It's about that time where I pull back the sheer curtains a little - shed some due light on this year's Father's Day.
As a loving and proud single mother to an extraordinary boy, who is entering adolescence swimmingly, I've recognized the importance of making certain distinctions clear about our family's identity. These reflections are born from a safe space where representation is vital to my understanding of evolving as not only a mother and son, but as whole people.
That being said, I'm drawing a line and crossing out the notion of wishing single mothers a "Happy Father's Day" for serving up "Double Duty". I choose not to identify w someone else's choice to be absent from my son's life. I didn't "become" a father just because society's delusional expectations/negative positivity said so. Am I to really believe and celebrate that a woman/mother becomes two people when the father checks out? As if I'm not pressured enough, this false and passé "double duty" serves up more harm than good.
Yes, I work responsibly and crazy hard. Yes, I nurture lovingly and honestly hard. Yes, I protect warmly and mindfully hard. It's obvious that from a heteronormative point of view, our family is missing a sex, but leave me to categorize where roles/people fit in the grand yet fluid spectrum of pronouns. For the sake of my mental and emotional health, it is impossible for me to fill a father's role in my son's life and I am unburdening myself from attaching to any idea that fails to liberate me.
I'd much rather connect to truths that keep people like "fathers" who don't assume a lick of responsibility, in their rightful and accountable crap corners. The visibility of someone's invisibility is just as pertinent this time of year and should be recognized in the shapes of healthy family discussions, guiding young children who didn't grow up with their father - to face their emotions w courage and sensibility, and community education that empowers all to practice equal social responsibility. Lastly, I'd also much prefer to celebrate those powerful men, women, and gender non-binary humans in my son's life that are agents of change who continue to support us with mindfulness, compassion, and unconditional love.
So my dear single mother Queens out there, I strongly encourage you to take a moment and detach from anything that isn't serving you and to keep boldly yet ever so softly - defining your own boundaries, beliefs, and identity - even if the light within ruffles some feathers ;)