"Happy Father's day to all the single mothers out there!" A sentiment we hear so much on Father's day and one that I personally believe is detrimental. I myself have received a few text messages today wishing me a happy father's day and I cringe at the thought of getting them. Although there are many single and divorced mother's out there fulfilling the duties of their role as a mother and the role of father to their children they will never be a father!
I certainly understand the desire to congratulate and offer support to the many heroic women who are raising children on their own but more often than not this sentiment is used to disparage men who are not actively involved in their children's lives. Although I am a divorced mother of four I understand that I am my children's mother and not their father. I understand that I will never be their father I will only be their mother. I make sure that my children understand this and never will I allow them to wish me a happy father's day because I sometimes fulfill the duties of both roles.
When women take on the role of being mother and father many times they start to believe that they don't need a man in the house to help raise their children. True, there are many single women who are raising and have raised stable successful children but nothing can take the place of children having a father in the home. Fathers are needed in the home but because many women have taken on this "I don't need a man" attitude they are not even open to the possibility of allowing a man to come in and be a part of their family. And why should they when they have been made to believe that they are both the mother and father and the presence of a man is not necessary in the lives of them and their children.
For little girls seeing this they too begin to believe that it is not necessary to have a man in the home to raise children. They see mama doing it and they often don't learn the skills necessary to have a stable successful relationship with a man and build a family. They see their mother with children but they don't see a man involved in those children's lives and the cycle is perpetuated. For little boys, the message is that I can have babies but I don't need to be involved in raising those babies because their mother can do it on her own. Their value as a future husband and father is diminished as they too see their mother raising her children on her own and being praised for it and neither do they learn the necessary skills to build a stable successful relationship with a woman. They also don't learn the value of being a father and being a part of the lives of their women and children.
Children deserve to have a mother and a father in their lives whether their parents are still married or divorced or they are being raised by an unwed mother. Just because their parents may no longer be together doesn't mean that they have to lose the presence of their father or someone else who is willing to fulfill the role of father in their lives. Mother's should be mothers and understand that they can and never will be fathers. I believe that one of the best gifts a mother can give to her children is to speak well of her children's father even if their father is not actively present in their lives. Words spoken highly of their father to children often give children a sense of respect for him and I believe that the goal should always be to build respect even if in the mind of the mother he doesn't deserve it.
So to all of the mothers out there that are raising children on their own I take my hat off to you but please, help your children understand the importance of having a father in their lives by just being their mother.