— Lisa Crump
My father died at a young age. Growing up I would hear my mom use the phrase, “I’m both mommy and daddy,” and I never understood what she meant. I didn’t grasp the full meaning of her words until I became a single mother. It’s like history repeated itself.
The sorrow that I felt when Father’s day came around, and when kids talked about fun activities they did with their fathers; I find myself going out of my way to shield my son from feeling that same sorrow, just as my mother did with me.
You may feel that there is nothing you can do to completely fill the void of the father being gone, but as single mothers we must understand that we have a large responsibility on our shoulders. You have to be able to step into both roles willingly and wholeheartedly.
I understand that it gets a little rough being a single mother, especially of a son. Boys are rough natured and they want to be boys. We don’t have the energy to rough house it with them, run round outside, play basketball, or “play cars”.
So what do you do when your son comes home and tells you about all the great things that the other kids in school are doing with their dads? You take a deep breath to regain your composure, and you explain to your son that just because his dad isn’t around, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t special.
Explain to your son that he is still very much loved, and you are giving him the love of both Mommy and Daddy. I know, being single mothers, we get into a routine that becomes comfortable to us. But in the midst of our routines, we can’t forget to give our sons activities that allow them to be boys.
What young man wants to go to school on Monday and tell his friends that he spent all weekend with his mom watching chick flicks? Exactly! One may ask, “Well there are no male figures around him, what am I supposed to do?”
The answer to that question is to enroll your son in a sport or activity that gets him out of the house and AWAY from being up under you constantly. You may not have the ability to be that father figure and go outside and “shoot hoops” with him, but you can involve him in activities with male role models who can do just that. Activities that serve to build character and self-confidence will aid your child in coping with the fact that daddy isn’t around.
Pray with your children when they express sorrows of having an absentee father. Let them know that they can go to God and ask for peace and he will calm their spirits. Make sure to explain to them that it is not their fault and never will be. Father’s Day can be a dreaded holiday for the children who don’t have one. Always be open and understanding to the needs of your child during this time.
Use Father’s day to celebrate the strides you have made and things you have achieved as a family. Celebrate being both Mommy and Daddy.