The Mamas and the Papas

Dedicated to the one I love

Because this column is for the June issue, I’ve been ruminating on Father’s Day.

Actually, as I write this, it’s April. By June, our alien overlords might have already landed and tossed this “Homo sapien experiment” debacle on the trash heap. But for now, I will assume there will be a June, and we will emerge from our isolations blinking at the sunlight, but still moderately intact.

I’m a solo parent. I prefer this to “single parent,” because I need no further incessant reminders of my dateless existence and I like to imagine Han Solo as my scruffy-looking nerf herder partner.

I assumed by now I would meet and secure the perfect gentleman to help me raise my child, but no. I have mothered and fathered my kid for almost 15 years. Over that time, we have had mixed feelings about that. Sometimes neither of us thinks about or mentions it. Other times, it bums one or the both of us right out. I have spent many nights wondering and worrying about the impact of not having a male role model and fatherly love in her life. I may never fully know.

I model as many positive characteristics of each parenting role as I can. I’ve tried to live my own Enjoli perfume commercial. I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. I’ve been the breadwinner and bread toaster. And I certainly have the eyeroll-inducing dad-jokes contingency down pat. Clearly.

If anything positive has come out of the quarantine it is that I’ve been able to do my mom-dad role from home, with my kid.

At first, I was worried about how our relationship would fare under this stressful circumstance, and of course there were flare-ups, fear and adjustments. But having the opportunity to finally be a stay-at-home mom has been great for both of us, I think.

I am much calmer and less frenetic without the myriad jobs I’ve had to race off to away from home. I can cook, clean and do some doting on her that’s perhaps a little more than is appropriate for her age and ability. But in the short-term, it feels good for me and helps keep her on an even keel.

It makes me question how many of our jobs really need to be done outside the home. If we have the ability and indeed want to, what is stopping us from reconsidering the current job model and making some changes that benefit the emotional well-being of our families and ourselves?

Happy Father’s Day to all the Mamas and the Papas out there, holding it down. This is dedicated to the ones you love.

Kathleen Palmer is an award-winning editor and journalist, marketing/communications content writer and occasional comedic actress. Nothing makes her happier than making people laugh. She is a single mom to a teenager, so naturally she enjoys a glass of wine, or two.

Categories: Never A Dull Moment