Monday, June 16, 2014

D Day

Did anyone else notice it? The smallness of the day, at least in comparison.

Father's Day is so much less acknowledged in our culture than Mother's Day.

Heck there were several post on FB acknowledging single mom's on Father's Day. I get it. Really I do. There are countless deadbeat dads. But newsflash world there are deadbeat moms too.

There was another interesting post I saw yesterday that went something like this:

A dad that decides he doesn't want to parent is called a deadbeat.
A mom who decides she doesn't want to parent is called her choice.

I do trust fully there are crummy daddies in this world, in fact, I have seen horrible examples of this firsthand just recently through some close friends. But is Father's Day really the day to talk about it?

The world gets it. Bad dads exist. But GOOD dads exist too. Dads who silently work hard and play harder with their kids. Dads who are equally if not more so hurt by the suffering or death of their children. I say perhaps 'more so' because we as mommies for the most part have something our counterparts don't have nearly enough of...a support system.

Dads are taught to be strong and suppress their own needs for the good of others. They are taught that their struggle is less than ours. I have seen this in a very tangible way since we miscarried the twins. I say WE because both myself AND my husband, lost that day. I always thought he didn't have the connection and was able to heal quicker, but was he? Perhaps, he was made to. I took time off work for my body and mind to heal. He went back the next morning after the d&c.

The afternoon we found out we lost Claudette friends and family surrounded me in a protective cocoon. Dustin instead was forced to work on a project and never slept because he had to complete it before we went to the hospital to deliver her the next morning.

I had countless friends and family questioning how I was. Dustin also had countless friends and family questioning how I was. It was never about him or at least it was not to the degree it was about me.

Mother's Day people cared and wondered how I was doing.
Then Father's Day came and I am not sure a single person asked how my husband was doing.

I am not going to blow smoke. It isn't like my husband is crawled up in a ball crying for help. If anyone were to ask how he was he would most certainly answer, "fine" and move on. But is that point?

We need a shift in this society. We can't keep characterizing men as the stupid, emotionless duds and their struggling mom counterparts trying to juggle all of the family activities while navigating her emotions alone. This on the surface is what it often looks like to me. But I have been thinking a lot about this and I think dads might just react this way because it's the only way they are allowed to.

There are many articles on how men and women grieve differently. Undoubtedly, there are differences but really the loss of a child and is the loss of a child for any parent, only the journey is different. It is easy to get distracted by the nature in which a man returns to his everyday activities and think he must have moved on. But really he is bottling it down, soon to pop like a firework. We must support our dads just as we do our moms. By doing so it will really help us ALL in the end. And call me naive but perhaps a good first step would be to ask the father who has lost a child how they are on Father's Day.