This father’s day welcomed what appeared to be a long-awaited reprieve from the dead beat dad symphony. Compulsive posters opted out of  their abated need to dad bash and were silenced or more inclined to promote a more positive message on Sunday. Today, a friend of mine shared a picture of the mother-daughter dance she had at her wedding. She was compelled to show me the still the photographer got of me in the background.  Soon after, it occurred to me that the bride was given away by her mother at the last three weddings I attended. At the last, many of the women in attendance were in tears as a mother and her daughter took to the floor to do their mother-daughter dance. Few of the persons I know are the products of a nuclear family, and I believe in that moment, we were all touched by what we imagined it took to get to this moment. For a single mother to see her daughter through college and to now be giving her away.

The Formula

This post isn’t about the single mother struggle or to beat the shit out of the dead horse that is the absentee farther. It is instead to uplift those who do it alone and manage to produce mentally equipped adults who are seemingly successful in life and love. There’s no doubt that there are concrete building blocks missing for a child who has grown up without a father. But equally worthy of mention is  that while it may be hard and subsequent issues will most likely arise, we are the only ones who can allow adversities to cripple us. Dwelling on Daddy issues are a crutch (albeit a larger injury for some than others), and will impact you only as much as you allow them. Bashing men and using every opportunity to publicly display your anger isn’t the way to change YOUR situation.

It’s not fair that you have to do everything. It’s not fair that you can’t catch a break. We know you wish sometimes you could throw caution to the wind and neglect your responsibilities the way he does. These facts aren’t lost on anyone. When it’s all said and done you will have to do what you have always done, ADAPT. Parenting is about the constant (often exhausting) provision of love, acceptance, and safety. Provide that and expel your energies and making things independently easier for you and your child, not dreadfully awful for him. It’s the tussle and anger a child witnesses that often contribute to those already looming feelings of neglect. A friend of mine once told me, don’t worry about your children not seeing things, kids always understand the grand scheme of things once they are older. You don’t need to expel energy making everyone know (and your child in the process) that they have been abandoned by their dead beat Dad.

For every phenomenal father, there will be a worthless one (or three). It’s not on the decline, and you can’t do very much about it. Describing a drowning situation is never as productive as working towards securing a life raft.

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