Father's Day by Stephanie Phillips

Yesterday when I was in the middle of organising a newsletter for World Childless Week it suddenly clicked that it was Father’s Day for many countries this coming weekend. I realised the importance of acknowledging this day and the range of emotions it can raise for any man who is childless not by choice. Having focused on the history of Mother’s Day earlier this year I decided to follow the same pattern and look into the history of Father’s Day.

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Father in his heart - Stephanie Phillips

I don’t know my biological father and there has never been a man in my life that I’ve seen as a father figure. Ogie, my granddad, is the only role model I have but sadly he passed away when I was still a teenager.

With Father’s Day approaching I look at my husband and wonder how he feels. The adverts for gifts are appearing thick and fast and even on social media I get a notification of “Father’s Day Tex Mex Buffet”. He’s never expressed sadness on this day but with advertising everywhere you turn it’s something that he can’t avoid. I’ve made the resolution to ask him about his feelings. Is he not bothered or does he mask any emotions? I need to know. 

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Conflict - Michael Hughes

I’ve been conflicted about writing this piece. I’ve been wanting to write it for ages, at the same time avoiding it at every turn. I realise it’s the self-analysis I perform as part of my writing process I’m avoiding. As much as I like to think that I have accepted being childless, I know deep down there is a pain waiting for its chance to rise up. Do I address it, or beat it back with a big stick hoping it will go away.

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The un-held hand - Robin Hadley on Father's Day

It is that time of year when strategies deployed at Christmas, New Year and sundry other ‘national family centred event days’ are taken down from the loft, dusted off and made ready: Father’s Day to my mind, has followed the marketization of Mother’s Day.

Undoubtedly, next Monday’s news reports will give estimations of how many millions of pounds were spent on Father’s Day and how much more was spent on Mother's Day. It would appear that in order to acknowledge biological or social fatherhood a card, a present, and a meal specially priced (and specially defrosted and reheated) is now mandatory. Wherever you go displays inviting you to acknowledge your father or the father of your children abound.

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Walking Past Father's Day - Kenny Smith

My dad passed away ten years ago. When he was alive, for the majority of his life he was cared for by my mum after he had a motorbike accident. Before the accident, we were never a family for commercial celebrations and he wasn't the sort whom the cards wanted to pay homage to anyway. He had four sons and I'm the eldest. Two of us are childlessness. Nevertheless, I've enjoyed being part of the lives of my now grown-up nieces and nephews, turning up on my motorbike to see them, and meantime working hard so I could travel the world and buy a house.

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