Today is Father's Day in the UK. As I've written previously, my mum always told us we didn't need to keep Mother's Day because it was originally a celebration of mother Church. Perhaps it was also a way of reminding us that we should tell our mum we appreciate her more often than once a year. My latest suggestion is that maybe our family should celebrate mums on children's birthdays in honour of the incredible feat of childbirth!
But it is hard not to get swept up when everyone else around you is celebrating something (many Jews have this problem around Christmas time too!) Arguably Father's Day is even more bizarre than Mother's Day for as far as I know (which isn't far in this case) it was a commercialised creation.
Yet with all the discussion around paternity leave and the changing nature of parental roles, perhaps this is a nice opportunity to honour, and to remember fathers, and the changing way they often play a role today.
My own lovely late dad always had a birthday near Father's Day so the celebrations would be combined. Dad was typical of his generation as the bread winner, and although mum also worked once I was back at school, it was always she who was around after school, and prepared dinner so we could all eat together.
Today things are rather different, and even if it takes time to become normalised, I really applaud the changes in law around more flexible paternity and maternity leave. I could not do what I do without a wonderful partner able to support me, able to be around in the evening, and confident at putting the baby to bed. I don't love missing bedtime, but I also appreciate that after working at what I love, I am personally better at being a mum when I get home, putting more into the precious time I have with my gorgeous daughter.
That's not to say any other model is worse- each family model is unique, and too many people spend too much time judging other people and their parenting choices (and feeling inadequate in their own).