Why are we having a Father’s Day vs. Single Moms debate?

We celebrated Father’s Day this past Sunday and I couldn’t help but notice all the social media discussions and arguments about Father’s Day vs Single Mom’s.

“Team 1” argued that father’s day is a day solely to celebrate the loving and responsible father’s (whether biological or not) and that one hardly sees single dad’s trying to claim Mother’s day. While some single mothers on “Team 2” expressed strong feelings about the fact that they are forced to play both roles and therefore, have the right to be celebrated on this day; because, in substitute for absent fathers, they are expected to fix broken toys, play soccer and attend father’s day events at school, and everything else that fathers would ordinarily be expected to do for their children.


I also noticed an online article with the heading “Father’s Day makes single moms furious” and asked myself “is it that bad? I’m a single mom, dealing with a non-involved father, but I certainly wouldn’t describe the day as infuriating – but that’s just my experience and I realise that some mothers may have not worked through the emotions around the circumstances that led to them having to raise their children alone. I have come to accept that another person’s decisions are out of my control.


It’s an emotionally-charged and subjective discussion. My view is that we shouldn’t even be having this conversation to begin with, because by debating who needs to be acknowledged on a certain day is distracting us from what the main focus should be. We should be cheering and appreciating the loving and involved fathers, with the same energy that we encourage and acknowledge the single mothers. We should be praying for the negligent mothers and fathers. We should be identifying the gaps in our communities and seeing where we can help a family in need. [For instance, if there is a single father that you know, why don’t you ask them if their child can spend one afternoon a month with you and your children, and visa-versa?].

A date in the calendar cannot define the significance of a mother or a father. We all know it goes far deeper than that – a child needs both a mother and a father – they offer different things and their roles are not interchangeable. So instead of arguing about who needs the most acknowledgement, let’s focus on being the best parent’s we can be – single, co-parenting, blended, or whatever!

I would love to hear what you think of this topic – please leave your comment.
Modern Zulu Mom 

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  1. I am definitely with Team 1. The day is to celebrate Fathers FULL STOP. While we acknowledge the great work that single moms do in raising their children without the fathers help, the day is to celebrate those fathers that are involved. Further I disagree that a mother can play a role of a father. Kids need both parents because they bring different things to the table. Single moms do their best under the circumstances but it can never equate to how life would have been had they had both parents around. This is not to put down single moms or trivialize their role or efforts. But how God created it (in my view) was that both mother and father would play distinct roles that the child needs. In a modern world I guess it opens up the debate of what happens in families where a child has two mommies or two daddies. Don’t have all the answers but let’s please leave the day to acknowledge and celebrate the awesome work that loving responsible fathers do.

    1. Thank you for sharing your views Weli. You’ve raised some valid points!! I think it would be unfair to take away Mother’s Day or Father’s Day just because some parents don’t play their part – it shouldn’t take away from the parents that do and deserve to be celebrated. I also agree that the role of a mother and father are completely different yet equally valuable.

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