Reflections on Father’s Day From the Child of a Single Mom

Every year on Father’s Day I feel sort of amiss. My grandfather, who was the male influence in my life, passed away years ago. I’m an only child. I was also raised by a single mom. There has to be dozens of psychology books written about my circumstances. According to science, I should be a spoiled, maladjusted, wild animal. I’m just a writer. A writer who is getting married in a few months to a pretty great guy I was lucky to find. My fiancé happens to come from a two-parent home. He has siblings and a dog and a white picket fence. I wonder how we meld so well together when we come from such seemingly different worlds. I think it may be called love.

I always wondered why there seemed to be some consensus that having a father around automatically makes a person more well-adjusted. Single parents don’t get nearly enough credit for what they do. I realized that I’m actually more prepared for marriage- to take on the role of a wife, mother, housecleaner and all around awesome woman, than had I been raised in a home with 2 parents. Why you ask? I learned absolutely everything from my mom. You see my mom had no defined role. She did the bread-winning, cooking, the carpooling, the homework helping, the playing, the child rearing, the fixing, the gardening, the coaching, the supporting… Yes, my mom did it all. I never saw it done any differently. To think that I don’t have to do it all on my own, is almost confusing.

Now that I’m getting married, I realize how much my mom actually did (and still does). I also realize that I’m lucky to have a partner by my side. In my relationship with my soon-to-be husband, we have no clearly defined roles either. We build on each other’s strengths and help with one another’s weaknesses, which, I think, is how it’s supposed to be.

Someday, we hope to have children of our own. Then I’ll have another Father’s Day card to purchase and someone to share some of the burdens and joys of raising kids with. I know I’m prepared because I learned from my mom how to handle the role of not being just a mother, but of being an all-star one woman parenting show. I learned that gender doesn’t matter when something needs to be done-you just have to make it happen.

To all the single moms out there raising kids- I applaud you. Father’s Day should be for you as well. You literally are everything to your children. Father’s Day just isn’t a day about men who have created children; it’s a day celebrating the people who have led by example and help us to cement our own legacies whether they wear an apron or a tool belt.

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