The Lesser Parental Holiday

Ba Humbug

I’ve cultivated a much more positive outlook than I inherited naturally. I consider myself an optimist. I’ve had to work very hard to change what was a fairly negative outlook, but the work was worth it as I am much happier as a positive and optimistic person.

But despite all of that, I have a really hard time feeling positive about Father’s Day. I know, I know, as a blogger whose blogdentity is wrapped up in being a father this makes very little sense.

I’ve always felt this way. Even as a kid, I always saw Father’s Day as an afterthought to Mother’s Day. I don’t think I’m just imagining it either. When we’d go to Church on Mother’s Day, the greeters would hand each mother a flower. Then we’d go out to brunch and another flower.

There always seemed to be pomp and circumstance surrounding Mother’s Day. Rightfully so, Mother’s deserve all of it. But there was rarely any pomp and circumstance surrounding Father’s Day.

When we were younger, my mom always did a good job celebrating my father and as my brother and I got older, we carried on the tradition. But outside of the house I rarely saw my father get acknowledged on Father’s Day.

A Made Up Holiday

I don’t mean any of this as a societal criticism. Personally I don’t think there should be a celebratory atmosphere for a made up holiday. I don’t want or need to be celebrated for being a father.

This sounds scathingly negative doesn’t it? I really don’t intend for it to be, I don’t have any negative feelings towards Father’s Day. I just don’t have much use for it.

Sure, being a father is extremely hard at times. But it is also insanely rewarding. I’ve been a father for nearly 8 years now. And for about 7 ½ of those years, I’ve had this creature that I love more than anything else smile at me. And then another one came along and shortly after he was born, I’ve had two smiling faces fill my days.

So keep your Hallmark cards and store bought trinkets. Keep your socks and ties. I don’t need them. Every single day is Father’s Day as far as I’m concerned. Nothing that can be purchased or made could possibly enhance my experience of fatherhood.

I don’t need a holiday to feel appreciated. I have two smiling faces that do that for me every day!

14 Comments

  1. I share some of your cynicism. A lot of people make a lot of money from the continuous string of never-ending holidays throughout the year. When one is over, it’s on to the next!

    That said, I did love my home-made painted coffee mug my son made me this year.

    Even though you might not need to hear it :), Happy Father’s Day!

    Dr. C

  2. Ha I was just saying this to my dad the other week. I told him father’s day always plays second fiddle to mother’s day. We did way a lot for my wife on mother’s day and have nothing planned for me.

    There is a comedian that says a man’s role in the pregnancy is more like leading a cup of sugar to someone baking a cake. :-O

  3. I really don’t like holiday’s that try to make money off making you think you can’t-and/or-don’t appreciate the important people in your life each and every day. I like the sentiment, but I don’t think we need $10 cards and presents and all the consumerist hoop-la. That being said, I got a free Father’s Day card this year, and my Dad and I decided that instead of engaging in the endless card-buying cycle, he would keep the card and I’d add a note to it every year. We had a nice (homemade) dinner, had some ice cream cake (I had them write ‘Happy Birthday Dad’ accidentally, instead of ‘Happy Father’s Day’ – last time I do errands without coffee!) had some drinks, and sat around until late, and talked. Can’t think of a better way to have spent it, and he seemed pretty happy too : )

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Well said! Cannot agree more. Becoming a father was the best thing ever happened to me and do not need any more than seeing my daughters face every day.

  5. And for the reasons that you listed, that’s why I don’t like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day like that. It seems like the moms get way more recognition than anyone ever thinks about giving the dads. I remember one time in church on Mother’s Day they gave the moms roses and a bookmark with a very nice poem on it. But then on Father’s Day they spent very little time recognizing the good things fathers do and lots of time talking about how they need to do better. I couldn’t believe my ears and felt like the whole speech overshadowed the dads that do what they are supposed to do.

    None the less, I try to make Omar feel special on Father’s Day, just as I did when my dad was alive and as we continue to do with Omar’s dad.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s picked up on this double standard. It’s unfortunate the church was the culprit in both of our cases.

      I’m glad that you found a way to celebrate Omar and his father!

  6. Happy belated Father’s Day!! I enjoyed your post and certainly understand where you are coming from. It is a lot easier to feel like everyday is Father’s Day when the kids are small, as they grow older and get busier it does get a bit tougher. I especially agree with keeping the cards and the socks. He he!

  7. Wow, I couldn’t agree more. When I think of happiness in my life, my kids come to my mind at the forefront. I am sure my wife would agree. Yes my kids can get difficult, but that’s just part of growing up and parenting is handling it and disciplining their behavior when necessary.

    When I think about my life as a son, my father had a bigger impact on my life and, sorry mom, more involvement than my mom did. She was good to me too, don’t get me wrong, but our Dad was the CENTER of our lives and support system. If we wanted something, we went to dad. Drive somewhere? Need help? Dad, check dad.

    1. It’ll be interesting to see who our kids go to as they get older. It’s currently pretty evenly split. Growing up it was mom for the emotional support and dad for the logistics.

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