I just received an email over the weekend from the White House (on the email list) regarding Father's Day. You know what? In the FIRST paragraph, President Obama talks about how great his mother was even though he didn't have a father. Odd, since I don't remember him talking about fathers on Mother's Day. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy he figured out how to succeed without a father, but shouldn't that be saved for Mother's Day? I love my mom and wish her the best Mother's Day in the world, but when it comes to Father's Day, I don't call my dad and tell him how great my mom was, even though he wasn't around because he had to work 60 hours a week to support a family. I tell him how appreciative I am to have a father who cared enough to support his family, without once hitting the road to try to keep everything for himself. There are more good fathers out there than you may realize Mr. President, and I think it shows how little you may actually be able to understand what fathers face in your own country.
We have laws that take children from their fathers for all but maybe 4 days a month...stating best interest of the children, and then we have the media and government, all the way up to the President of course, taking shots at fathers around the clock...even on Father's Day. So, which is it? Are we as a society willing to ALLOW fathers to be a part of the childrens lives, or are we satisfied with taking away their basic right to be a father and then continuing to chastise them for not being around more often? The complete lack of understanding would be laughable if it weren't the reality our society forces many fathers to live with.
As I mentioned, on each Mother's Day, he doesn't speak of fathers once. I have no issue with that. It is the day we celebrate all the work our mothers do to help raise caring, productive, honest citizens. They DESERVE a special day of honor and recognition, not be coached into being a better mother. But President Obama just can't seem to help himself. On Father's Day each year, he wants to get fathers to pledge to do better, to spend more time with their kids, to coach them to be better fathers, blah, blah, blah. Why not just a simple celebration of parenting like our mothers get to enjoy on Mother's Day?
How about celebrating fathers instead of trying to turn every Father's Day into a "learning" session where he wants to teach fathers how to be fathers. Well, quite frankly, he doesn't have the experience to teach the subject. He could learn a lot from fathers out there struggling to get by. Those that have had their children removed by a family court for no other reason than they could get away with it. How about those fathers Mr. President? What do you suggest they do? Perhaps if he had a father, he would have learned about the importance of celebrating the things people do instead of pigeon-holing all fathers into what he has created as his definition.
If he chastised mothers on Mother's Day about abusing children, or finding a way not to put them in daycare all day, then I could see that he just doesn't get our society at all. But when he celebrates mothers on Mother's Day, it tells me he is aware that it is a special day to thank our mothers, and that is it! It is a slap in the face to listen to him beat down fathers instead of celebrating them. What is his goal? If it is not to celebrate fathers, then maybe he could just stay quiet until after Father's Day. I hear him say, "Let them eat cake." every Father's Day. It is frustrating when the leader of your country cannot begin to comprehend that state and federal policies create a lot of what happens in our families today, and then ignorantly proclaim that fathers need to be more involved. If he really felt that way, wouldn't he be pushing legislation for shared parenting? Wouldn't he be pushing to open programs for fathers that can't meet their current government sponsored involvement, consisting solely of money? Wouldn't we be having more policies that allowed fathers the RIGHT to be a father instead parading it around as a privilege? Yes, it is a privilege to be a parent, but until the government is allowed to go into a home and at no fault of the parents, take the children, give them to someone else, charge the parents 25% of their income and only allow them access 4 days a month, then the RIGHT to your children should be extended to both parents. That is truly in the best interest of the children.
Almost every time President Obama has made a statement regarding Father's Day over the past three years, he talks about how great his Mom was and how much responsibility men need to pick up in order to be a good father. Why President Obama, when it comes to Father's Day, is it so hard for you to just acknowledge the fathers that are out there...period? We need nothing more from you on Father's Day. I won't criticize the lack of participation you have in lives of your children, if you can find it in your heart not to criticize mine. And in the bigger picture, find it within policy to allow me the right to be a father. Perhaps if the government spoke and acted like being a father is just as much of a right as being a mother, instead of a privilege that can be easily taken away, then they might start to understand, if even so slightly, that they play a key role in that which they rebuke. You can't take children away from a father and then tell him to spend more time with them. That is not only unjust, unconscionable and unfair, but it is downright mean.
All I want from my government on Father's Day is a thank you for being a father to both my biological children and my extended children. I don't need to hear about how much more I need to do with them, I already know that. Fathers don't need the WNBA and MLB giving them tickets to their games so that they can then be chastised as "Disneyland Dads." What fathers need is a commitment by their government to allow them the right to be a father, giving no one the ability to just take them away under "no fault" of his own.
Mr. President, you issue a challenge to fathers. I have already taken that challenge and succeeded. So now I return the favor and I now issue a challenge to you. Stand up for fathers in your country, stand up for children who need their fathers, and rather than chastise those caught in the wake of current policy, celebrate those that can withstand the hurricane the society has brought via the government and yet they continue to be a great role model for their children. Review policy to be sure that it is dedicated to having both parents in their children's lives, and that we are not pushing one parent to the fringes of society and then pointing and laughing at them for what they have to go through. So next Father's Day Mr. President, I am not asking for special treatment, just do it the exact same way you do Mother's Day. With respect and genuine thanks for all that fathers do every day. Try it. You just might find it to be rewarding, just as most fathers find being a father to be rewarding, regardless of their government's apparent intolerance of them.