I remember our first Father’s Day without Kyle’s dad. I was a young, single mother, trying to make ends meet (so very cliche) and I was not excited about celebrating a father that was not around. A father who had decided to move to another city, leaving me to parent our kid alone. In my head, he did not deserve to be celebrated. In fact, I wanted to throw a major pity party and an underhanded comment here and there, whenever someone mentioned anything related to the day. I had decided that Father’s Day was not for me and my child. I mean, Father’s Day made me more aware of my single motherhood. Father’s Day and single motherhood were not a team, in my books.
Now, come on single moms, I know our mantra with regards to dead beat dads. It’s usually something along the lines of: “You can’t expect to be honored on Father’s Day if you’re not actually fathering the child!” There, I said it. And hey, I’m not talking about simply donating your reproductive organs towards creating another human being. There, I said that too. (Somebody call Oprah) Father’s Day, to a single mom of a kid with a dead beat dad, is a non-event. Basically a day spent rolling your eyes and/or crying your heart out (kid’s age dependent).
But the thing is, Kyle’s father did take his daddy job seriously. The guy was a good dad to my boy and I knew it. He loved his kid. And even though he moved to a different city, he still took care of him as best as he could. And I knew that too. I knew all of these things. But even though he did not tick all of the “dead beat dad” boxes, I still had this preconceived notion that my boy’s dad was not deserving of a Father’s Day. And to be honest, it had nothing to do with the type of parent he was.
Okay word vomit alert, here’s the truth: I did not want him to be celebrated because I was hurting. And if I’m hurting, then he should feel discomfort too. My own hurt and anger clouded my judgement and instead of acknowledging what my boy needed, I only saw my own pain.
And the thing is this, single mom, we don’t mean to make our hurt and anger the most important thing in our lives. But when we choose hurt and anger, over the happiness of our children, then we kinda put the pain on a pedestal. We give the tears a tiara and wonder why it’s ruling our lives. I had to learn how to choose forgiveness and joy, instead of wallowing in self pity. I mean, healing is a process… it’s something that we need to own, before we even have it. So I had to walk in my healing and allow my boy to celebrate his daddy on Father’s Day.
Watching Kyle and his daddy grow their relationship has had the greatest rewards. I mean, besides for the fact that my kid is really, really happy and content (even though he secretly – okay not so secretly – wants to move to his dad and I will never let him go, nevaaaa!) (yes, another blog post for another day). I can’t imagine the amount of damage I would have done, if I chose my bitterness over Kyle’s happiness.
Someone once told me that everyone’s story is different… which is correct. We are all on our own journey . Our family dynamics and relationship history may not look the same. And I’m not saying that the way I did things will work for you. But I am saying: if you’re not sure about where you’re going with a situation, take a step back and re-evaluate your motive and your heart. Because some things may feel good in the moment, but it could create a life time of heartbreak.