It’s Father’s Day — are you ready to celebrate?
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Right away, we know some of you will want to shout, “NO! I don’t get the chance to celebrate Father’s Day at all!”
Just remember, there’s no one way to observe any holiday. Some people stay home and host a big meal for Thanksgiving. Others fly halfway across the country to stay with their parents. Others book a vacation so everyone in the family can relax.
The same is true for Father’s Day. Across the country, there are dads gearing up to:
- Receive gifts made by their children
- Take the kids out for a fun day together
- Escape their responsibilities for a day with much-needed solo time
- Take the family for a short getaway
- Spend the day alone with their own dads and more
The only thing to do is figure out what works for you and make it happen.
What feels best for you in your situation?
If you rarely get the time you need with your children, Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to spend a day interacting together, but we know it doesn’t work for every family.
You might not have the legal right to see your kids, or seeing them might lead to other legal problems. Maybe you’re afraid an ex will interfere? On the flipside, if the other parent is out of the picture or you have a majority of parenting time, you might really need some time away.
Father’s Day is about you, about how other people can show you appreciation, so don’t hesitate to set your own terms. At the same time, remember, you can only control your own actions. If your ex is interfering, learn what resources you have available (sheriff involvement, for instance, or filing a contempt of court complaint).
Knowing what options you have – and being able to relay that information to your children’s other parent – helps you stay calm and experience less stress. Having a plan of action gives you stability, even if it can’t provide you with immediate results.
The same is true if you want a day away by yourself. You can’t force your ex to help make it happen. So what is a foolproof plan you can control? Hiring a babysitter? Asking a trusted family member?
Too many parents let obstacles stop them in their tracks because they’re not prepared to find answers. Don’t be intimidated. You’re worth making the extra effort to celebrate Father’s Day in a way that will make you the happiest.
What do you do when you can’t have the day that you want?
In the toughest situations, dads aren’t allowed to do anything for or with their kids on Father’s Day. Even then you can write letters and save them up to deliver them to – or even to read them with – your child at some point in the future.
It’s normal to feel depressed in that situation, but there’s a stupid, silly trick you can use to keep from giving in to those demons. Consider that what you feel are the quintessential “dad qualities” you value the most. What are the signs that someone has them?
It makes sense if they’re a little bit weird sometimes too. These ideas are usually rooted in passing moments we experienced as kids and filtered through our understanding of life as a child. The qualities and the actions don’t always have a direct link for adults, like feeling really proud of yourself for being a “responsible dad” when you buy your kids US Savings Bonds. Or feeling like a “doting dad” because you can bake a cake from scratch. That’s half of the fun of making a list of them though – figuring out the assumptions you made as a child.
If you can’t do anything you want to for Father’s Day, check a few of those “ultimate dad” activities off your bucket list instead. It’s an old psychology technique that really works! It might feel a little ridiculous at first, but in the end, you’ll have fun and feel better about yourself as a parent too.
Here’s to you this Father’s Day, whether you are spending it with your children or not! Get celebrating!
Happy Father’s Day to you, from DadsRights.org!