As soon as June makes it’s way to my calendar every year, I know that the daunting Father’s Day is on its way. The constant commercials, special sale prices at the mall, and never-ending social media posts make it impossible to forget that the third Sunday of June is a day to celebrate fathers and the special impact they make on our lives.
I was raised without my dad in the picture. In hindsight, it was definitely better that he had no influence on my life. I am actually quite lucky that my mom was my only parental impact. Being a girl raised without a dad in my life makes Father’s Day extremely difficult for me. Every year, I can never escape the chronic reminder that seemingly everyone in the world is off having a great time celebrating their wonderful fathers and spending time with the strong male figures in their lives.
None of my friends were ever available to hang out on Father’s Day because they had family parties to go to or special dinners to attend. In school, when we would make crafts for Father’s Day like paper ties, I would sit at my desk uncomfortably waiting for my teacher to bring me the pink crayon so I could at least participate in the activity and make one for my mom. It was embarrassing being that girl without a dad, especially on Father’s Day. I always felt enormously alone and pathetically depressed when this holiday rolled around.
My mom has been my biggest inspiration in my life. She surpasses Superman in my mental list of heroes. When I was younger, it felt wrong making my mom a present for Father’s Day because she plain and simply wasn’t my dad. What I’ve come to realize over time is that on days such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day we should really be taking the time to celebrate any of the amazing parents and guardians we have in our lives.
I’m sure so many people out there struggle with Father’s Day and Mother’s Day just as I have: feeling alone, left out and depressed. Having a father doesn’t necessarily mean having someone who you share DNA with. There are remarkable father figures that millions of people have in their lives who aren’t blood-related. This should not be a day to dwell on the absence of a significant role model; Father’s Day should be a day to just celebrate the wonderful guidance we receive from the people who have raised us.
In regards to all of the powerful single mothers who have sacrificed their lives to raise children, I just want to take this time to thank you for being both parents at once. I truly believe that it’s better to have one really great parent as opposed to two parents, who may be emotionally distant, or dealing with some serious personal issues of their own. Being a single parent allows you to put everything aside in your own life to give your child everything you have to give.
My mom and I never had a lot of money. But that didn’t matter at all. She made up for it by spoiling me in all of the love and affection I could ever ask for. I never felt unfulfilled because my father wasn’t around. I never go to go to a Daddy-Daughter dance and I’ve had so many people temporarily attach the “daddy issues” stigma to me without even knowing who I was. But that really doesn’t matter. My compassionate, loving and beautiful mother was more than enough. So thank you to every Mother who has raised their children without a partner. You are truly an inspiration. Happy Father’s Day to you.