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How To Make Father’s Day Less Awkward

Father’s Day can be awkward. Stats tell us that one in four homes is single parent-led, and those are primarily single moms. That’s a lot of women and kids with an empty place where a dad is designed to be.

“Writing a book to benefit others seemed as if I was digging in nasty cat litter to find my keys,” said Tez Brooks, author of Single Dad Detour.

You gotta like a guy who will sift through kitty litter for you. Tez wrote a guidebook for fathering after divorce – much needed considering 50 percent of American kids will live in a single-parent home before age 18. “The pain of rejection can drive us (men) to slander, property damage, pathetic begging, withholding alimony, or rebounding with other women,” Tez described. “It just makes the entire male gender look bad.”

Fathers Day is to Remember Men of Influence

Tez boldly reminds men that daily there are moments when fathers have to make split-second decisions to take the high road. When Father’s Day is a reminder of someone who didn’t choose the high road, you can choose to recognize those men who have enriched your life.

Who are the teachers, coaches, pastors, coworkers, grandfathers, uncles, or cousins who invested in you and your family? Notice the fathers who have children deployed in the military, and those who are unable to celebrate in person because of social distancing or other factors. Father’s Day is your opportunity to salute the positive father figures in your life.

Father’s Day Giving

Celebrating Father’s Day is a designated date to connect with those who positively impact your life and the life of others.

  1. Connect face to face over a video call. Whether via phone, tablet, or laptop, seeing one another’s smile is good medicine.
  2. Creative social distancing can include being that extra pair of hands that mow the lawn, wash the car, or wash exterior windows. Show your appreciation making tasks lighter.
  3. Make a video talking about a shared memory and send the video digitally.
  4. Assemble a collection of favorite tunes and share the links.
  5. Share a slide show or video of photos highlighting your relationship.
  6. Send flowers.
  7. Arrange for a meal to be delivered.
  8. Send an ebook such as The Patent.
  9. Read an ebook together such as Homeless for the Holidays or Chasing Sunrise.
  10. Send the link for that special person to listen to the audio version of Homeless for the Holidays.
  11. Send the link for that special person to listen to the audio version of Chasing Sunrise.

Does your relationship with your dad affect your other relationships?

I don’t know any fatherless daughters who don’t have trouble in romantic relationships. Fatherless sons also struggle with their relationships because their example of how men do relationships is marred.

Trusting someone, especially a man, in a relationship is hard for those whose core experience is that men leave. Such complicated emotional growth and immature relationship intelligence can be especially poignant on Father’s Day.

Father’s Day Awareness

Father’s Day is awkward when someone has recently buried a beloved dad. The holiday is painful for those whose dad chose not to be involved, and for those who received from their dad the opposite of love, honor, and respect.

Father’s Day may be awkward for you. Typically, the day is awkward for those who did not have someone to turn to for fatherly protection, solace, strength, and wisdom. If that is the case, Father’s Day may be that good reminder that being protective of ourselves and our children, a leaning to sorrow and bitterness, and insecurity about being abandoned (again) are natural reactions.

And these natural reactions are reminders that we get to do the hard work of becoming healthy and balanced. Of learning to retrain our skewed view so we can nurture good relationships. We can learn to see people as they are, rather than through the lens of our experience with our fathers.

Importance of Father’s Day

Father’s Day is important to recognize fathers and salute the positive father figures in your life. Welcome the day as an opportunity to look deeply within your own heart.

How does Father’s Day affect you this year? What healing and personal growth in relation to your father experience can you celebrate? What hurts and emotional strain are you aware of? 

Our emotions are neither good nor bad. Emotions are indicators of what has happened to our heart. Let your emotions reveal areas you can acknowledge, feel, unpack, and heal with a therapist or mentor.

Father’s Day emphasizes what is good about a father’s vital role in our lives. This day in June honors those dads who did the good things, took the high road, loved deeply, and reflected provision and protection. Father’s Day picks at the scabs over wounds we have band-aided, inviting the wounded to seek connection and healing. We get to do the hard and necessary work, take the high road, love ourselves and others deeply, and reflect provision and protection to those in our circle.

When Father’s Day Looks Different

A solo mom and mentor who walked the single parent journey before me often sends me a Father’s Day card. A bit tongue-in-cheek, she acknowledges the day and turns it into a tip of the hat for those navigating without a dad who is present in the day-to-day. Moms are moms and we will never be dads. That is not our job. Nor are sons ever to fill in as the man of the house in a dad’s absence. The son’s only role is to be the son.

When a dad is absent, a hole remains in the family fabric. There is no filling the role by any other means. We learn to live with the unfilled space in the same way the pilot of a two-engine aircraft adapts to navigate when an engine is out. Though the design is altered and the experience looks different, despite being awkward, we still fly.

To make Father’s Day less awkward, embrace gratitude. And for single moms who are doing double-duty as two parents, Father’s Day is a somewhat awkward opportunity to celebrate all you are doing right and to treat yourself well

Give yourself, and the single moms you know the gift of hope, practical help, and tangible tips with a copy of The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make.

Resources you may like:

Prayer and Garage Sales

Podcast: Do the Next Right Thing

Podcast: Having Trouble Making Good Decisions? Here’s Why

Podcast: Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries

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Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.