Happy Father's Day yesterday to all Dads and dad-representatives. Yay you!
I saw a 'joke' about Father's Day that really bothered me. It was comparing Mother's Day and Father's Day via hamburgers. The Mother's Day burger was tall, it was multi-layed and loaded with interesting ingredients. Everything looked fresh and juicy and drool-inducing. The Father's Day burger, on the other hand was one layer. It looked as if it might have been stepped on. And it appeared to be mostly bread with a small boot-leather piece of something representing meat and a half melted piece of cheese. It was very sad.
And actually, once I started thinking about it, now and again I have heard some disgruntled dads 'jokingly' muttering about the inequity between mother's day and father's day celebrations. I wondered if there was any truth to it.
I have been given to understand that the busiest day of any year in the restaurant industry is Mother's Day. Which surprised me. Somehow I thought it would be Valentine's Day. But nope. Mother's Day. Father's day isn't even in the top 10. That was shocking.
Then too are the ads. Take a look. Mother's Day ads are for Jewelry and fancy restaurants. Father's Day ads are for grilling equipment and Dairy Queen cakes. Now all of those things are awesome: jewelry, restaurants, grilling and DQ, but they are not equal.
And when I really thought about it more, I realized that in TV and movies Dad's tend to be depicted as jokes. Dads are either the bumbling, fumbling, guy who is almost always wrong or a distant regal king on his throne, respected but not exactly a warm and cuddly relationship guy. Father's day is barely mentioned at all while Mother's day is practically like Christmas. It makes no sense to me.
So we have sad "jokes", disgruntled mutterings, and unequal advertising and representation on screens large and small. Maybe there really is something to this.
So I was thinking about it. If this is true, why would it be? I think I kind of get it.
In my growing up years, and in generations before that, Father's went to work outside the home and mothers stayed home. Dad's earned the paycheck that paid all of the bills and mother's cooked and cleaned and raised the children. That's just how it was.
Mother's were basically in the kids faces 24/7 and Dad's were some mysterious, distant figure who made big decisions and determined punishments. It's no wonder that most kids might have felt more connected to their moms. Historically dads were warriors and hunters, mom's were loving caregivers. Mom's didn't just show their love every day in a zillion different ways but actually said the words. Dad's showed their love for their families by working hard and providing for them, but rarely said the words. Of course the kids had a closer relationship with their mothers.
However, times have changed. It's just not that way anymore. In a two parent household, in most cases both mom and dad work now. Kids are raised by people who are paid to do so and all parenting is done by BOTH mom and dad after work and on the weekends, squeezed in between errands and household chores. It's a tough job but it's shared equally between them. Both parents equally carrying the load. So, in my mind, they should be celebrated equally. They always should have been but now more so than ever.
Then too, the family unit is different nowadays. Fathers, step-fathers, adoptive and foster father's, grandfather and uncles and male friends standing in as father figures, mom's single parenting and standing as both mother and father, same-sex parent households...the list goes on and on. All equally important and all should be equally celebrated.
Advertisers need to step up and pay more attention to the subtle messages that they are sending and we need to open our eyes and pay more attention to how we are honouring the most important people in our lives. The ones who raised us.
In our family, we tend to be very low-key with our celebrations. It's all about the person being celebrated, whatever they want to do, however they want to be celebrated, whatever meals they want. Basically it's a "YOU" day. But we do it equally because we are equally important in this family.
I hope it's not true anymore. I hope that all Mother's and Father's are both celebrated with to the same degree on their special days. But if that's not the case, it absolutely should be. While they are still around, still in your life, celebrate them, both. Equally.
Give it some thought.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.