Is Father’s Day Really Overlooked?

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In about two weeks we’ll celebrate Father’s Day. Personally, I’ve got a pretty awesome dad. I grew up in a very “odd” house. Just a quick synopsis, my parents were married, divorced, married and are now divorced again. Despite all of that, my father has always had a big impact on my life and been there when I needed him. Being as though, there were large amounts of time when my parents were separated and pretty much by the nature of Black families these days, I spent most of my upbringing with my mother’s side of the family. A quick synopsis, that’s all women; my grandmother, great aunt, two aunts and mother. You can imagine what most holidays were like… but the one that stood out the most was Father’s Day. We simply never celebrated it. My aunts were married, but there husbands weren’t around much. We definitely celebrated Mother’s Day — boy, did we celebrate the hell out of that day. But Father’s Day… was always a big thud.

That got me thinking… are we overlooking Father’s Day? Does it have the same appeal as Mother’s Day? And is that fair for Fathers who do a great job? I’m not sure. I wrote this piece over at MadameNoire this week. This is an excerpt, and the full article can be read over there by clicking here.

When you think about Mother’s Day and how celebrated the holiday is by all, is anything missing?

Next weekend, we’ll celebrate Father’s Day. We’ll spend a day among family and fathers and thank them for the gift of life and their contributions to our families (Or lack thereof…). We will gather around the dinner table and dad will get the big piece of chicken; the same one that he typically gets every Sunday at dinner. However, this piece of chicken will be “special.”

After dinner, we will go in the living room and let dad have the remote to watch what he would like to watch tonight. The remote that goes to the television that he probably bought, as he sits in the chair he likely bought too. He will open cards and share that moment with his children and maybe his children’s children.

Father’s Day is a point of reflection. While the holiday is much different in the amount of attention given to Mother’s Day, it’s because fathers are celebrated differently. Mothers are celebrated because of their gifts to us that they didn’t have to do. However, the best fathers are those who can make their contributions, those things they ought do, seamless.

There are those fathers who love, care, and provide for their children in a proud way, but many are silent givers. It’s only in reflection that we are able to see their contributions. We hope those reflections don’t happen postmortem; those are the worst. But somehow, we seem to miss those points in each of our perennial celebrations.

Ironically, as we merge the responsibilities of parenthood, due to need or modernization but most likely out of need, mothers are celebrated on Father’s Day. Your timeline will be filled with tweets, Facebook filled with status updates and pictures posted on Instagram of mothers who stood in the place of missing fathers. Let me be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s several mothers who did the job of two when there was only one around. And I applaud them.

But that is what’s missing from Mother’s Day — the same celebration that is given for mothers on Father’s Day, isn’t given to those single fathers on Mother’s Day.

Read the remainder of the article here.

- Dr. J

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  • The Guy

    Every saturday night me and my friends get together to celebrate "Women without father's day" at the clubs…you'll meet a lot of em.

    • Adonis

      _sshole!

  • Animate

    I wouldn't say that it is overlooked. It's more so like you said, celebrated differently. My dad is laid back and pretty much looks at holidays as "just another day".

    Women like to be acknowledged and have gifts thrown their way so missing that is a mortal sin in the eyes of many. Men look at it as rewarding me for something I'm supposed to do.

    I'm glad to be acknowledged as a father but if I wasn't I wouldn't curse the world over.

    (I purposely avoided the rise of single parent (mother) households)
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  • Smilez_920

    Remember that Father’s Day episode of “Everybody Hates Chris”. The whole neighborhood was prepared and excited to celebrate Mother’s day because the neighborhood was filled with Mother’s. Father’s day not so much, Chris said including his dad there were only 3 other dads on the block.

    While I get the whole single mother’s feel they play the role of both MOM and DAD. I feel like their only referring to the role a father plays financially in a household. What about the emotional and mentally aspects a father plays in a child’s life? I think one of the reasons father’s day isn’t as heavily celebrated as father’s day is because of the emotional aspects. When people talk about Mother’s we tend to refer to all the love, caring and affection they received. Therefore were going to praise our mother’s with that same affection as much as we can. Father’s are still seen simply as providers, while providing is definitely important it doesn’t have that same emotional feel. That’s why mommy gets the Clothes, fancy dinner, and beautiful cards on Mother’s Day and Dad get’s the big piece of chicken and a tool belt lol

  • K3rdrail

    I think Father’s Day is overlooked. I agree with Animate, in the fact that fathers like to be acknowledged in a different way than mothers, but if you look at the way media promotes the two, Mother’s Day gets a much larger and more prolonged push than Father’s Day. You start seeing Mother’s Day ads and commercials in April or sometimes late March and nothing for Father’s Day until a week or two before it seems.

    I also think Father’s Day is particularly overlooked int the African-American community due to the fact that there are so many households without fathers. I have friends that have grown up with both parents, some without dad, and some without mom. The ones who didn’t have dad around seemed to put more emphasis on Father’s Day than the ones without. Personally, I lost my father to cancer on Mother’s Day 12 years ago so Mother’s Day has a little twist for my family, but I still make a point to bring a Father’s Day card to my dads grave on Father’s Day because I he meant the world to me.

  • jdoubleu

    I don't think it's overlooked, I just think fathers don't expect or desire to be praised the way women/mother do. Fathers do what they're supposed to do thanklessly because it's the nature of a man to provide as a whole (not just financially speaking). Whereas, a woman chooses to be a mother. So what you said "mothers are celebrated because of their gifts to us that they didn’t have to do." jumped out at me; because that very gift is life.

    It's odd to me how these 2 innocuous "holidays" cause so much vitriol with people. My thing is always if you had an absentee parent, break the pattern w/ you and your offspring.
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  • http://STFU4ABetterRelationship.WordPress.com Sha’

    Father’s Day may not be over commercialized like some holidays. However, I think the most important thing is how that Father is honored within his family.

    Sha’

    STFU4ABetterRelationship.WordPress.com

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    jdoubleu: "I don't think it's overlooked, I just think fathers don't expect or desire to be praised the way women/mother do."

    That's what I think it is. Men don't stand on ceremony the way women do. Women typically enjoy the ado and attention on Mother's Day. For most fathers, if you give them some Popeyes, a cake, leave them in peace for a few hours, then give him some @$$ before he goes to bed, that would be the perfect Father's Day.

  • InsomniaPoet

    Let's call a Spade a Spade…Father's day doesn't get as much pomp & circumstance b/c quite frankly most father's could give a damn. Either he is MIA and not in the house on any day (Father's Day included) so of course this "Father" wouldn't care…or he is there and involved and being a great father but doesn't need a Macy's Day Parade every other second to prove his worth…

    It's just one of those differences between men & women…it's the same thing w/ birthdays…a woman wants the whole world to recognize and celebrate her birthday she's sending out a reminder email the day after her birthday to tell you it'll be her birthday again in 364 days…a man won't even tell you it's his birthday on his actual birthday. LOL

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    I think part of it comes from being humble, men typically dont go crazy over holidays. I typically would prefer to spend my birthday with a ladyfriend, while people around me are much more hyped to turn up than i am. I’d be more upset if i didnt get to give the best gifts come christmas than i would if i received nothing. Men appreciate appreciation but getting worked up over Father Day like you aint got more important ish to worry about, nah.

  • http://whatyouallow.com/ Wildflower

    I don't think that Father's Day is overlooked but then again it doesn't have the same affect on people as Mother's Day.
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  • Bree

    I agree with Jdoubleu, Animate and Uncle Hugh.
    For my dad Everyday was fathers day :). And that was
    good enough for him. He wanted no gifts or anything like that. He was happy with a nice card.
    In my family we celebrate fathers day and do it up big just as we did mothers day. I remember my grandmom and the grandkids making my grandfather breakfast in bed and my brother and sister and stepmom making my dad breakfast in bed on fathers day. We took the men out to eat, (and yes the women paid) lol. Or if they prefered a homecooked meal we made their favorite meal. We've always given my dad, uncles, grandfathers, gifts and cards on fathers day. I make sure I wish All my guy friends who have kids a happy fathers day and tell them to do something just for them. I do think Fathers Day should be just as celebrated and hyped up as Mothers Day.

  • Bree

    I think in his first year President Obama had a bbq for the guys to celebrate Fathers Day. He invited guys and their kids. Just regular people I think and probably his staff. He bbq'd and there was pics of him manning the grill and they played football on the lawn of the whitehouse and everyone had a good time. I think that was a great thing for him to do as the POTUS in his first year.
    Dads are just as important as moms.

  • http://www.blacklatinafabulous.com Maris

    Hmmmm.

    Maybe it’s because I’m Hispanic, so pardon the culture barrier. But in “my” house, fathers day wasn’t a big deal because the men in my family’s house got treated as the head daily. When I ate at Grandma’s no matter when the food was cooked we could not eat until her husband (& later, my uncle) came home from work. He’d then get SERVED the big plate (he never served himself), and THEN we would eat. If he had a food request he got it. The tv was always set on his station anyway. He never really touched the kitchen, rarely did laundry, and his word in the house was pretty much law (in public). The reason mothers day was a big deal was she got that day off and other people did the stuff for her. As opposed to fathers day, where the only difference between it and a Tuesday was a card with his served breakfast. To me, that was why it never really was a pomp & circumstance kinda day.

  • mstoogood4yall

    i don't think father's day is as celebrated as mother's day because with mothers they like to be surrounded by family on that day whereas a lot of fathers like to have the day to relax and do what they enjoy. Most fathers say don't do too much and don't make a big deal out of the day. At the same time why do ppl stay getting fathers tools and sheit for their day, why not cook them a steak and let them have the house to themselves to relax. We don't give mothers an apron or a broom for mothers day lol, so the fathers should get some better things. I don't know what i'm getting my dad yet but i'll think of something.

  • Nika

    For years Father's Day was one of the most dreaded days of the year for me mainly because I'd spend hours trying to find a card that could relate, then i completely gave up. I had a father who had none if the excuses alot of young fathers had. At 25 he was bringing in $70K a year which in the early 80s was alot,, yet he was promising me his 5-year old a bike I'd never receive. Those same promises bled over into visits, Christmas and the other holidays. In my early teens my mother sent me to live with him because she felt I needed to understand for myself what he was truly like and he proved her right. I was an award winning track star and he never made a track meet. My step brother was a mediocre football player on a team that never earned a thing yet he was at every game. When I received an all star award he dropped me off and asked if it really mattered if he was there. I let him go and walked home with my grand prize, a scholarship and a trophy. When I was 17 I got up the nerve to ask him why I wasn't more important to him as my stepbrothers and his response was " I told your mother I didn't want any girls" as if she had some control over that. He later joked to his friends in front of me that he and my mother were both so disappointed the day I was born that no one held me for days. So after a heated argument I spent 5 years not speaking to him. I went off to college, joined the military later and became a successful public relations manager. My baby sister became a nurse. he as eqally annoyed with her being born female. Both my step brothers went to jail and one is still there. This past Christmas I overheard him bragging about his daughter's 6 bedroom house. How ironic , I thought it was that now he sings our praises. But for me the time for a bond that we could have shared is gone. I have my own life and often find myself annoyed when he calls. Now I get how he must have felt when I was a kid. So as far as Father's Day, he's lucky if he gets a text. As for him asking why, I simply repeated the same response he gave me when I was 17; ," I told, you I didn't want no deadbeat father, but I guess neither one of us got what we wanted, so get over it like I did. Most people don't celebrate Father's Day cause most of us barely know a man that deserves to be celebrated. You'd never hear this topic discussed amongst white, and Asian folks. why? because they see no difference between mothers or Father's Day. Lets just be real about it.

  • krystllyght

    I don't think Father's Day is overlooked. I think people are mostly confused about how to celebrate it. Mother's Day is easy. You buy flowers, supposedly wait on her hand and foot and take her out to eat at some place special. If you don't do this bare minimum for mom on Mother's Day and make her feel appreciated, it's been reported that she may cheat the next day. On Father's Day you give him a tie and he throws some meat on the grill. That's a pretty laid back day considering all that (good) dads do but dads are supposed to be the more laid back parent so I guess it fits. When I was coming up, Father's Day just so happened to fall on the day that half the church was returning from a conference and that kind of overshadowed it. Nowadays, I'm buying or making no less than five or six cards on Father's Day for various family members and buying whatever gift it is that my hubs wants. I make him his breakfast request and we'll pretty much do whatever else he wants which is still not very different from most weekends. So laid back day for a laid back parent.

  • http://www.supertravesti.org travesti

    yes yes

  • Butters

    Father's day in the hood is a confusing day.

  • http://twitter.com/jtSolBroSupreme @jtSolBroSupreme

    I still don't understand why we make it so difficult.

    For those who Father's Day brings about a ILL feelings, i get that too.

    But it generally doesn't take much to acknowledge dads. I just wish we could do it without all of the silly qualifiers….because we certainly don't do that on Mothers Day and newsflash, NOT all mothers are a joy either.

    But it is what it is. In general, men just keep it moving…its part of manhood. ;-)