It’s that time of year again, where dads everywhere get a slogan T-shirt they’ll never wear and a tea towel with a picture of their favourite beer on it. Social media explodes with throwback photos of smiling children and proud fathers, these aren’t the only posts that show up but I can relate to all three kinds of post:
These are the most common, wishing dads a happy Father’s Day, sharing photos of their dad smiling whilst they do something daddish (like barbecuing). Always with a soppy dedication or a private joke that said father will never see because he hasn’t mastered Facebook.
The other side to this is partners of good dads everywhere. Photos of them holding their child moments after birth circulate and there’s usually some joke about not making them wash up on this very special day. I’m lucky enough to have one of those. My fiance is brilliant with our son, and lovely with my daughter. He puts our well-being first and works hard to give us a nice life. He also never washes up, even on non-special days!
These aren’t bad per se, but they are sad. The lost dads club: I’m a member. I don’t like to share a photo and dedication on my Facebook because my grief is my own and I feel any public sharing cheapens my loss. I like to quietly remember.
It upsets me to see all the sadly missed dads out there, knowing mine is amongst them. It makes me sadder to see the happy dad posts, knowing mine is missing. I’ve turned into a little bit of a Facebook voyeur nowadays, looking at happy family snaps, feeling a bit envious. I never used to care about photos of other people’s dads on Father’s day, I’d just skim past them, thinking so what. My icy heart has melted now, but it’s too late to share a photo and post a soppy message.
You know the posts. There’s always a few referring to deadbeat dads as sperm donors, wastes of space or something much worse. Although I’m not quite scorned enough to post a dirty-laundry-airing rant on this day for celebrating paternity everywhere, I do have a daughter from a previous (failed) relationship.
We’re on neither good or bad terms, ‘civil’ would be the best description. I wouldn’t slate him on Facebook, but I’m not about to dedicate the day to him either. I don’t actually have him on Facebook (I don’t want him, I imagine his feed to be full of crap memes and weird, uninformed political rants that I wouldn’t agree with) but I suspect it’s probably poor form to say anything at all, no matter what you’re feeling. Besides, he clearly loves our daughter and she him, he makes a big effort to do things that make her happy, so he doesn’t really fall into the deadbeat category, think more along the lines of ‘acrimonious ex’.
I suspect your feeds are the same, and if you’ve just posted an ‘ugly’ rant about your sperm donor, remember you wouldn’t be a parent without them!