Not to diminish the importance of honoring dads, but let’s face it. There’s an awful lot of us women fulfilling both parenting roles, whether it be by choice, circumstance, or divorce. Not only are we the nurturers, the soft place to land, “do your homework” police, and stuffy nose patrol, we are the disciplinarians, the leaders, the breadwinners, money managers, trash can taker-outers. There is no “wait til your father gets home”, threat that can be made, no one else that can run interference when we get tired or frustrated. More often than not, there isn’t even anyone that can give us a hug and shoo us into a hot bath to chill out when it all gets to be too much.
We rarely get to sleep when we want, eat when we want, or pee in private. Our days are consumed with packing lunches, making appointments, dealing in homework folders, paying bills for a family on a single income and worrying about college. It’s laundry, groceries, teacher conferences, long work days worrying and missing them, wondering if their biological father is going to flake again this weekend or if he can really be trusted to take them to Disneyland on his own. It’s registering them for sports, buying gear for sports, transportation to and from sports, and bringing snacks for sports. We are the tear wipers, the sliver removal specialists, the broken heart recovery team, the keeper of the chore chart, and sometimes the ass chewer. It is a double time job with little lives hanging in the balance with no vacation or sick days, definitely no retirement package or 401k.
We are belittled and ridiculed by parts of society and the media that believe we are somehow defective and less than because we are moms flying solo, while single dads are lauded as noble heroes, deserving of praise for “being there” for their kids, even if all they do is meet the part time obligations of a court ordered parenting plan. “What a good guy!”, the world shouts as he successfully manages to survive his two weeks in the summer as we do the hardest and most important job in the world with little to no acknowledgment the other 50 weeks of the year.
This weekend while we are honoring the fathers in our lives with barbecues and new five irons, try not to forget that there is a small army of women out there doing the job of two people, being the mother AND the father to the children they raise. Send an email or make a phone call and tell her “good job”, because sometimes Father’s Day is about the moms.