I have worked on Father’s Day for the past seven years.
In honesty I’ve probably worked most Father’s Days.
(In all honesty I’ve worked most days, but that’s a whole different story. In the last two weeks being off of work, I have seen more friends and family than I have in approximately the last five years.)
Working on Father’s Day was not in any way to actively ignore the day, more as a way to carry on as usual, and for me, usual, is working. (It was also to let somebody who has their Dad around to spend some time with them, eat a roast dinner with them or grab a quick drink, rather than spending it talking to strangers about the weather and traffic.)
So now imagine this year for me. This year is different, I’m on maternity leave, patiently waiting for this baby of ours to arrive in the next few weeks, so I’ve had some time to think and write this quick post about Papa’s Day, after losing your Papa.
Social media on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is an absolute sea of posts thanking their parents for being the legends that they are, and personally, I love it, but I know a lot of the internet feels different.
I absolutely understand that for the recently bereaved, it can be a minefield. Scrolling through can make you angry that you don’t have yours around, it can feel like a massive smack in the face. I’ve laughed out loud at people’s posts to their Dads up in heaven. Mainly at the thought of loads of dead guys chilling on their phones on Facebook, bragging to each other about who’s kid has written the most sentimental post. But I also totally understand why we do it.
It makes you feel like you’re still doing something to appreciate what they did for us whilst they were still here, chilling on their phones on real Facebook or falling asleep in front of the TV with their mouths wide open.
There is always a lot of talk about remembering to be sensitive at these times for people who have lost parents. There has been numerous complaints about companies sending out emails or offers to help you celebrate the day with your parents, and generic angry tweets to the companies about being insensitive to those who have lost their parents. I imagine a lot of the people who have composed those emails have also lost their parents, so where is the angry generic tweet supporting these guys?
Some companies have gone above and beyond and set up an opt out option for not receiving any marketing regarding Mother’s and Father’s Day, which I think is great, and also a fantastic marketing ploy. Well played guys, well played. You win the sensitive card, and probably gained some new traffic to your websites. It to me, seems a lot of excess admin for a mailing list that has a 50/50 chance of whether one or both parents are still alive and kicking.
Father’s Day is a day to celebrate the relationship you have/had with your Dad. Whether they are here are not. It is also for the guys who are about to become Dads, for the guys who have lost children, who will always be Dads. It is there for the people who have not had relationships with their Dads, for them to celebrate who took on that Dad like figure. Whether that’s a friend, a Grandad, an Uncle, or a Mum who has taken on the intense role of Mum and Dad, and of course not forgetting, the Papa’s to the pets out there, that personally deserves a day of its own.
Roll on Pet Parent Day 2020.
So on this Father’s Day, I will not be raising my usual rum to Papa C, slightly inappropriate with how pregnant I am, but I will carry on doing what I do every day, carrying my Papa C tattoo on my leg, which he would have hated with a passion, with pride. Saying hello to any seagull I see, (some people say hello to robins, my Dad was a seagull kinda guy), going for a walk with my Father-in-law, my soon to be Dad husband, and dog. Who has the best Pet Parent anyone could dream of.
Happy Papa’s Day everyone, enjoy it, celebrate it, be angry at it. Do with it, what you need to do with it. It has a purpose for everyone.