On Mother’s Day, surveys showed that Moms wanted time alone. They sought out some “me time,” a little space to relax away from the kids.
So on Father’s Day, are Dads allowed to go golfing, sit in the basement and watch sports, head to the pub for some beers with the boys? No. The expectation of Fathers on Father’s Day is that they spend time with the kids.
Let’s just call it Mother’s Day 2: Father’s Day.
Is Father’s Day A Day On Or A Day Off?
This weekend I’m going camping with my kids. Just me and the boys, my wife may join us but she’s not a fan of camping, so I’m not expecting her. I booked the trip months ago and the boys are thrilled. We are going to be camping in a park that is renowned for having a large concentration of fossils. They’re bursting with anticipation.
A few years ago, when I was a new Dad, I booked a golf trip to visit a buddy. As the day came closer, my wife mentioned, “That’s Father’s Day weekend, you know.” I hadn’t noticed. There was disdain in her voice when she commented on it after the fact. I skipped out Father’s Day to have some me time and that was a bad thing, was her point.
So what are the expectations of Fathers on Father’s Day?
To me, there’s no right answer in this equation. Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) is a day to celebrate family. It’s like a birthday where each parent takes turns being the guest of honor. If that celebration includes everyone together, great. If it’s Dad and the kids, fine. If it’s you in the basement enjoying peace and quiet and sports, have at ‘er.
The important thing in the equation is that we celebrate the family, whichever construct it has. We take the day to celebrate the role of parents (or parent-figures) in our kids’ lives, and thank them for the support and nurturing they give our kids. Take that time, honor that relationship, and then celebrate however you see fit.
I asked some fellow Dad dudes how they expect to be celebrating this weekend, and, for the most part, it’s not A or B, but both.
What to expect? 1 of 12
I canvassed some Dads online and asked what their Father's Day plans/wishes are. Is it time alone or time with kids?
Chris Routly 2 of 12
"It seems Mother's Day is when we reward mothers for their hard work as moms, while Father's Day is when we let fathers be an important parent for a change? Something like that.
As a SAHD, that isn't the case for me, as I am with the kids practically 24/7. A real break from the kids every so often is always appreciated so I can recharge and unwind, and I can't fault any dad as selfish for wanting that unless time with his kids is rare. I sort of feel like Father's Day isn't the time for that, though, honestly, even if I "deserve" it, so I try to make Father's Day about spending time with the family anyhow.
Mostly I'm looking forward to not having to cook for once."
- Chris Routly (Daddy Doctrines)
Gil Noriega 3 of 12
"I am going to write a post calling for a Father's Day Eve, kind of like New Year's Eve. Because really Father's Day is kind of rough, between visting my dad and spending the time with the kids, I don't know. I sound selfish, I know but what would guys do if it really was your day? Sleep in? Game all day? Drink, smoke? Golf, bowl, etc. If we had the day before to do all of that, then Father's Day with the fam would be fine. God I sound awful, I love my family, really I do....lol."
- Gil Noriega (Fan Dads)
Michael Cusden 4 of 12
"I plan on spending as much of Father's Day with my boys as possible. Yes, some "me" time would be great, but to be honest, I would much rather let them enjoy the day as much as they can. I put a lot of effort in making sure Mother's day was fun for the boys, so I am sure my wife will do similar for Sunday. We feel at a young age, it is more for the kids and letting them spoil their mom or dad. Having a day of golf or alone time, that is what Birthday's are for."
- Michael Cusden (Like A Dad)
Mike Adamick 5 of 12
"Morning time is all about family but in the afternoon, I just want a few hours to go see the schlockiest, loudest, coolest summer movie I can find. By myself. Then it's steak night somewhere."
- Mike Adamick (Cry It Out)
Jeff 6 of 12
"I will definitely be playing golf... with my two year old using his lil tikes golf set. I don't think there's any one rule for everyone but for me it's a day with. I'll leave the tee times to the guys who are going out there with their sons/fathers. I'll definitely be doing things I enjoy (this year it will be smoking a brisket on the grill while watching the US Open) but we will be together."
- Jeff (Ay Yo, Be A Father)
Jeremiah Delatycki 7 of 12
"After exhaustive research I have come to the conclusion that me time for mom means that you plan and execute her special day with the family. And on Fathers's Day you do the same."
- Jeremiah Delatycki (Krazy Dad Memoir)
Brian Gawlak 8 of 12
"I would always sleep in on mother's day and my wife would sleep in on father's day. We then would spend the whole day together. This year, my wife asked to switch it and she slept in (like until 2 pm) on Mother's day with the understanding I would sleep in on Father's day. Yeah, except we just realized it is my twins' fifth birthday. Grrr. I am taking a nap though. LOL."
- Brian Gawlak (The Cook At Home Dad)
Doug French 9 of 12
"My kids will be away at camp on Father's Day. And this is perfectly fine, because Father's Day has meant almost nothing to me since I got divorced. Now, Father's Day is every day they're with me."
- Doug French (Laid-Off Dad)
Dustin Fisher 10 of 12
"I tend to lean toward this being a day off, since the other 364 days are spent with my daughter. Of course, she's only 11 months old. Maybe once she can appreciate Dad's Day, I'll feel different. But this Sunday, I'll be somewhere watching Man of Steel by myself, with 250 other people."
- Dustin Fisher (Daddy Needs A Nap)
John Willey 11 of 12
"I'll be with them only because my wife would look at me like I am an ass if I said I wanted to go golfing. Interestingly, all the ladies in my family (in laws) bitched and moaned that there might have been soccer and or baseball games on Mothers Day like its some big national holiday. I personally couldn't think of anything better than going to see my kids play sports."
- John Willey (Daddy's In Charge)
Zach Rosenberg 12 of 12
"I want to be with my son and doing things that I just know won't end up in me saying "stop" or "no" or "don't touch". So, we usually go to the beach for Mother's and Father's Day."
- Zach Rosenberg (8 Bit Dad)