Father’s Day – the day of mixed emotion!
Traditionally a Father is thought of as the head of the family. The man with a lot on his shoulders. The financial provider and security for his family. As times have evolved the traditional role model of a father has had to evolve too with Father’s doing so much more than ever before. They are expected to provide financially for their family, to take responsibility for what was once classed the female aspect of raising a family, for instance in elements of childcare, help around the home, cooking and looking after the off-spring etc… But Dad’s aren’t just for that. They aren’t just a robot in a child’s life, a robot who provides the functionalities and finance. Their roles are more superior with rewards that are treble-fold. They are there for not only what they must do but they are there because they want to be a part of their child’s life, to be their child’s biggest fan, to enjoy the mile stones as a child grows up, to encourage and support
A father has a vital role. How many fathers out there watch their children play sport? Actively encourage them? Never miss a school nativity or parent’s evening? I see them all of the time. Fathers at the school supporting their children when they are with the child’s mum or not. They are the good Dad’s who deserve acknowledging for the special day. They are special and the children of father’s like that are extremely lucky.
As stated, the dynamics of a family have changed dramatically over the decades. Not only has a father’s role changed but with changes to divorce laws etc… and more lenient views of children born out of or into marriage. The traditional family has been on the decline. These days it is common for children to be raised by a single mum, a single dad, a step-dad and mum, a step-mum and dad or even two mum’s/two dad’s. Adoptive parent’s, foster parent’s or no parent’s. The changes have been necessary for an evolving society but those changes can make Father’s day a day of sadness for many.
It can be a reminder to many of fathers we may have lost through death or relationship break down, it can be a reminder of painful childhoods, it can be a reminder of a lack of relationship/role model, it can be a reminder to a single mum that there are some things that no matter how hard she tries. Some things that she can’t provide. She can do most things but she can’t provide her children a dad. You can’t just simply replace those things. Dad’s can not be bought from the shop and a step-dad is not a guarantee of being a good dad. They say a single mum is both mum and dad. But the sad reality is that nobody can be two people no matter how hard they try. Some things do have to give and it is down to the single parent to decide which. Will it be the home? Will it be her career? Will it be the children? Will it be her social life? Will it be her finances? When there are two people those juggles are made a little easier and more boxes of success can be ticked off– inbetween the natural normal disputes of course. And for those ladies who are lucky to have team-ship or somebody who is stepping up to the mark to help her where maybe others have failed – Father’s day is a great day for a woman to acknowledge that man/men in hers and her children’s life. Fathers earn that respect and it is deserved.
If we’ve lost a parent through death then it can also be a positive day but tinged with sadness as the good memories come back, but the nostalgia may reignite the grief, the yearning for one more cuddle or one more chance to see your father.
If we’ve lost a parent through family arguments then it can be a sad day of remembrance as our hurt is churned back up.
It can be a bad day for a child who is caught up in separated parental disputes or a child who never had the chance to get to know a parent through the other parent’s choice.
And then there are the Stepdad’s – the father’s who become a child’s role model, who willingly open their arms to join a family. Again, if a child is lucky they may grow up with an extra dad or extra mum. But on the other side, the child can grow up with resentment of a bad step parent which can even break down the bond with their paternal parent.
One thing is for certain. Families come in many shapes and sizes, with many stories. There are few perfect families.
So for those who are lucky then enjoy this Father’s day and enjoy those special men in your life, the men who are there for you, the ones who are there for your children. And if you and your children don’t have one to celebrate, don’t sit around moping but remember that they have you and you’re good enough. It might be a day of sadness but a child is resilient and you are resilient too. Remember, for some it’s an important day but for others – it’s just another day in the year!