With Father’s Day fast approaching, this can be an anxiety inducing time for many single mums. Particularly the single mums that have their children all the time, and their children’s father is either not in the picture, or not very involved in their children’s lives.
For the first two years, Father’s Day for me, brought quite a lot of stress with it, and brought up many emotions. I worried a lot about my daughter missing out on having her father in her life on a regular basis. Would she end up psychologically damaged? Was she missing out? Was I enough for her?
Taking my daughter out to the playground on Father’s Day was a stark reminder that her life was not like a lot of other children her age, and never would be. Surrounded by happy families, I felt people’s curiosity when they looked at me and my daughter on these days.
Then there is all the hype surrounding the “big day” at day care. The children make cards and presents for their dads, and of course there is the annual Father’s Day breakfast. It always used to make me really sad that my daughter would be one of the few without her father there on the day. Now it doesn’t bother me as much. Last year I intended to go myself, but something came up at work at the last minute. This year I have to go to a conference, so I can’t attend either. I do wonder what goes on in her little three-year old mind. God knows what school will bring? Will there be a Father’s Day fair? What else will happen so that my daughter is reminded that her dad is not around that often?
Many single mums wonder if they should give their children’s father a gift. For the first couple of years I did do this. I didn’t buy anything, but I would post a card (with a “thanks for being such a great dad” message) and send some photos, or a painting that my daughter had done. Usually I’d just get a giant“f*** you” in response (you can’t win really). Now I just send the day care creations. Although this year it’s a plant, which doesn’t post interstate well (and is also illegal), so it’ll just be the card.
The reality is, my daughter is too young to understand the gift giving thing on Father’s Day. I’m sure as she gets older, she may want to send a present to her dad herself, which of course I will help her with. But in the meantime, why do I need to go out of my way to do something nice for my ex, who quite frankly causes me nothing but grief. Every relationship is different, so I say do what works for you.
For me personally, I have never received a gift or card from my ex on Mother’s Day. The thought of it is quite absurd actually, it makes me laugh out loud. Even on my first Mother’s Day when we were still together, the day went by with not even a mention of it being Mother’s Day. The thought of my ex ever saying anything nice to me at all…? Well let’s just say there’s more chance that I’ll walk on the moon one day.
I think women are inclined to try to do something nice. But really, your ex is not going to care if he’s anything like mine. So I think do what makes your child happy, not what YOU THINK will make your ex happy, or what you SHOULD do, just because it’s Father’s Day. In the words of Elsa, “let it go”…
You know what? My daughter is HAPPY, she is WELL LOOKED AFTER, she is so so LOVED, and I don’t feel like she is missing out as much anymore. She does have a dad, and she loves him a lot, and he loves her a lot. She just doesn’t see him as much as other kids see their fathers. But he will always be her dad, whether he’s there or not.
But this Father’s Day, I want to celebrate all the single mamas who are doing the job of both mum and dad. It’s not an easy gig, that’s for sure. But know that you are enough. Your kids have enough. They are loved. They are most likely not psychologically unstable. You are doing GREAT. So happy Father’s Day to all the kick ass single mums out there doing double!