Dads can be absent on Father’s Day for many reasons, all of which can leave moms puzzling over how to handle the holiday. To help you navigate the day, we've rounded up some great ideas from fellow Circle of Moms members on how to spend Father’s Day when your children's dad is not in the picture.
Celebrating "Grandfather's Day"
If your child’s father is absentee, many Circle of Moms members suggest switching the focus of the day to the men who are present in your child's life, such as a grandfather, uncle, godfather or close family friend. As Chelle B. advises: “Anyone in his life that he considers special or valuable would be fine to acknowledge and spend time with on that day.” And mother-of-three Lin C. agrees: “It is about honoring the caring guys in your life. Help her focus on what she has, not [on] what she doesn't.”
Bonding with Your Child
Other moms recommend making the day about you and your child. Vixi W. shares: “The two of you should make it a special day where you spend special time together and do fun things. Don't take him to places where [Father's Day] is in your face, but take him somewhere away from it all so it's just the two of you.” Charlene M. agrees: “I was raised by my mother and we used to go to the park, or have a picnic.... or just something fun. To this day, I buy my mom a Father's Day card and a gift every year. After all... she was my mother AND my father.”
If your child’s father has passed away, Father’s Day can be extremely painful. How to cope? Laura E. offers several helpful suggestions in the Widowed Moms community, including celebrating at one of their father's favorite places or doing one of his favorite activities: “The first two years I avoided Fathers Day like the plague and took our two young daughters to Disneyland...(their Dad's favorite place). A fun distraction and cherished memories... We also send up a balloon with a tiny card attached to it and special messages written all over the balloon....so he can read it in 'Heaven’ on that special day."
Two Moms, No Dad?
Scratching your head over how to handle Father’s Day when your family has always had two moms? Circle of Moms members in the Lesbian Moms community have several ideas. Some, like Andrea G., don’t plan to celebrate it at all: “I think we are just going to say that's it's for the families that DO have a daddy in it.” Others, like Natalie B., divvy up Mother’s Day and Father’s Day between the two moms: “That way each person gets their own day of acknowledgment, and our child won't feel so left out when that day rolls around.”
Or take Kelly B.’s suggestion of celebrating the day to honor all dads, not one in particular: “One day I decided that we would acknowledge it and make it general and not about one person, and it opened the door to lots of conversations which were really rewarding and revealing.”