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Growing up my mother created a village for my brother and me that loved us, cared for us, and took care of us in the absence of my father. My brother and I never wanted for anything, and I truly feel like she is the epitome of motherhood. She tackled motherhood without my father, and my grandparents also stepped up in an incredible way. We lived in a multigenerational home, so my brother and I basically had three parents. Life was good, even without a dad. My mother is, by far, my most special blessing.
Can’t Fill the Void
When I had my first child in 2018, I soon realized, although my mother was (and is) an incredible mother, she’ll never feel the void of my father.
I always thought the acknowledgment of the void somehow negated her exceptional parenting. I buried it and buried it until I couldn’t hide that the relationship my husband had with our daughter was exactly what I missed and longed for. I didn’t realize how beautiful this father-daughter relationship was until it was right in my face.
I have a truly incredible husband who is an active parent in every way possible with our now two girls. He’s washed every bottle and pumping part, gotten our oldest dressed for school and bed almost every day, given countless baths, and rocked our little one to sleep in the middle of the night. I am forever grateful.
But what really struck me is the way he looks at them. It reminds me that I missed the look of pure love and adoration from my father growing up. Although I’m sure my father loved me in some way, shape, or form, I never tangibly felt it. That’s a hard blow.
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Jealousy Is Normal
I’m extremely grateful I have a partner who was in this with me, and my daughters have a father who is present and loves me while loving them.
But, to be honest, for awhile I was a tad bit jealous. I thought to myself: What kind of mother is jealous of her kids?
I felt like I was doing something really wrong by feeling jealous. Now I realize that I can feel two things at once — a void in my heart for my own father and thankfulness for my husband’s relationship with our girls.
I am beyond grateful my girls will have a loving relationship with their father, and that I did all that I could to make sure I chose someone who I knew would care for them fiercely, but I can also be sad and upset that I missed out on something so beautiful as well, and that’s okay.
If you are grew up without a dad or he’s not in your life now, but have a husband/partner who is incredibly wonderful to your children, you can mourn and celebrate at the same time. Take the time to feel all those sad feelings, but also give your significant other his flowers while you can. They both deserve your attention.
If you have a similar story, I’d love to hear about it. Share in the comments below.