Sunday, June 17, 2012
Happy Father's Day to all... Single Mothers??
The above picture, and others expressing a similar message, have been making their way around the social media this Father's Day.
It is a travesty to suggest that single mothers can fulfill the role of a father, and that they should be celebrated as fathers on Father's Day. It cheapens the sacrifices fathers make for their families, and it cheapens the overall role of fathers in family units and society- and fathers are essential in the well-being of both.
It is a bit sad. Has our society become such that we must make efforts to explain the simple truth that "single mothers are not fathers" and should therefore not be included in our culture's celebration of fathers? Apparently so. And doing just that is David L. Pipkin, fellow Houstonian and author whose work can be found here at Examiner.com. He manages to capture and expose the absurdity of all this in a Father's Day Facebook post. Enjoy, and Happy Father's Day!
I don't consider myself to be one who offends easily, but this is offensive. This is thinking that has caused a great deal of harm in our society and in our country. Too many single mothers make more of their status than what is due. No matter how great you think you are, you cannot replace a father. Messages like this cheapen the value of single moms who really are having to pull double-duty because of a father lost at war or some other untimely death; fathers who truly cannot be there for their children. Too many single moms try to make themselves out to be heroes after divorcing the father of their child because marriage was more difficult than what they had anticipated. Many mothers use that title to become barriers between their children and their fathers. Going through my divorce, I learned that more than 75% of the divorce cases are filed by the wife, and the overwhelming majority of those cases are petitions based on "irreconcilable differences," which basically means, "Oops." The "no-fault divorce" has destroyed the lives of too many children. Other single moms lay claim to hero status because they were careless in their sexual lifestyle and were then surprised when the guy with whom they were shacking up decided he did not want to raise a child. Is it difficult? Sure. Was it foreseeable and preventable? Absolutely. You reap what you sow, but you are not a hero merely because you are a single mom, and you certainly are not pulling "double-duty." The truth is that, rather than fulfilling both roles, too many single moms have deprived their child of a father, and in so doing they have also weakened themselves as mothers. Do some research - look at the disproportionate number of children who fall into alcoholism/drug-abuse, teen pregnancy, drop out of school and ultimately end up dead or in prison who were raised by single mothers. Sure, many men have sired children, but they are no-shows as dads. Father's Day is not to honor them. That is what today is - Father's Day. Mother's Day was in May. This is to celebrate the Dads who are fulfilling or have fulfilled their roles as fathers. If you're a single mother, regardless of how you arrived at that status, I appreciate your passion and your efforts. That said, you have no right to use Father's Day to bolster your delusions of grandeur. You can certainly be a great mother, but you will never, ever replace a father. To all the real Dads out there, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!