So what do you do when you are a single Mom and Fathers day comes along? Things are fine if the Dad still has consistent positive contact with their kids. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
As a child I had limited contact with my Dad. My Mother never had me do anything for Fathers day. Eventually I chose to make and send my Dad Fathers day gifts. I made that decision on my own. It was my way to reach out to my Dad. It did not change a thing and eventually I stopped, again my decision. It could not have been easy for my Mother to let me do this year after year only to be let down by my Dad yet again.
I have several friends who are single Mothers having to deal with difficult Fathers day decisions. The fathers are either absent, abusive or not reliable; i.e. say they will show up and don’t.
The ones with the absent or abusive Dads cannot let their kids see their Dads for obvious reasons. With the unreliable Dads do you make plans for your kids to spend Fathers day with him? You know that there is a higher chance of him canceling or just not showing up then there is of him actually spending time with his kids. Is it better to have no contact or to not make planes or live with the possibility of him rejecting and hurting your kids again?
This is an incredibly difficult situation to be in. If your child wants to do something for Fathers day let them, even if you know that Dad is not going to respond. The truth is that at this point it is not for the Dad but for the child. Let them be just like their friends, making something for Dad. It is also a good way to let kids express themselves and deal with their feelings.
As a parent it can be heartbreaking to see your child reaching out to someone who is just not there. Kids are not stupid. They figure it out eventually. They will make cards that ask, “Why don’t you play with me, like me, love me?” Let them say what they want. No matter what you will still have to find a way to be there for your kids and let them know that it is not them, their Dad is the one with the problem.
How to deal with it? Don’t force your kids to make Fathers day anything and don’t stop them if they want to. Then make the day about them, not their Dad.