Of all the men in the world to create a child with, I chose one that would never provide for my child emotionally, spiritually or financially. The weight of this single decision will be one that I will carry for my entire life. It is one that most single mothers know well. On Father’s Day the ache and pain of this decision cuts the soul a little deeper and all the feelings experienced leaves a trail of blood and tears only felt by me and my child.
Thankfully, we were blessed in having two men step up and be part of my son’s life. Between my father (my son’s grand-father), and my best friend (my son’s god-father) – my son would have a diverse and broad example of how men should carry themselves. My son’s grand-father is retired from the military and my son’s god-father is a musician. Both very different from each other, except in areas that matter most: They both gave and continue to give beautiful examples of how a man’s word is his honor, and how to be responsible for yourself and your family.
Having these two men in my son’s life may not be truly appreciated until he’s older or many, many, MANY years from now a father himself. My son, who is now 16 years old, insists that not having his father play a role in his life never created a void within him. However, I feel that he says that to ease my pain and guilt for choosing this particular individual to be the father.
This article contains some helpful tips that I wish I could have known when my child was younger.
We really are one village. I share with you the secrets I have learned on my journey:
Five Secret Steps for the Single Mother to Survive Father’s Day:
1. TWIST n’ SHOUT:
Allow yourself 12 minutes to visit the valley. Set the timer and for twelve whole minutes and allow yourself to feel sad, mad, frustrated, and guilty – whatever feelings you go through allow them to GO THROUGH you and leave them behind. Most single mothers did not set out to raise their child alone. So, I can relate to the weight of accepting that life didn’t turn out the way you had once hoped. Vent and pout for 12 minutes, and as soon as the timer goes off wipe your face, get a tall glass of water and hold your head up high and proud for the rest of the day. Give yourself the gift of forgiving yourself, and healing your heart.
2. TWEET TWEET
I promise you, that on Father’s Day you will receive Facebook posts and tweets wishing you a “Happy Father’s Day!”, the intent will be one of kindness and support of all you do as a single mother. At the same time, more and more single mothers are becoming very irritated with being sold “Happy Father’s Day – Mom”. This is a personal preference. I typically don’t mind. I appreciate the effort to extend kindness. Some close friends mind very much and hate it. It really comes down to personal preference. If the well wishes are irritating just say “thank you” and move on, and understand that the intention is contribute positivity.
3. REFLECT & REWARD
Take a moment to reflect on all you’ve done. I have been the sole provider for my son since he came home from the hospital. To get through one day is something to celebrate. I know every day is not easy. Take some time to reflect on all you have survived and how successful your days are and give yourself a pat on the back and hug yourself. Reward yourself with some time of guilt free rest and relaxation.
4. DAD IS #1!!
What the what?! Everywhere we look, we will be bombarded with “DAD is #1 !” signs. Yes, this might sting a little for both you and your child, as it is a reminder of how things are not. Be mindful to not let these honorable mentions give justification for getting on the soapbox to vent about all of that your child’s father is not. Not only for day, but especially today. Yes, dad is a low down dirty dog. Yes, “dad” spends money on cars and clubs but never child support. I understand. It’s wrong and it hurts. Don’t pass this baggage and pain onto your child. Our words matter deeply and the venom we spit against our children’s DNA provider only smacks our beautiful children right in the face.
5. BE PRESENT
Father’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to bond and create your own rituals with your child. Create a positive and loving day by spending time together playing activities your child enjoys. Don’t worry that you might not be good at tossing the baseball back and forth or playing his favorite video game. The quality time you invest will create sweet memories for you both. It will be a day full of peace and laughter.
Leave yesterday’s drama behind you and don’t worry about tomorrow’s issues. Be present in the here and now and enjoy your beautiful child, embrace how wonderful and beautiful you are. Be proud of how far you’ve come. Your child is blessed to have you as his parent. Someone who loves him with so much beauty and depth, that the love in your one heart overflows in abundance and has the power of the love of two parents.