I think just as Mothers Day can be a difficult day to deal with for birth mothers, Fathers Day can be a difficult day for birth fathers too.
Most men are pretty good at hiding their emotions, thoughts, and feelings around things that didn’t work out quite as planned. Parenting is one of them.
Until……Father’s Day, that is.
Father’s Day can bring up:
– Thoughts about one’s own father.
– Thoughts about parenting a child today.
– Thoughts about not being 100% sure if YOU are the biological father to a child you’re parenting.
– Thoughts wondering if you ever fathered a child at some point and weren’t informed.
A man who placed a child for adoption is either going to be in the life of the child through open adoption or they may not have any information at all of their child’s whereabouts. This same predicament can also be true for any man who is not parenting yet he knows he is the baby’s father through situations such as divorce.
My son’s birth father passed away last year. Thankfully, they were able to meet for the first time prior to his passing. He lived in guilt for years until the day my son and I were reconnected and then we reached out and found him and asked him if he would like to meet his 23-year-old son. He embraced the opportunity and a space for healing was birthed for both father and son. My son would have rather met his birth father than not have met him even if his birth father’s life was not in the best place at the time of their meeting.
A child is just as curious about his birth father as they are their birth mother and rightly so. They are looking into the eyes and heart of 50% of who they are from.
If you’re waiting for everything to work out in your life before you reach out and invest yourself in the life of your child it is unnecessary. Your child would rather you invest 20% of yourself than nothing at all. Then the next year you can up it to 30% and so on…(-:
Birth father, Thomas Castleberry shared his insight on Father’s Day with me:
Is Father’s Day a difficult holiday for you each year? Why or Why not?
“Father’s day is not too difficult for me personally. I think it’s for two reasons. First, we placed for a good reason and I get to see Graham regularly. If that was not the case, it may be different. Second, we have a 15-year-old we parent. To be perfectly honest, I try not to second guess our decision. It does no good and it was the best decision for our son, our family, and his moms.” –Thomas Castleberry
I love Thomas’ perspective and the fact that he is involved in his son’s life today despite the fact that he isn’t parenting. He and his wife, Rayanne have reached out to other birth fathers with that same support and encouragement. They are trying to reach out to other birth fathers in their support group on facebook here:
What if you find yourself finding out for the first time that you have a child in this world who would like to meet you? What if you were able to be apart of your childs life but you just weren’t?
Accept that, forgive yourself and do something different today.
Your child will remember you more for what you do today than what you didn’t do yesterday.
What are some ways that you can stay connected despite the distance you may have between yourself and your child?
1. If you have lived long enough you will have come to some sort of belief in the benefits of sending and receiving loving encouragement. Whether through prayer, thought or the spoken word you can lift your child up in your thoughts and spirit and trust these good vibes to find their way to them.
2. If you are in a situation where your investment of self is appreciated you can find ways to reach out to your child to let them know you are thinking of them. If you’re like me and you have great intentions but little recollections than lean on your phone to be your reminder system. You can schedule reminders to come on a specific day each week at a specific time when you know you’re more apt to have a moment to respond. Then make a phone call, send a text message, order a pizza (-:, send a link to a song or anything else that might help your child to know you are thinking of them. Ask open-ended questions that require responses more than yes or no and show you care.
3. Schedule visits in advance so you can plan for them and not procrastinate.
Wishing all fathers a great Father’s Day!