When your family is totally complete without a father in the picture, then Father’s Day is just another day, right? Well, sort of. There’s a big bold day marked out on the calendar for it, and when Baby starts school there are going to be structured times set aside for card-making and other Father’s Day preparations. And, in any case, you and your partner may still celebrate the day with your own fathers, so figuring out the right way for your family to celebrate the day when your immediate family is father-free may take some time.
The truth is, even in families that do have a mother and a father, the modern conception of family often doesn’t fit into the neat box of traditional parental roles. There are plenty of stay-at-home-dads, plenty of high-powered-career-moms, and the important thing about taking a day to celebrate these parents has nothing to do with the roles they fill in a family and everything to do with appreciating the amount of care they take to have strong relationships with their children. That’s something you can just as easily celebrate in June as in May – don’t be shy about grabbing both days for your family to celebrate, no matter what the label on the calendar says. You know you’ve earned it.
When Baby starts elementary school, you’ll start to notice a pattern – any time a calendar-holiday rolls around, so will the holiday-themed construction-paper cards, ornaments, and craft projects. And depending on how late the school year runs in your district, Father’s Day may be no exception. Taking the chance to talk to their’s teacher about the configuration of their family ahead of time (like maybe at a mid-year parent-teacher conference) can give their teacher the chance to adjust their plans around the holiday to make any card-making assignments less father-specific, which could help Baby avoid an uncomfortable moment in class.
As your little one grows up, there may be men in their life – like members of your or your partner’s families, close family friends, teachers, or mentors – that they may want to show an appreciation for on this day, or at least use as an easy recipient for any school-mandated Father’s Day craft projects!
The bottom line
When it comes right down to it, life with you family is going to be the life Baby grows up knowing, and your happy, supportive home will be what they think of as normal, no matter what the calendar says in June. Because of this, finding new ways to think about Father’s Day may be stranger for you than it is for Baby.