This day is a weird day for me. I feel like I should acknowledge it but also it feels like just another day because at the end of the day neither me nor little P have Dad’s. Then again though I do both roles and every year without fail she trots home from the childminder’s with a supermum or world’s mum card that she’s made whilst the other’s did their Father’s Day cards.
So it does get acknowledged and without fail on this day I’ll always miss my Dad. P however doesn’t give a hoot and so she shouldn’t. She’s quite happy not having a dad and made me super proud when her learning book from nursery featured a story about how she told the whole class that her family is just her and mummy but that she loves all of her friends and that they’re her family too! She’s quite happy because she’s got some many other much more positive and loving role models that have chosen to have a vested interest and care for being in our lives. How nice is that? That these people have chosen to love us! Pretty honouring and special if you ask me, especially when it’s displayed so well through their actions.
What’s my issue then? Well it’s not even a grief thing. Brutal honesty, it’s a case of the green eyed monster if I’m honest. I see my friends and family around me have bigger families and a larger network of support, I see them with their Dad’s and partners their to swoop in and take over when it comes the “blue jobs” I wrote about in Why aren’t you here now? Now I know I can and do, do all these things myself and the stubborn nature I have insists I do, making me bloody fickle too! That’s right I’m jealous of those with a father/husband figure to do the stereotypical man stuff but also won’t let anyone come help…I’m a bloody nightmare!!
My envy stems from more than that though, it’s the whole family thing, I don’t have much immediate family that live close so when I see friends around me with that blood family support network, celebrating special occasions together it can be really tough. Christmases, big family Sunday dinners, birthdays and Easters etc all sat round tables together or on holidays and camping trips or picnics is hard, it brings pangs of jealousy. Mother’s and Father’s days or other special occasions where big massive displays of gratitude, love and affection are displayed can cut deep. It’s hard because I have to do these things alone, especially whilst P is so young and small.
The thing is though, deep down I know that there’s also several things to consider. First and foremost it’s that I do have that too, but instead it’s just not a blood family make up. It’s the friends that have chosen to be family, the ones that show up and stick around. The ones round that corner that a year today painstakingly laid 30metres square of turf with me, the ones that invite us over for family only celebrations because we’re family too, the ones that pour me a gin the minute I walk in their house, throw my daughter in the bath with theirs and don’t even tell just expect me to make myself at home. You know the ones that just make room for you and make you fit in. A good friend sat in my garden and said last month, “you’ve such a lovely family of friends” which included her and her tribe too!
I also need to remember that it’s easy to be an outsider looking, perceiving these more traditional looking family units has happier and more functioning than mine but are they really? Social media paints alternative pictures to reality as we all only ever display what we want people to see. Plus, they’ll also be missing something, I’ll have something they don’t whatever that maybe, a personality trait, a person in my life, an attribute or achievement they wish they’d got or done. We all have something we long for when we see other people’s lives or our perception of their lives. Ultimately I don’t really think I want to change that much in mine, just my perception of my life more than anything-cue another post!
So why do I really find Father’s Day uncomfortable. It isn’t actually sadness or grief, that is there and is a small pang but to be honest it’s not that bad, I don’t cry or feel depressed throughout the day, that feeling actually creeps up at random times without warning. It’s also not grief or sadness at how my marriage turned out, that was the best decision I made and I wouldn’t go back for anything. No, it’s actually more about my envy and perception my life in comparison to others and facing the reality that I need to stop letting a case of the green eyed monster get the better of me. That I need to stop comparing and assuming the lives of others are better than mine when in reality I don’t know what hidden battles they’re fighting.
It’s also about acknowledging that it is also ok to feel this jealousy, upset and frustration sometimes and that I don’t have to constantly fight negative feelings. That I can be frustrated, angry and upset at not having those figures in mine and P’s life, as long as I own those feelings and don’t react to them through negative behaviours.
Now I always like to end on a positive, so I’m going to wish myself a Happy Father’s Day and treat myself because I don’t always give myself enough credit for doing the pink and the blue jobs, for fulfilling both roles and being mum and dad. Maybe that’s part of my problem, that I don’t allow us to celebrate these things and that I don’t show myself the gratitude and celebration I’d get if I had the family unit I’m talking about. After all, I insist on doing everything my own self why do I not insist on making that the old stuff too!
Happy whatever bloody day peeps, father’s, mother’s and even oompah loompah’s day if you like. Just enjoy it for what it is with what you’ve got because someone somewhere will wish they had what you have.