Dear Single Mothers Celebrating Father’s Day:
Stop. Just stop. This is my biggest pet peeve every year when Father’s Day rolls around. My social media feeds are clogged with self-righteous posts from angry mothers, sad mothers, defiant mothers proclaiming for all to see, “Happy Father’s Day to ME because I’m the momma AND the daddy!”
Every time I see or hear something like that it makes me cringe. One Father’s Day I was standing in a very long line at Church’s Chicken (a line that should have been moving way more quickly than it was considering all they really sell there is fried chicken, which seems like it should be easy to keep producing) when a woman came in, stepped to the back of the line and proceeded to yell at the top of her lungs, “Happy Father’s Day to all you daddies in here! Happy Father’s Day to all you men!”
A few men murmured a quick “Thank you, sister” and smiled in amusement at her volume. “And me!” she added, still yelling. “Happy Father’s Day to me cuz I’m momma AND daddy! I ain’t never needed no man! I’m momma AND daddy!”
A few men respectfully objected.
She insisted everyone else was wrong and turned to me (the only other woman in line at the time) for support, but I had to disappoint her. I shook my head in agreement with the others. “No. I’m sorry. You’re probably a strong mother, but you can never be a daddy. Daddy is a man’s job and only a man can do it.”
What followed is NSFW but I can tell you she was not impressed with any of us, so much so that she left without even ordering. One of the men told me, “Thanks for saying that. I don’t hear women say that much these days. It’s nice to know some women understand that being a daddy is a special job.”
And he’s right. Being a daddy is a special job, reserved for men. I know these days we’ve been having an increasingly bizarre conversation about gender but just for poops and giggles let’s pretend thousands of years of human history and evolution carry more weight than reality TV stars, and assume that male and female are still legitimate gender categories. The truth is this simple – women can’t be fathers. It’s not because of sexism or patriarchy. It’s not because they are awful mothers. It’s because in order to be a father, you must have a penis that produces sperm and then fertilizes the egg of a woman. It’s biological.
You might be an amazing mother, a strong mother, an outstanding mother to rival all mothers who came before you… but you will never be a father.
There is a reason it takes two people of the opposite gender to procreate. Each gender has its own unique gifts to offer, and when they work in harmony, they create a wonderful balance for a family. A man cannot teach a girl how to be a woman. The very thought is offensive! He knows nothing of what it’s like to develop breasts or start a menstrual cycle. He doesn’t understand how a woman’s brain works, what emotions she feels and how she views the world. He can’t, because he’s not a female.
Likewise, no woman can teach a boy how to be a man. She can teach him what she thinks makes a good man, but she can’t know what it feels like to be a boy turning into a man. She doesn’t understand how the male brain works (good grief, how many conversations have you had about how differently men and women think?!). She doesn’t know why a man does some things and not others.
In turn a man teaches a young girl how to expect to be treated by other men as she matures. A woman can fill in some of the gaps with experience and advice, but I can tell you from my own intimate experience… there is no woman who is man enough to fill hole left when a father abandons his children.
A mother can’t be a father because she’s not a man.
I think it is cruel and harmful to let your kids hear you say you are both “mother and father.” It negates their feelings of loss. It tells them they should just be satisfied with your version of “fatherhood” and that hole they feel in their heart is their own fault for not being able to be satisfied with just you. Don’t devalue their very real struggles to fulfill your pride.
I am constantly amazed at how many great single mothers are out there busting their butts to work and raise decent human beings at the same time. You have my utmost respect. You deserve every accolade and word of encouragement you get and I hope your children grow up to know the extraordinary sacrifices you’ve made.
Don’t sully the equally extraordinary sacrifices fathers make by insisting their contribution is no different from your own. I’m sorry if you’ve been hurt or burned. I’m sorry if you’re the one left to pick up the pieces and try to guide these children alone. It’s not fair and I’m sorry. But don’t take it out on all the fathers who are there for their kids, some of whom aren’t even biologically theirs. There are great men out there who deserve a day – just one day, just like moms get – where everyone in the country just takes a few moments to say, “Thanks, dads! Your job is unique and you matter.”
Just let the men have that. It doesn’t take away from your “Mother of the Decade” status and it doesn’t let deadbeat dads off the hook. It’s simply recognizing that good fathers are out there, and they matter.
Kira, your friend and fellow hard-working mother
Kira Davis is a writer, video blogger and homeschool mother of two. She has interviewed President Obama and appeared on Fox News, The BlazeTV and the Dr. Phil Show. Kira is a dog person but she owns a cat anyway. You can find her on Twitter @RealKiraDavis.
Flip through the gallery below to read more from Kira and our other EveryJoe columnists.
Dear Kim KardashianNo, your nude selfie is not "empowering."
Photo by Vanessa Carvalho/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images
Dear GOP CandidatesWhen Donald Trump skipped the recent GOP debate on FOX, the other candidates definitely missed his presence. They needed Trump on that stage.
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Dear Tim CookRead Kira's open letter to Tim Cook and Apple about not giving in to the FBI's demands
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Dear Leftist MediaYour PC culture is literally killing us.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dear DemocratsIn 2016, the Democrat party is officially the party of old white people. What happened?
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dear TV ExecsThis open letter reveals what we really want (and don't want) to see on TV.
Photo by ridofranz / Getty Images
Dear Trump FanaticsThis open letter is not to Trump fans, but rather FANATICS! It's nearly impossible to talk to you rationally about the issues and candidates in this race so far.
Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
Dear American Gun CultureThis open letter discusses American gun culture and the Second Amendment.
Photo by STILLFX / Getty Images
Dear Kanye WestThis open letter addresses Kanye's supposed presidential aspirations, and more.
Photo by Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images For MTV
Dear Mainstream Media SelloutsThis is an open letter to the media sellouts who are avoiding covering the Planned Parenthood scandal.
Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images