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!

27 comments:

  1. Did you notice that SOS Radio had like ten other messages that honor great dads over the last few days? I think you're taking this way out of context from what was really meant.

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    1. John Jay, if I am in need of enlightenment, by all means, please disabuse me of my faulty notions. Whatever other messages may have appeared on that website, this message was wishing a Happy Father's Day to single moms. What more do I need to understand? A good mother who truly understands the needs of her child knows that it is not possible for her to "pull double duty," and she would not be so selfish as to seek to be honored on a day we set aside to honor fathers. It really is that simple.

      William, thank you for your encouragement and support. I am honored that you featured my rant on your blog, as you yourself are a writer of great talent. I am grateful for our alliance - not only as writers, but also in our Purpose. Perhaps we should discuss other possible avenues of combining our efforts? Wheels are turning...

      Talk soon.

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  2. You guys need to find a hobby if you have nothing better to do than take issue with an otherwise harmless posted picture that recognizes that there are SOME single mom's pulling double-duty.

    And I just happen to be a single dad with custody of a daughter with multiple issues caused at least partly by an "absentee" mom. I am a dad that pulls double-duty in most ways but I also realize I can't "replace" the mom.

    One last thing - Every MOTHER'S DAY, I get wished "Happy Mother's Day" by those that know and appreciate what I do...and its kinda cool to hear.

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  3. Yeah what's wrong with sending a shout out to a few single moms? That graphic doesn't say moms do a better job than dads. It's a given that men need to play the role of true fathers. Not sure why you're "so offended." Us hard working dads can respect the women who have been forced to pick up the slack for their kids when the men in their life leave.

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  4. I think you are taking a Hallmark holiday a little too seriously. I grew up with a single mother who later remarried. My biological father was never a Dad to me and my stepfather was never a Dad to me until way later in life. No, my mom wasn't my Dad and I didn't wish her a Happy Fathers Day, she wasn't trying to be my Dad.

    Luckily I had an amazing Grandfather whom I was lucky enough to have as a way better father figure than my own ever could have been.

    I am trying to be the best Dad I can be to my son that I can be. Hopefully when he grows up, whether his mother and I stay married should be irrelevant, he will always think I deserve to hear " Happy Fathers Day" from him.

    It is people like you who by spouting hate and negativity who have kids who go on to spout the same hate and negativity when they grow up.

    Hopefully your kids will learn from your mistakes like I learned from mine and not repeat them.

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  5. Wow. Amazing that so many could have missed the point. What is disturbing is that the acceptance of the farcical notion that single mothers should be celebrated on Father's Day is a microcosm of a serious societal problem, which is what David speaks of in his post. There is this assumption becoming more and more prevalent every day- that men can fulfill the role of mothers, or that women can fulfill the role of fathers. This fallacy does nothing to preserve healthy lifestyles for children on an individual or a societal level, as statistics clearly show.

    Furthermore, single mothers are made to be victims and applauded for their efforts every day- even when it is not warranted. And I, like most people, respect those that have been placed in these difficult positions and make sacrifices to overcome the natural hindrances presented by these situations to the best of their ability. But this "Hallmark holiday" is designed to applaud fathers for their crucial role in cultivating happy and productive individuals, thereby advancing our society. Telling single mothers that they are good fathers on that day, however insignificant you find the holiday, is as useless as it is stupid. And yes, it advances a harmful narrative. That's all.

    It is not hate, it is an observation and critique based upon principle. You call it "hate and negativity." I find it sad that your immediate reaction to a contrary viewpoint is to label it that way. My children will hopefully know to think for themselves and not be afraid to voice their opinions, even if their opinions are contrary to those of the status quo. And if they can do that, and if my example and values have a hand in them doing so, then I think I will have done them a service.

    W

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  6. The point is that you took the whole thing out of context from what was actually posted by that radio station. No one was saying anything that you are "assuming." It was just a simple fun post that hopefully could brighten a single parent's day. It did for me. It has nothing to do with saying a mom can do a dad's job or vice versa. It's pretty lame that you are so "offended" about that. Single moms aren't trying to be dads. We're just doing what we can to get by.

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  7. I respect that you do what you can to get by, Kim, and glad it brightened your day. But you are not a father, as you clearly recognize, so why it "brightened your day" to be recognized as one is beyond me. If someone comes to me and says, "Thank you Doctor, for all you've done," I'm fairly certain that it wouldn't lift my spirits. You see, I'm not a doctor, and not deserving of those specific thanks. Do you really need someone to give you accolades on a day designed to honor fathers when you know plainly that you are not one? If so, glad you could be obliged, I guess. Regardless, I didn't ask the radio station or anyone who posted that sign to take it down. I am merely saying it's stupid, and despite the innocence you've found in the sign, this has been posted by single mothers on Facebook feeds (yes, I've seen it personally) in a self-gratifying manner, as if to say, "See, I don't need no man, and I'm all the father my kid needs." That mindset is so incredibly accepted today, and this kind of nonsense perpetuates it.

    W

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  8. Fathers Day is not your day single mother's, plain and simple. Find a politician to help you write a document to express your extremely deep need, and call it Single Mothers Day. I will support it, and advocate for it, but don't tarnish Fathers Day with this foolishness. This day comes once a year. At the very least you should possess enough love in you to be capable of allowing us to have one day. Single mothers do the fathers a favor; leave us alone on that day if this is where your heart, mind and soul will reside, and you can go right back to your hate the next day. I'm sure all of the fathers would appreciate it.

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  9. Should I tell my children to stop making me Fathers Day cards? No! I am the only role model they have in their lives, male or female. I take them to baseball and football games, I play catch and teach them about sports, I take them fishing, I get them muddy playing in the creek. I am the one bringing in the ONLY income in this house. By the way, I am the head foreman in a factory, a stereotypical 'mans' job. Yet I still find the time to read to them, to do schoolwork with them, to cook and clean for them, to be their nurse, to scare the monsters away at night. My children don't know their 'father'... But they see what I do for them day in and day out. My father's day cards started coming a few years ago, I cried. For some reason those scribbled, wrinkled, handscratched cards meant more to me than any mothers day card i had ever gotten. That showed me that my boys are ok, that I'm doing a good job. So to all of you who think single moms are selfish by taking your holiday, we didn't want it, the children are including us in it. Not every family can be blessed with a mother and a father, not every single mother slept around, and not every single mother is a good mother, let alone trying to be a father also. But to the few single moms who manage to do it all well, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. How ironic that the only people who thought this was stupid was men... Some women are 'pulling double duty' because the men who helped them make their children simply decided they didn't want to play house anymore. Divorce does not absolve men from parental duty, no matter who initiated the divorce. So yes, I'm AM pulling double duty by working double jobs, no one shares the emotional or spiritual support of my children, no one is there to help me teach them to drive or take them to appointments, just me, so Happy Father's Day to me! [BTW, I am a professional with a Master's Degree and must still work two jobs to provide for my family]

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  11. I have an incredible amount of respect for single mothers that pick up the slack for those worthless men that shirk their duties as fathers- in those instances where such fathers deserve contempt. As David points out, not all do. But the fact that this simple logic eludes so many people absolutely floors me. All you single moms- you can have your children pat you on the back and call you father, you can have society pat you on your back and call you a father, and you can pat yourself on the back for it, too. None of that makes it so. It's a pleasant fib, a little white lie designed to make you feel good, which incidentally, cheapens the reverence given to actual fathers on this day. But that's not important. What's important is that you feel good, right?

    And again, why it makes someone feel good to be called something they are not is beyond me. But if that's your thing, by all means, indulge.

    I'm not telling anyone to stop doing it. I'm simply pointing out how ridiculous it is to tell moms "Happy Father's Day!" Single mothers are not fathers, and while I admire their efforts to take the place of one- for whatever reason- they are not fathers. If you think about it, the mere fact that such a simple statement as "A mother is not a father" needs such explanation is actually kind of a sad statement about our culture. We eschew a tragic reality - increasing fatherlessness in America - in favor of embracing a politically correct fantasy that mothers can do the job of fathers.

    No one will begrudge you single mothers the moment to toot your own horn about your degrees, professions, how much you do for your kids, whatever, on Mother's Day. That's what THAT day is for. Father's Day is for fathers. And you are not one. Celebrate yourself as one if you wish, but that fact will not change.

    Happy Father's Day, fathers.

    William

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    1. No, I am not a man. That's the ONLY difference between a father and myself. The cards my children make for me were not asked for, I did not initiate it. Until they began celebrating me on fathers day, it was just a sad day out of the year in which society reminded them of their abandonment. Why deny them the smiles and laughs of a holiday simply because I do not have a penis? They now enjoy fathers day, who are you to tell them they can't?

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    2. Just because you are able to be crass and crude, and say the word "penis" does not make you a man. In reality, the attempt makes you less of a woman as well.

      If your children are as focused on their abandonment as you say, that may be an indication of how affected they are by your attitude.

      This is really very simple: you are a mother who has had to do it alone, and that is very difficult. Yet, even in spite of your best efforts to fulfill both roles, your children must perform psychological gymnastics to get them through Father's Day. Which only goes to prove the point that fathers are irreplacable, just like mothers are.

      Fathers Day is for dads. No matter how hard you try to play the role, no woman is a dad. As William stated, your fight to honor yourself on a day that is not intended for you revealzls your condition for what it is - a martyr complex. If you receiving gifts and cards for Father's Day makes you feel better, I am sure your children will continue to do it just to please you. It is still foolish.

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  12. Wait, I'm less of a woman because I said the word penis? Really? What would you prefer I call it?
    I've said this twice already, I'll try for a third time... Never did I ask my children to celebrate Father's Day. They did it on their own. Walk a mile in my boots and then you can have your say on how to raise my children. Until then we will agree to disagree. I wish you a Happy Father's Day

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    1. No, again you show that you are quite adept at missing the point. Saying the word "penis" does not make you less of a woman, and it is not a question of what to call it. The point is that there is no reason to use it at all, as we have already established that merely siring children does not make a man a father.
      Whether you asked your children to celebrate Father's Day or not, they obviously were able to somehow conclude that you would find it pleasing if they were to honor you on Father's Day...

      Have a say on how to raise your children? Again, you conflate issues. No one is telling you how to raise your children. You can do whatever you want. If you get something out of it for your children to honor you, their mother, on Father's Day, then you certainly have the freedom to engage in such foolishness. That does not diminish my right to call it what it is.

      Again, I ask, and to the point William made, what do you get from it? It would be like someone coming to me and telling me Happy Secretaries Day. I would find it absurd - I am not a secretary. Even though I run my own business and wear many hats and fulfill many roles, I am not a secretary.

      I happen to be a single dad. My child's mother and I, though divorced, still try to work together to raise our child. But even if she were no longer on this earth, I would never diminish the role of motherhood by saying that I as a father have the ability to replace a mother.

      To me, there is much more honor in that than in trying to tell my child that the role of either parent is "replaceable." I am sorry if you cannot see that.

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    2. By the way, I forgot to mention the revealing nature of your comment:

      "No, I am not a man. That's the ONLY difference between a father and myself... Why deny them the smiles and laughs of a holiday simply because I do not have a penis?"

      So to you, the ONLY difference between you and a father, or even a man, for that matter, is that you do not have a penis? There is nothing I could say that could do more to reveal you as the ignorant fool you are, and I can only pray that you are not or have not passed this garbage thinking along to your children. If you are, not only are you not at all a father, but you really are not that good of a mother, either.

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    3. My issue with your comment has less to do with your statement of the obvious -- that you, as a woman, don't have a penis -- but with your attempt to create a straw-man by suggesting that I somehow am trying to rob your children of happiness by explaining something that is an obvious truth. If your children derive joy from the act of giving you Father's Day cards, and you're all the willing to embrace the fantasy, by all means. I would not, nor am I trying, to rob your children of the joy in believing a fantasy, as you wrongfully accuse me. LIkewise, I wouldn't make efforts to tell your kids that Santa Claus isn't real and rob them of THAT joy. I'm not directing these comments at your children. But as this discussion, and David's intitial comments, are intended to isolate reasonable perspective among adults, don't expect me to nurture your asinine belief in something that simply isn't true.

      I have no doubt, however, that your children are proud of you, and very likely, they are happy because of the sacrifices you make for them. That is admirable. And for that, I hope your future Mother's Days are happy ones.

      William

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    4. My point is that there is much more to being a mother or a father than the everyday services which are encompassed by the role of each. Our children learn how to see the world through what we teach them about the world. Yes, it is honorable to do those everyday duties. But it is equally valuable to not be to our children what Jesus described as "the blind leading the blind."
      Anyone who fails to teach their children not only that men and women, and mothers and fathers, are different, but the value of the role of each, then we do a disservice to our children, and we set them up for a life of dysfunction.

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  13. "Harmless?" Well, that is a point of contention, isn't it? As with most delusions, there is great harm that is being done, to children, who become deluded adults. As one example, the prison population is currently running at close to 95% who have come from homes with no father. Obviously those single mothers did not "replace" the role of the father, did they?
    No one questions that raising a child is difficult, even in two-parent homes. It is certainly even more difficult having to do it alone, whether it is a single mother or a father. Which is what makes the point so crystal clear: the role of a mother is irreplaceable. Likewise, so is the role of a father.
    Isn't there much greater honor bestowed upon mothers and fathers to spread that message than there is in trying to tell people the cheapening lie that their role as a parent is replaceable?

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  14. As a final thought, I found this take on the subject absolutely brilliant. http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/14799114-should-we-wish-single-mothers-a-happy-fathers-day

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  15. Did you ever work with kids? Just curious because I spent 11 years working with abused children that ranged from 3 to 17 years of age and they always get depressed around Mother's Day and Father's Day. They actually took it upon themselves to honor the caregivers working with them, whether they were male or female because everyone needs someone to believe in and should be able to honor anyone they want - gender isn't the issue, it's about love, honor and mutual respect... There is nothing wrong with honoring anyone anytime who is loving and respectful.... Just my thoughts..... Peace~

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  16. I saw this and took offense too... for about a minute. Then I realized it's a waste of time to worry about stuff like this. In fact the woman it was posted for was a single mom whose child's father was in prison. So if you're going to rail against someone in this context, rail against the father who's too stupid to put his children before his vices. Better, though, to just not worry about it.

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  17. I don't get the whole "single moms" deserve to be honored in regard to fathers day. Isn't that the purpose of mothers day? Why are so many acting as though single mom's never get any recognition? Mother's day aside, they get praised and recognized practically everyday. Social media is constantly ablaze with the whole "single mothers are heroes" sentiment. How often do you ever see anything posted about single fathers being recognized? Usually it's always posts telling the world what and what doesn't make us a "real father" and a man. I find it also a bit ridiculous that for some odd reason, society feels that single mothers deserve two days of recognition meanwhile married or committed parents deserve just their one day out the year on either mothers or fathers day. If the word "single" is the one defining characteristic making them special, I'm sorry, I just don't see it. Especially when you look at the fact that statistics show that around 70% to 75% of divorce's are initiated by these show called "single mom heroes". Granted of course, there are those cases the fathers absence is outside of her control but still, they don't deserve anymore recognition than any good parent single or not. Instead of making inflammatory remarks towards the deadbeats and distracting from the good fathers....why not just honor a good father in their life. Surely there must be a grandfather, an uncle, or a brother in their lives that are worthy of, and deserving of recognition on the day meant to recognize the good fathers and MEN who are in their kids lives and fulfilling their role as a father. Stop, devaluing and diminishing the value and importance of fathers just because you are bitter and need an ego boost. Maybe more men would step up if they didn't have to grow up in a world teaching them how trivial, unimportant and replaceable good men and fathers are in the world. It's a completely detrimental line of thinking to our society and progression as people.

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  18. Next fathers day I will be celebrating, I am a single mother! Double duty is hard but very rewarding work. Get back in the real world. We shall celebrate if we want too, your words are so last century. Saying childrens lives are destroyed ohh noo.. news flash! My childs life is a million times better with no father. You should waste your time on actual important issues

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