I’m writing this blog post on Father’s Day, because I want to point out a simple fact: it takes two co-equal partners to have a child. Sperm can’t magically turn into babies, and neither can ova. Whether both those partners remain in the child’s life or not, they’re both required for a child to be born.
If you have two living parents, they both had to make sacrifices for you to be raised as you were. One may have done, more, one less. One may have been more visible to you, the other more distant – maybe through no choice of their own. I think we can all agree that optimally, both parents should share equally in the responsibilities of raising a child.
Many of us parents believe that we do exactly that. I know that when my daughter was little, I changed as many diapers as her mother. I took my share of night feedings and getting her to bed. Now that she’s older and we’re divorced, I still feel that we contribute pretty equally to raising this child.
So why was it that when I went looking for something to do for us today, there’s almost nothing specific to Father’s Day? If you jump on your local events site and search “Mother’s Day events” you’ll find tons of stuff just for moms and kids, for families, or for mom to just “escape,” all themed towards her. Try the same thing for Father’s Day – virtually nothing.
If you think this is the rant of a bored dad, think again. National Retail Federation data shows that people in the United States spend 27% less on Father’s Day than on Mother’s Day. Also, men are more likely to buy a gift for their partners to celebrate their parenthood than women.
So next year, as you head out to buy a gift for Dad or take him out for a meal, treat him just as well as you did Mom on her day. If he’s your partner, recognize his contribution. He was just as necessary, and if you’re the child of a Gen-X or younger parent, he was likely just as involved. He also loves you just as much.