Ignored on Fathers Day
Am I being pathetic for being hurt that my partner and step-son ignored Father’s Day for the second year running?
My partner lost her own dad 5 years ago, he died young after a short illness and it was a real shock. Understandably the grieving process has been long and difficult and she still struggles with family occasions like Christmas, birthdays and Fathers Day.
I have been the father figure in my step-sons life for the past 10 years. I refer to him as my son, I love him as if he was mine and I know he loves me.
This is the second year in a row that there has been no recognition of Father’s Day and my role as the primary male role model in his life.
I don’t want a big fuss, just acknowledgement of all I do for him, maybe a card, I don’t even want a gift. Just a small amount of recognition and attention on one day.
am I being selfish considering my partner’s difficulties on Father’s Day? Should I just forget about it and move on acknowledging it will always be tough for her and it doesn’t mean I’m not appreciated?
I tried to do that last year but the same feelings have appeared again this year and I feel upset and hurt.
am I right to feel this way or do I need to pull myself together?
I can't speak for other families, but in my house, Mother's Day/Father's Day have become virtually non-existent. Perhaps its getting older and a year flies by now, but it seems like there is always another birthday or random commercial holiday (Valentines, Easter, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day) that we are expected to do something for and we just got a bit tired of it. So in our house this year, Father's day wasn't even mentioned. I'll admit it would have been nice to have some acknowledgement for it but equally, we did nothing for Mother's day either. I understand where you're coming from, but I'd hope nothing was meant by it personally. In this busy modern era, its possible that these days are becoming a bit less relevant - or maybe that's just me.
Personally, because my daughter's birthday is no more than a couple of days from, or on fathers day I've never worried about it. To be honest, it never really worried me, putting an empasis on one day for something that should be the whole year round (and mutual) seems setting yourself up for a let down.
Maybe next year you could initiate an outing saying that you'd like to do something positive and spend time with your partner and stepson.
First off, you're not being pathetic at all! It's completely understandable to feel hurt and a bit down when your role as a father figure goes unrecognized on Father's Day, especially when you love your step-son as your own. Your partner's grief is undoubtedly tough, and you've been supportive through it all, which is amazing.
It's okay to want a little acknowledgement and appreciation for the love and care you give to your step-son. You're not asking for a big fuss, just a small gesture to show that your efforts are noticed. It's natural to feel upset and hurt when that doesn't happen.
Don't beat yourself up over feeling this way; it's human and understandable. Just communicate with your partner, let her know how you feel, and find a way to navigate this together. You're doing a great job as a father figure, and your love for your step-son is evident. 😶
Thank you for sharing. I can understand that you must feel hurt about this. As parents we do things for our children and sometimes we can feel like we do it with little or no appreciation in return, but I can assure you, that as a parent of now young adults, even if they don't always show it or say it, they do appreciate all you do for them. Wanting recognition isn't wrong - it's natural and for some people really important as it encourages them and reinforces to them that they are doing a good job.
So, an alternative suggestion for you - September 16th is National Stepfamily Day. So you could buy a blank card for your stepson and tell him how much you care for him and that you enjoy being his stepdad and how you appreciate all he means to you and your partner. This may hopefully spark a conversation about why you have done this.
I think from reading your post, Fathers Day has been surrounded by the trauma of losing your stepsons Grandad and his Mums father, so it maybe that it still evokes difficult memories.
Or it maybe that he simply forgot! Children do have this habit, and sometimes need a little hint. I hope it works out for you next year. Be thankful for the relationship that you do have. It reads like your stepson thinks alot of you.
Best wishes, Spurgeons Parent Support