This article was published on May 5th, 2018
The ‘normal’ nuclear family has changed and is no longer what it used to be. Since the adoption laws have been updated in many countries to allow same-sex couples the right to adopt, same sex parents are now becoming common place. Two moms and two dads are no longer so different. However, when it comes to gender-specific holidays, like Mother’s Day, it can become difficult for same-sex couples and their children to re-interpret, especially when celebrating something the family doesn’t have. How do gay dads celebrate Mother’s Day?
Much like the rest of us, most gay dads all had moms, themselves, at one point. Though previously a holiday to celebrate the parental female family matriarch directly, Mother’s Day has grown into a holiday that celebrates all moms, whether yours, the mother of a friend, your sister, aunt, niece, surrogate, and every mom in between. And why shouldn’t mom’s get their day? In an overly-inflated patriarchal society, women, especially moms, often get the short end of the stick. So, one way gay dads celebrate Mother’s Day is by doing exactly that: celebrating the women that gave us birth.
Some gay dads split Mother’s Day and Father’s Day between the two of them according to which gender stereotypically position they are within their own household. Often the more motherly nurturing father will take on Mother’s Day as his parenting day, while the enforcer and more stereotypical fatherly father of the pair ends up with Father’s Day as his day. Though not as common, this is a trend arising more and more with same sex male couples and their children.
Most gay dads are worried that their child will miss out by not properly celebrating Mother’s Day for mothers. So, they celebrate their surrogate or the biological birth mother of their children by participating in the traditional Mother’s Day activities. Flowers, cards, chocolate hearts, balloons, and small gifts are given to the child’s mother in their lives. Other moms visited include best friends, aunts, and other females in the gay dads’ lives with children.
Other gay dads use the day to show their children that all moms, including their own, should be celebrated. They celebrate by taking their kids to their own parents’ house to illustrate that everyone has a mother in their lives and not all families look the same. While the grandmother role and mother role are different, this shows their children that all of us had to come partly from the female gene pool.
Lastly, some gay dads just spend Mother’s Day with their kids reveling in their own traditions. Some gay dads teach their kids about important motherly figures in history and society. Others will make cards and take flowers to nursing homes where there are mothers who don’t often receive visitors. Some donate, with their kids, time and money to organizations that benefit women and mothers.
In short, there is no wrong way for two gay dads to celebrate Mother’s Day. Like any other holiday, the day was made to celebrate something or someone loved. In this case, for two gay dads raising their own children, Mother’s Day can still be exactly what you want to make of it.