happy father's day

We Are Both

Dad. Means what?

I’ve got this “Dad” mug in my hand.

At first, I felt uncomfortable even holding it. The mug symbolized all the things my ex-husband was not and the weight of this knowledge felt terrible. The past two years of single motherhood yielded the most tortuous, most glorifying, most lonely, most gratifying moments of my life. I worried over every fever, every bill, every meal; I took in her first day of kindergarten, her first moments of pronouncing a word as she read aloud to me, and soaked up every time I caught sight of her sweet face, arms open in abandonment to sleep.

Let’s just say that one of the biggest struggles in single parenting is the “single” part – alone. We fill the roles of both mother and father. No-one offers classes on when to switch those hats or how best to wear them.

But our kids know. They see our love and our sacrifice.

When I broke down and told her I was sorry, that this wasn't the family I had wanted for her, those little hands cupped my face and she said, “I love the family you made for me.”

Drink from that “Dad” mug on Mother’s Day. Take those flowers on Father’s Day. Because, single moms and dads, we deserve both. Cheers!

Carly Flanagan, Guest Writer