The XX Factor

Keep Mothers Out of Father’s Day

Dayo, I disagree that mothers-even single mothers-should be honored on Father’s Day . Moms just got their shout-out a month ago; do they really need another one? Yes, some women serve double duty as both mother and father, and surely their kids should give them extra love on Sunday. But if we systematically turn Father’s Day into yet another celebration of all of the child-rearing and housekeeping that female heads of household take care of, I worry that will inadvertently suggest that there isn’t enough child-rearing and housekeeping to celebrate among dads. To borrow a sentiment from an essay that hardly needs another link since it got so much damn attention the first time, perhaps the way to mold the man you want is to “reward behavior [you] like and ignore behavior [you] don’t. After all, you don’t get a sea lion to balance a ball on the end of its nose by nagging.” Father’s Day is a great chance to reward the men who do their share of bringing up baby. Let’s not ruin it by giving them their praise with a wink, then turning the conversation back to the “real” parents.

Anyway, mothers aren’t the only single parents out there doing double-duty. And no one’s suggesting we should do something special on mother’s day for widowers or custodial fathers who are raising their kids alone.