Many of us have more than one man in our life, and on Father’s Day we get to admit that when we honor both our father and the father of our children.
Michelle Morton finds it easiest to start out Father’s Day with having her children honor their father with a special breakfast. They follow that up with taking him out for an activity he particularly enjoys but doesn’t often have the chance to do, such as golf or a movie. From there her family extends the celebration to include the other important men in their lives.
“Have dinner time be the time you spend with your dad or grandpa. If there is more than one, go out for a family dinner, or have a cookout at home and everyone celebrates together,” Morton explained. As a special touch, she never lets her children forget to make something: “…The kids make homemade cards – that sweetens the deal.”
A Fort Wayne reader, “Mary,” is still struggling to find a way to honor all of the important men in her life on Father’s Day without running her family ragged. “I like to spend time with my father. I drop by only for about 30 minutes even though I would like to stay longer because by the time I get out of church, it is 1:30 p.m. and I know we have to get up to my husband’s parents.” She feels torn between family obligations and church: “The day of, I dress three kids for church on my own, help 10 3-year-olds make a Father’s Day craft in Sunday School, attend the church Father’s Day carry-in (which I brought a dish for), visit my father alone while the kids nap at home, get home, pack them up and drive over an hour to my in-laws, visit for three hours, then pack everyone up and go home.” This leaves her feeling exhausted and overtaxed and not in a very celebratory mood.
Although it may not be easy to do on a day where it may feel as if there are competing interests, try to strike a balance that works for not only the special men in your life, but for you, too.
Debra Lynn’s family incorporates a more nontraditional approach that honors both parents: “We avoid gender-specific terms at our house whenever we can — and we are also aware that there are fantastic parental figures in all our lives who are not necessarily our biological parents. So we call both Mother’s and Father’s Days, Parents’ Days (we just celebrate two collective ones a year instead of one each). So that keeps everyone happy,” shares Lynn.
Two special days instead of one for mothers? That may be an idea worth trying.