Yesterday was Father’s Day and that meant a few common themes were trending on social media: posts that celebrate fathers who are living or deceased, posts from single moms wishing themselves a happy holiday, and posts from those who prefer single moms have a seat and leave the celebration to the men simply because they are not males.
I have a problem with the latter because they usually look something like this:
If a woman has been taking care of a child, or children, all by herself then why can’t she take credit for this on any day of the year she chooses? Moreover, why does this bother the general public so much? The most common argument I have seen on Facebook is “let the men have their day.” But here’s the gag. If a man has not been an active parent, then Father’s Day is not his day. It belongs to whomever is filling that void in the child’s life and sometimes it just so happens to be that child’s mother.
Think about it like this. Let’s say you work at a supermarket as a cashier. You get up at 6:00 AM every morning to make it to the store at 7:00 AM sharp because you’re also the person who has to open the store. You go to work everyday doing your assigned job diligently. You have a co-worker who is supposed to relieve you from the register when it’s time to clock out at 3:00 PM. Most days, you stay way past your normal work hours because the co-worker is always late. You’re supposed to be off on weekends, but some way, somehow your co-worker always has an excuse about why he can’t come in. So naturally, you fill in for that person, sacrificing the leisure time you’re supposed to have to do the things you enjoy. Even though you get some type of gratification for going the extra mile (paid overtime, praise from your manager) it’s still not fair that you have to do all this work because it was never in the original plan.
This same concept applies to a single mother when you have an able-bodied, adult male who is supposed to do his share of parenting, yet you’re the one who is always on the clock. Yes, double-duty gives you the opportunity to be even more involved in your child’s life and build a stronger bond, but is it fair to the mother or the child who only gets to experience one parent? No.
Trust me, if that cashier has any common sense she will let the whole store know who’s keeping that ship afloat. If any overtime is paid she’s making sure it goes on her check, not the co-worker’s. And if any incentives are given, she’s taking them. Why? Because she deserves to be proud of the work she has put in. So why attack single mother’s who pat themselves on the back for Father’s Day? We can’t get mad and say men are no good while giving them a pass for their irresponsible behavior. If we’re going to hold men accountable, parenting is a great place to start.
I don’t have children yet, but if I ever find myself raising a baby on my own I expect Father’s Day to be my day as well and I’m blocking all social media trolls who have something to say about it.