I used to celebrate Father’s Day. I would give my dad small things I made in school, cards, little trinkets. One year in college I got him sea monkeys. The kind that you grow yourself, they become little creatures and you keep them on your desk. I thought that presents were bandaids and reasons to be happy, which is what you think when you’re a kid.
I have a new reason to celebrate Father’s Day, I have in-laws who are funny and nice and I have my husband who will one day be the best father, but every year I celebrate my mom on Father’s Day, which is why I have included a card just for moms. There’s a reason, which you can read all about below, but for now here are some printable Father’s Day cards for nerds and mom’s who play the role of dad and mom:
Why I Celebrate My Mom on Father’s Day:
It wasn’t until around 23 when I realized there was a reason for my father’s actions. It’s never easy to admit yourself or anyone that your parent has a mental illness/personality disorder, it’s embarrassing…but you know what…so is being dragged up the stairs by your hair and your t-shirt because you got a B- on a paper, so is spraining your wrist playing softball and having your dad tell you to suck it up and that you were embarrassing him as you fight off tears and then your coach calls the school administration because she is concerned, so is finding pictures of women who aren’t your mother on your family computer and having to try to explain it to your 7-year-old sister, so is coming home from school to a old trunk with a note that says “you’re going to military school” because you got a B in math, so is standing in line at the Bursar’s Office because your father has sworn up and down that the college you worked your ass off to get into was paid for with your college fund, but he actually spent it on women who weren’t your mother.
He told me that I was his least favorite, I was a failure, I was worthless, and my mom got even worse. It wasn’t until I was in the car with my father and he sped up his car to pull into a gas station just to stop short as he unbuckled my safety belt and I flew into the dash, that was the moment I gave up completely. Many nights I slept with a knife under my bed because I didn’t feel safe. Sometimes I dared him to hit me in the face instead of just toss around and accost my mom and I, that way I would have evidence and could call the police, forcing him to leave. I knew I had to leave and I did. Then my sisters and my mom did as well. Now, he only calls to tell us he will never ever talk to us again, that he hates us…or he calls to tell us that he’s going to kill himself or find my mom and hurt her. I learned at a young age that you can literally kill everything you are trying to save someone else. I don’t think that’s a lesson you should have to learn at 23.
People will tell you “it could be worse” and it can–but that doesn’t make your pain any less substantial. People will tell you to get over it, but what they don’t realize that your most powerful relationships (or the lack there of) shape who you are as a child into adulthood, and finally (and arguably, most disgusting), people will attribute your toxic parent’s attributes to you, they will tell you that any disagreement or conflict you have with them can be written off bad “behavior” and that you use your childhood to as an excuse. They are dead wrong. Stand your ground, if “bad behavior” is standing up for yourself and that is finally something you can do after years of not being able to, do it…and make no apologies. Especially because people that have something to say about your family and childhood when they know how challenging it was, are terrible, disgusting people to begin with.
Over the winter, I saw a Pantene Pro V commercial that featured NFL players doing their daughter’s hair. They insinuated that girls that have present fathers that spend time with them grow up to be better in all kinds of ways. I completely reject this notion. Maybe our moms just worked that much harder! I am not the only person in the “no/not great dad” club, countless people are, including the President of the United States. My sisters and I all have degrees, we are all with great, driven men, and we all work hard and continue to advance in our careers. In fact, I just got an amazing new position that is a huge, HUGE step up for my career and my family. This is because of my mom; she took the worst of it from my dad so that we didn’t have to. She is responsible for all of my best qualities–her compassion, her drive, her work ethic, her unrelenting nerdiness—these are all things that inspire me.
So, if you don’t have a father for whatever reason this Father’s Day, know I’m thinking about you. Also, celebrate your mom today if she is in your life. She deserves it.