Father’s Day: it’s not about single moms

Hey, while the world is talking about equality, I would like to talk about something that is also important to remember in the month of June.

With Father’s Day coming up, we are about to see a lot of posts regarding single mothers who “play both roles” and feel they deserve to be celebrated.

Firstly, I want to validate your feelings. Single parents absolutely do deserve to be celebrated. (I will add, that ALL parents out there rocking it, deserve to be recognized! Parenting is hard, regardless of relationship status)

Father’s Day isn’t about single parents – or it would be called Single Parents day (which was actually March 21st, by the way). Father’s Day is about the fathers. Biological fathers, step-dads, fathers who have adopted, transgender fathers, fathers from every race and religion, etc. If you identify as male and you have children (one way or another), you are a father and this is YOUR day.

Single mothers have a lot of privilege that fathers do not. There is a lot of community support and financial aid for single mothers, that single fathers struggle to get, or have to fight twice as hard to receive. Single mothers aren’t looked down upon, nearly as much, for being home with their kids while collecting welfare – but if a single father does, that’s all anyone sees. If a woman says “the father isn’t around”, people quickly agree that the father was or is bad in some way. If a father says “the mother isn’t around”, there are so many questions asked – it is an interrogation.

When Mother’s Day rolls around, if a single father says “I play both roles!”, women shut him down saying to wait for his own day. Yet, when Father’s Day rolls around, it seems like every single mother pops out and stakes her claim on this day too.

Mothers and Fathers are not roles, they are titles. Hear me out. A parent is a role. They have specific duties and responsibilities to their children, family, home, etc. All parents have the same role – to educate their children, and raise them to be successful adults with morals and values. It is a parents responsibility to ensure the child is safe, healthy, and well cared for. Loved. “Mother” is a title. “Father” is a title. They are both gender based titles for a parenting role. (Similar to Prince/Princess, Cowboy/Cowgirl, etc)

There are other “responsibilities”, that are basically chores, such as reading bedtime stories, bathing the children, shopping for their clothes, etc. Those are divided up between the parents in the home, whether it’s a single parent household, or a two parent household.

If you’re in a healthy relationship with the mother/father of your child, parenting responsibilities do not change. You are both responsible for safety, education, etc however, the “chores” of parenting are typically split between the two, in whatever way works best for the family. For divorced or separated parents, who co-parent, the “chores” are done under their separate roofs, and each does everything. When you end up single, even if the other parent isn’t around, you still have the responsibilities of a parent. It may not be shared, but your responsibilities haven’t actually changed. Safety, love, food on the table, roof over their head, etc – none of that changes! The amount of “chores” you do might.

Just because you once had a partner who read all the bedtime stories, doesn’t mean you are now that title, on top of your own, once you become single. You are still ONLY a mother or father.

Single mothers need to take a seat, and realize that they already had their day back in May. They were celebrated and it is time for you to allow the Fathers their day.

Before anyone gets truly angry with me: I am a single parent – but I do not play both “mother” AND “father”. I am a female. My title is MOTHER. I do not identify as male so Father’s Day is NOT FOR ME. Just because I am raising them alone does not mean I am both parents. I am and will only ever be a mother. I had my day in May.

To all the fathers: happy Father’s Day. ♥️

Published by S.M. Phoenix

I am a Canadian, single mom of two girls, who writes.

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