For along time after Bryon died, I felt like I had to be both a Mother and Father to my daughter.
And if there is anything I can tell you from personal experience-
Being a parent is hard. Even if you have an active co-parent.
Being both a mother and a father is harder.
Being both a mother and father while grieving is super hard.
“Super hard” might be a lame adjective. I am sure my seventh grade English teacher would be pissed if she read that.
But on this morning, two days before the third Father’s Day without my daughter’s Father, I am grumpy.
“Super Hard” is the best descriptor I can think of in this comparison.
Other adjectives can include-
Exhausting- Being two parents is exhausting.
Lonely- Bryon isn’t here to share my daughters moments with.
Unfair- That feeling I try to ignore when I see other kids with their Dad’s and I know my daughter doesn’t have that.
Empty- That feeling I have when I had to write “deceased” next to her Father’s name on her kindergarten registration forms.
Annoyance: Every time I have to explain that her father is dead. My life used to be so f*cking normal and now it’s not. Now I am a square peg in a world full of round holes. And I didn’t ask for any of this.
Resentment- For the fact that I have to brush off other’s insensitivity. Why is that my job? Why can’t people just take a few seconds and think and be a little more considerate?
Maybe “pissy” might be a better descriptor.
Most days I don’t dwell on it, but I can’t ignore any of this on Father’s Day weekend.
For some reason Father’s Day bothers me much more than Mother’s Day.
Bryon was the one who bought me gifts but he made it clear that they were from my daughter, not him. Bryon liked to add they were not from him because I wasn’t his mother. Though I know he said it because it annoyed me.
It seems kind of ironic.
By Bryon’s logic, Father’s Day shouldn’t bother me.
After all, he wasn’t MY father. My father is alive. And my Dad is awesome too.
My daughter doesn’t seem fazed. But maybe she will when she gets older and reflects. Or maybe not. I can’t dictate how her father’s death may or may not affect her.
Father’s day stirs up so many emotions for me.
It reminds me of Bryon’s absence.
It reminds me of all the dreams we didn’t accomplish as a family.
It reminds me that my daughter was supposed to have a sibling.
It reminds me that Bryon will never get to see his daughter grow up. He won’t see her get on the school bus when she goes to kindergarten or see her walk across the stage at her high school and college graduations. He won’t get to walk her down the aisle when she get’s married.
It reminds me that my daughter was cheated out of her years with her Father. She was cheated out of the one of the most important relationships a girl ever has.
Since Bryon died, I felt I had to be both parents for my daughter.
To be her mother and to fill the void left by her father.
But I came to the realization that I can’t be both her mother and father.
I am just her mother.
I can try to be an awesome, kick ass mother.
But I am not, nor will I ever be her Father.
It is one of my parenting goals for my daughter to grow up and think that despite her Father dying, she had a good childhood. I hope that is what she thinks though I can’t control what she thinks about her childhood.
I can only try to be the best Mother I can and help my daughter realize her authentic self.
I can spend time with her.
I can read to her and encourage her to read books.
I can do fun activities with her.
I can travel with her.
I can play with her.
I can teach her things.
I can cook with her.
I can provide her with the best opportunities available.
I can take her to sports practices and go to her games.
I can take her shoe shopping. She loves shoe shopping.
One day I will have to teach her about all the things that come with being a woman.
But the one thing I can’t do is be her father.
Bryon gave her life and he loved her very much.
There will always be a hole there.