Today, has been a day of reflection.
I woke up early (because toddler) after going to bed too late (no naps for the chitlens yesterday, means after they passed out, I. did. me.). My youngest is potty training. She’s doing really good with the occasional accident. As I was dying my hair last night, she woke up because she wet the bed. My bed. Towels. I grabbed towels, and put a diaper on her. She had a restless night…
I have age appropriate snacks at their level in the kitchen, so I was woken up this morning by being asked to open an apple sauce pouch and to put Daniel Tiger on the tv.
Today, is, was, Father’s Day.
I saw beautiful posts of acknowledgement of amazing men on social media. I reflected on those I know personally who are the real deal fathers. I thought off and on about the men in my life who’ve been father figures. I asked my children if they wanted to call their own father. My 4 year old had no interest, but my 2 year old did. The timing wasn’t ever quite right. I have to hold the phone for her and help translate. I debated on calling my oldest child (who currently lives with her dad), but again, the timing was never quite right (toddler potty accidents, hangry toddlers, driving).
We visited with my babies’ paternal grandparents for a bit.
I saw posts on FB regarding single moms not being fathers, reminding us this day was for the dads. I saw posts thanking dads…and single moms. I saw posts of people checking out, because Father’s Day was too much for them to emotionally bear. I saw the unseen. The posts that were half saved and never posted, because the emotional baggage was too heavy to carry to destination. I know there are daddies not being acknowledged because they’ve lost their children way too early to unfair death. There are families morning the unborn. There are those of us who’ve been abandoned by the men we wanted to call, “Dad”. There are those of us who long to have one last sit-down with our fathers.
Together, separately, we mourn. We reflect. We cry. We carry on.
We smile, because you are able to have a beautiful relationship with your father. You can still hug him. You can still call him. You can depend on him. We smile for you.
And we’re slightly jealous.
Those of us with less than or non existent fathers, grew up having pretend conversations with pretend people.
Those of us raising children with part time fathers are left resenting the art work that comes home for the absentee parent for the hallmark holiday.
I was very bitter 2 years ago. I’ve come a very long way since then.
On Mother’s Day, my childrens’ father was in town. I didn’t berate him or my sweet babies for having to share time on “my day”.
If I were to have seen a post acknowledging a single father for raising babies alone due to death or abandonment, I would have cheered him and his on wholeheartedly.
I’ve lived with uncertainty, with abandonment, with death. I alone made decisions that resulted in having children with men not ready to effectively coparent alongside me. I fully realize my decisions have impacted my childrens’ qualities of life.
With these realizations, comes more reflection. Boundaries.
Everyone is entitled to their own point of view.
Today, I won’t post the long, sappy, heart tugging post that I did one year ago, stating how I saw the single mom, doing it all.
Just know, I walked on my couch today absorbing/cleaning up a potty accident. I had conversations with toddlers about tight rope walking and secret gardens. We discussed the neighbors, and we tried catching lightening bugs. It was my babies and me. There was no dad. That doesn’t take away from your partner or your dad who was and chooses to be present. I pray for someone to be present. I long for that. I celebrate the men in your lives who are worthy to be called, “Dad”.
I also have zero shame in congratulating and acknowledging the women who do it all. 2 days of acknowledgement in a year are ok in my book.