I dread Father’s Day.
It’s not that I’m against setting aside time to honor dads. In fact, I love having my kids make personalized gifts for me and sharing a quiet day relaxing with my family. What I dislike about Father’s Day is that many people use it as an opportunity to bash fathers. Judging by the comments posted on social media sites, you’d think that deadbeat dads were the norm. Typical posts include:
@momsaredads I should get a gift today since I have to be the mother and the father (BTW – There are now Father’s Day cards for moms)
@mydadisaloser Just because a man can make a baby doesn’t mean he can be a dad.
@dadsucks To all the men who had babies and don’t take care of them – you suck!
And these are the tame posts.
The most prevalent post of the day is always some variation of this one:
@arealdad This goes out to all of the REAL dads out there.
On the surface it seems like a compliment. But it is actually a thinly veiled attack on men who don’t always take care of their parental duties. I understand the anger and disappointment behind these posts because I felt it, too. I grew up without a father and I spent many years hating him. If social media were around when I was a teenager, I probably would have posted the same messages. Pain causes people to respond in ways that aren’t always productive.
Absent fathers are a fact of life. However, I don’t see the point in publicly bashing these men on a day set aside for honoring fathers. You rarely see this type of behavior on Mother’s Day. Facebook and Twitter are filled with beautiful tributes to mom. Mothers are placed on a pedestal and the world gathers around to worship them. People don’t mention the terrible moms, the ones left their children or are abusive and neglectful. And if someone does write something negative about his mom, there is often a caveat—“She did the best she could with what she had.” It seems to be easier to forgive moms than it is to forgive dads.
All dads aren’t perfect, but there are legions of men who embrace their roles as fathers and strive to be the dads and husbands that their families need them to be. Instead of focusing on the deadbeats, let’s use Father’s Day to lift up these men. That would be the best Father’s Day gift ever.
Join the conversation: What is your opinion on the social chatter on Father’s Day.