Mother’s Day Card For Dad?

HeatherN appreciates the sentiment behind the Mother’s Day card for Dad, but wonders if society might be better served with one united “Parents’ Day” holiday.

 So I was reading my usual range of blogs and news sites when I came across a link to this “Happy Mother’s Day, Dad” card. I have to say I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to react. On the one hand it’s a card that’s all about recognizing that non-nuclear families are loving families. On the other, it seems to be perpetuating the traditional gender definitions, by implying that “both roles,” that the description mentions are inherently gendered. I read that, and I get the feeling it’s suggesting that the roles of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ are two distinct roles that don’t actually overlap. It seems to imply that when a Dad starts filling the parental role traditionally held by a woman, he’s no longer the ‘father’ but rather the ‘mother,’ and vice versa. However, I’m not a parent and I’m not a gay man, so maybe I’m reading too much into it.

So is this card problematic in the way it emphasizes the gendered parental roles?

Is it just a really sweet card that recognizes not all families are nuclear families?

Are Mother’s Day and Father’s outdated themselves? Should we instead just have Parents’ Day?

Image of Organizer/Mother’s Day courtesy of Shutterstock

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About HeatherN

Heather N. is a Californian living in the United Kingdom. In order to survive, she has developed a keen appreciation for the color grey, rain, and sausage rolls. She spends far too much time reading, writing, blogging, and gaming. You can also find her saying witty things on Twitter.

Comments

  1. This makes no sense to me. We have a father’s day already. Just because a father is a stay at home dad doesnt make him a mother. That’s condescending and offensively sexist. It implies that fathers can’t take care of children and must be surrogate “mothers” to do that. For shame.

  2. Um, I don’t think this card is meant for who you think it’s meant for… From the description:

    “For all the Moms out there who work hard to play both roles in their children’s lives, pick up this special card to show your appreciation!”

    That says to me it’s meant more for Moms who play “dad” than dads who play mom.

    • I got the link off of afterelton.com, which is a website for gay men, so that’s how I read it. I didn’t even think about the fact that the description says ‘Moms.’ But really, I suppose even if it’s for Moms who play ‘dad’ then the same critique applies. Doesn’t that also end up reinforcing the traditionally assigned gender roles of parenting?

      To me, the term ‘mom’ has always meant the parent who’s a woman, and the term ‘dad’ has always meant the parent who’s a man. Whether you’ve two moms or two dads or one of each, or just one mom or one dad…their gender identity determined the parent label of mom or dad. Everything else (whether they work, stay-at-home, cook, clean, play catch, whatever) shouldn’t go into whether they’re called a ‘mom’ or ‘dad.’ See what I’m saying?

  3. wellokaythen says:

    I’m guessing this card is an attempt to make even more money off of Mothers Day, which has always been a bigger consumer event than Fathers’ Day. (Where’s the apostrophe supposed to go, anyway?) It’s trying to create one more reason to buy one more card – if you’re a single parent, why not get TWO cards instead of one?

    My understanding is that Mothers Day was created in the World War I era as a way to celebrate patriotic motherhood and delay some of the women’s suffrage movement. Woodrow Wilson was sympathetic to women’s suffrage but not quite ready to back it as an immediate goal. The holiday was to say, “I know you can’t vote, but we still like women, because look, we gave you a holiday!”

    As someone childfree by choice, I’m proposing that a Sunday in July become Non-Parents Day, or something like that. Okay, maybe we’re still too small of a minority. How about make it more broad-based and call it Birth Control Day?

  4. wellokaythen says:

    I can see how it could be offensive to lgbt parents, whether single parents or not.

    An alternative way to read it is as a kind of positive message to single parents of any gender or orientation. I know a single mother whose grown children regularly give her Fathers Day cards as well as Mothers Day cards. Their intent is to show that they didn’t feel like they were missing out, that there was no imbalance or lack of parenting just because there was no biologically male parent at home, to show that she was appreciated for all the various roles she played in her children’s lives. And the kids sometimes joked that she was often “a really strict dad” with them. So, it was meant as a token of esteem, not so much a dig.

  5. The best thing about a Mother’s day card for a father is, you would not understand unless you have loss your mother. I have a father who is essentially my father and mother. He plays “both roles” as a single parent and is deserving of appreciation everyday but on a day like “Mother’s Day” or “Father’s Day” it is a bit sad for the people who do not have their parents.

    Since I have my father, he gets to celebrate Mother’s Day in addition to Father’s Day. Take yourself out of a box just for a second. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have different definitions for everyone.

    • I was more thinking that perhaps having a separate Mother’s Day and a separate Father’s Day is outdated for precisely this reason. Not everyone has a Mom or Dad, for a variety of reasons. Also, since it’s at the Logo shop, I assume it’s for same-sex parents. Though, of course, it could be for a widowed or divorced same-sex parent.

  6. John Anderson says:

    I think that fathers are not celebrated enough in our society and my initial reaction is that a mother’s day card for dad is not a bad thing at this stage.

  7. As the daughter of a single father, I always bought my dad a Mother’s day gift and card. It was my way of saying I appreciated the dual role he had in my life, even in a time when men did not traditionally get custody of their children in a divorce (early 70’s). My mother left when I was only 3, so for all intents and purposes, he was my mother and dad! That is what the card is meant for. It took me until I was an adult to appreciate the roles he played in my life and the hardship he undertook to keep me when “mother” wasn’t interested in taking her share of the responsibility. My dad has been gone for 5 years and to this day, as I will every year, flowers will be placed on his grave. I was a single mother, and know how hard that was, I can only imagine how much harder it is for men. The same resources are not available to them. So I do NOT find these cards offensive, I found them as a way to show him how much I appreciated him and the fact he was so selfless with his time and love!!!!!

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