It’s that time of year again to celebrate the father figures in our lives.
For years I didn’t send a card to anyone, not even my dad on Father’s Day. Here’s why:
When I was 2 years old my mum and dad split up. I still had contact with him and would see him for a few years after, but for some reason that is unknown to me, that contact stopped and I no longer even received birthday cards. When I was 13/14, I think I must have started asking questions about my dad, and my mum got hold of his mobile number and arranged for him to come over and visit me. He would come over on a Thursday evening, and leave pretty late usually, which wasn’t great as obviously it was a school night and I struggled with my sleep as it was. My mum asked him if he could maybe leave a little earlier so that I could get some sleep for school the next morning, which I don’t think he took too kindly. My mum would also suggest to him that he took me out somewhere, she even offered to pay if we went somewhere like bowling or even just for food somewhere so that he didn’t have to pay out anything, but he never did, he would just come over and sit in the living room with me watching movies or whatever was on tv. I don’t think there was much conversation, but either way I had my dad back in my life and it filled the space I had been feeling for a while. When I was little my dad was really good with me, he would change nappies etc with no fuss, play games with me, make up stories…he was generally just a good dad that enjoyed being with me. Which I think is why it hurts even now that he just stopped visiting. Anyway, at the age of 13/14 when we had contact again, he visited me 4 times. The last time sticks in my head and does actually upset me a bit even now. We were sat in the living room, and I think my mum was downstairs doing something (she would usually stay out of the way to give us time together). My dad suddenly sneezed and jumped up leaving the room…I assumed that he just needed a tissue for a possible allergy to our cats, but I heard the front door open then close and saw him leave in his car. My mum told me to go and lock the door, and with a heavy heart I did. I remember feeling like I’d been totally abandoned; I was so glad to be able to say I have my dad back, to have it taken away from me broke my heart. I’m 24 and I haven’t seen him since. Over the years we have lightly kept in contact with the odd text here and there, but it’s only been the past couple of years that we’ve started sending Birthday and Christmas cards to each other, and even though he’s never met my daughter he sends her cards too. Part of me would love to see him again, and let him meet his only grandchild, but then there’s always the fear of ‘what if he leaves again’, and I wouldn’t want to put my daughter through that feeling of rejection. My dad is not a bad person, far from it, he’s had his own issues (I actually think that a lot of my own problems like being a worrier is something I inherited from him), and I can understand why he maybe wouldn’t want to see my mum again which is fine, and we never talk about her either as there’s no reason to. When I talk to my dad though, it doesn’t feel like I’m talking to my parent…I can’t even explain it really, I guess where he hasn’t been in my life constantly and I’m his only child he maybe doesn’t know how to be the dad to an adult…I don’t know. We still don’t talk very often, we text and email occasionally but it’s never usually about anything specific. I’d love to ask him so many questions like why did he stop visiting when I was little and again when I was a teenager amongst other things, but I won’t because I don’t want to bring up any bad memories for him and upset him at the risk of losing him again, especially as he’s a very private person. I hope he’s ok, I have sent him a card for today that he received, and I’ve just text him now that I’ve got signal to say happy Father’s Day, and I do genuinely hope he’s alright and had a relaxing Sunday.
My stepdad. Now it’s only the past couple years I’ve started labelling him as my stepdad, as I never liked the term as to me I have a dad son no one else could be my dad in any sense. The reason I’ve started calling him my stepdad now, is because I want him to feel like part of the family as his own children don’t bother with him enough or make enough effort. He’s a dairy farmer, and he’s a bloody hard worker which I highly respect him for. Though I didn’t always feel that way. When my mum first got together with him I couldn’t stand him, I couldn’t take him seriously and in all homesty I very much had the attitude of “you’re not my dad, you’re no one to me therefore you have no authority over me”. We had a LOT of arguments and bad falling outs, a lot of which would end in me either walking out and going to my nans or going to sofs house to get away from him and the argument. His daughter lived with us for a bit and she just stirred so much to make me get in trouble all the time. He was then part of the reason my life was turned upside down because him and my mum had decided we were moving from the area I grew up in and loved to the outskirts of the town into a farm that was far away from all my friends. Safe to say we did not have a good relationship. I stopped talking to my mum completely for around 2/3 years because she suddenly announced she was moving away with him. Mine and my mums relationship was pretty strained before this, we clashed a lot which wasn’t great, so that news was just fuel to the fire. I then contacted my mum when I was pregnant and we’ve stayed close ever since and we don’t clash nearly as much as before because we’ve both grown up a lot and realised that confrontation isn’t something we liked. Because I had grown up, I had learned to accept the fact my mum wasn’t going to leave my stepdad, and that actually he’s a decent person and no where near as bad as I thought he was when I was younger…I think a massive part of that is obviously because his daughter isn’t involved and stirring anymore! So now I am actually proud to say he’s my stepdad, and I don’t correct people when they call him my stepdad like I used to. Like I said he works bloody hard, genuinely cares for his animals (he’s a dairy farmer), helps anyone he can when he can no matter how tired or run down he is, and he’s got no problem with making a tit of himself in front of people to make others laugh. For Father’s Day I got him a card, but I also bought him the Ed Sheeran CD he wanted, and a chocolate tool kit from my daughter because I had a feeling his kids wouldn’t send him anything, and I believe that everyone should be appreciated and shown appreciation sometimes, especially as that little bit of recognition can make their day.
It’s amazing how time can change people isn’t it? To think years ago myself and my stepdad were constantly at each others throats (not literally I just mean with screaming matches), and now we both team up to irritate my mum for a laugh!
I hope that any dads, stepdads, and grandads have had a great day today, and thoughts go to those who have lost their dad or don’t know their dad. Also thoughts going out to the mums like myself that ‘play both parents’, children don’t NEED a dad, what they need is love, care, support and encouragement from a stable constant guardian whether that be both parents, one parent, or another legal guardian.
But of course, a big happy Father’s Day to my Dad and my Stepdad ❤️
🔹immeamy, you’re you, and that’s the best way to be🔹