Mother's Day means different things to different people. To me, it's bitter-sweet. Each year my young children (now 7 and 4) have different emotions as all of their friends celebrate with their mothers. That raises lots of feelings in me that I haven't completely processed. On the other hand I celebrate the wonderful mother I have who is alive, in good health, and a tremendous help in raising my children.
The one thing about Mother's Day that bothers me the most is when people wish ME a happy Mother's Day. I want to scream back at them "I AM NOT A MOTHER"!!! I don't. I calmly remind them I am not a mother and swiftly change the subject.
If they took a moment to think about it, they might realize how offensive this can be. First, there is no replacing the love a mother has for a child. No matter what I do, could never provide that type of love. In fact, I don't try. Secondly, why would someone ever think that I would want to be portrayed as a motherly figure? There is a certain gently touch to life and parenting that only a woman can pull off. Again, I don't try. Lastly, because I cook, clean, wash clothes, and take my children shopping, that also does not make me a mother. That's the most offensive part. When my wife was alive, we divided those duties up anyway. For all of these reasons, and more, I can't figure out why anyone would ever wish ME a happy Mother's Day.
What I am to my children is a loving single parent. I give them all the hugs and kisses they need. I engage them. I talk to them. I take care of their basic needs for food, water, and shelter. I make sure they are educated. I also make sure they have women in their lives. Those are just general things I do as a widower dad raising two children.
As Mother's Day approaches, before you utter the words happy Mother's Day to a widower dad like myself, you should pause. Take a minute to ask him how he feels about Mother's Day instead. I bet that would be conversation that will enlighten you on how he feels about the holiday. It will go a lot further than any other words you could possibly say to him. While you are at it, ask him how he feels about Father's Day as well. I bet you will come out of those conversations knowing how you can help him deal with these holidays better.
~~ The Widower Dad
I'm placing this same entry on my blog. If you want to read more of my posts, you can find a link in my profile. I only have a small following there. I have the utmost respect for this site and hope that this article reaches the masses.