn’t spontaneously combust. But being the mother, that’s not a surprise by society, right? Nope, it’s us as fathers. See, while my wife was gone, I was supposed to just sit in a corner and rock back and forth until she returned several months later. Laundry and cleaning is never done, and it’s pizza every single night. Again…there are folks out there who really think this.
Not to ramble on, but in many aspects of society, fathers are undervalued. It really is that simple. Especially those doing the right thing. But the good thing is (and something I greatly appreciate) is that I’m seeing a lot more about Fathers’ Day. I didn’t see it as much before, but every year, it turns up just a little more. On television, the media, in stores. It’s not half-assed because there’s some feeling that mothers have to be acknowledged more than us for some strange reason.
Something else I appreciate are those of you who acknowledge the fathers and what we do. There are a LOT of you out there (yes, this includes you, ladies). Thank you. Not giving negative attention to the deadbeats, but understanding what today is really about. I see that bothers some of you as well when bitter women do everything they can to ignore the fathers who do the right thing in favor of the mothers who they say are “pulling double duty,” as if they don’t know a single man doing the right thing. Again, if you don’t, then you might want to look at your friends and ask yourself a question or two.
You may say, “But Robert…you’re talking about the deadbeat fathers out there. You’re giving them attention also.” No…I’m calling folks out on it, because I find it a joke. Not to mention, this entire post isn’t about deadbeats. The same ones who would say something would spend more of their time talking about deadbeats than anything else. Now who’s giving them more attention?
And let’s not mince words here. As with anything, there are exceptions, but ladies…a lot of you jump in bed with these fools and then get a case of the ass when they don’t “change” all of a sudden from the clown they were when you met them. They weren’t responsible or worth a damn when you first got with them, but now, having children with them or by trapping them (yes, that happens also) is supposed to just fix it? This is supposed to change who they are? I’m not making a SINGLE excuse for a deadbeat father. But if they were a certain way when you met them, why would they change just because you slept together? If they got you in bed being the way they are, of course they won’t change. There’s no need to. This is the kind of thing you work out before you have sex with someone. And you’re not being “fooled.” It’s plain as day as to how they guys will turn out. Yeah, I know…you’re attracted to these wannabe thugs and it’s all about “swag” and all that other nonsense. Well thuggery and “swag” doesn’t raise children effectively or pay bills, but hey, what do I know? If the shoe fits, lace it up. If it doesn’t apply, let it fly.
Now, to make myself perfectly clear: I have nothing but the utmost respect for single parents, especially mothers. I’m intelligent enough to know that there are more single mothers out there than single fathers and again, I do NOT avoid acknowledging that on Mothers’ Day. Hell, I’ve talked about it many, many times on other days as well. There is no question as to what a single mother brings to the table. I greatly appreciate you also. There is always a special place in my heart for single mothers simply because I was raised by one and I’m largely who I am today because of her. So I don’t minimize that.
But today is OUR day. For the fathers doing what they’re supposed to do, THAT is what today is about.
End of story.