As a father, am I allowed to do whatever I want on Father's Day?

This topic is stolen from the local morning show. (In case there are listeners)
Should I, as a Father of four with a current wife, be able to do whatever I want on Father’s Day?
Say, if I wanted to go on Lake Michigan all day charter fishing (without the family) would I be considered an ass in your mind? Especially if the wife and kids wanted to do something else. Should my wants trump theirs or should I be compeled to do what they want to do to show their appreciation for me.
Couple of things to consider;
Does the age of the children matter?
How often I go fishing?
What we did on Mother’s Day (which we all know is what mom wants)?

Or should we find something that all of us can enjoy at the expense of what Dad really wants to do?

Experience has taught me that, as a father, I can do anything I want on Father’s Day

as long as my wife and kids approve!

To my mind, Father’s Day is an opportunity for the family to do nice things to show appreciation for their father/husband.

For the father in question to take off on his own and deprive them of that opportunity would be extremely jerkish behavior.

It would hurt my feelings if my father did that.

It depends what you want out of your marriage.
Wouldn’t ‘doing something you all enjoy’ be ‘what Dad wants to do’?

I guess it depends on if your family accepts that it’s Dads’ day and he can choose what to do (what’ll make him happy) or if they believe that it should be a total day of appreciation with the other family members determining what is appropriate for Dad.
If the goal is to make Dad happy would not letting him go fishing accomplish this?
Would the end result of forcing Dad to go to brunch and spend the day playing with the children mean that it’s really not father’s day but what the rest of the family considers Father’s Day.

(I’m playing the DA, in case you’re wondering. Don’t stone me yet!)

What if Father made the whole family go on the fishing trip, even though everyone else in the family HATES fishing? Change anything?

What message do you, as a father, want to send to your family?

[li]I’m glad to be your father and I love and appreciate you. Or[/li][li]I like fishing more than I like you.[/li][/ol]

When you decide to

  1. get married

  2. have kids

you sacrifice the right to be selfish. Especially #2. With #1, at least maybe you can find a wife who accepts a degree of selfishness. When you bring a kid into the world without him having a say in the matter, you are bound by that child’s wishes.

What you do is

  1. Spend Father’s Day with your family - that’s the point. If my kids were out of town or something, we’d wait for a different day to celebrate.

  2. You tell your wife that the present you want is a chartered fishing trip on Lake Michigan - maybe for the next weekend or whenever she can book it.

I dunno, I think if my Dad wanted to do something like that, it’d be nice of us to let him. We can buy him dinner after the trip or the next weekend. I don’t think I’d mind if he (or my imaginary, future husband) wanted to spend the day off by themselves, doing whatever they wanted. Father’s Day is about giving the dad what he wants. Mom enjoys going out as a family and that’s what she gets for her day. Dad wants to be alone for his day? Perfectly acceptable and not offensive at all.

We’d probably make him take one of his friends or something, but that’s because we all get terribly seasick. Dad wouldn’t want us there throwing up while he was fishing anyway. But, as to the spirit of the question, I think we’d make an effort to do whatever activity it was that he wanted us to do with him. After all, it’s only for one day and he is one of the two people that helped provide for and raise us.

As a father who’s not going to be with his kids this Fathers’ Day (they are all on different continents to me), the best time that I could have would be with them.

I know my father is like that too. I won’t be able to be with him on Fathers’ Day (in early September, since he lives in Australia) – though I will get to see him a couple of weeks later. However, if he had said that he wanted tro go off and do something by himself on the day, I’d have been happy to oblige.

I agree.

If your idea is that you want to spend the day away from your family, you’re not really being much of a father that deserves to be celebrated, I think. The day was not established so that fathers can “do whatever they want.” It was established so that children could honor their fathers.

I don’t get to be with my dad on Father’s Day - we live on opposite sides of the country. If I had the ability to be with him, I know he’d be thrilled, and I would, too.

I think bup’s idea is a great one.

Every year on Mother’s Day since my kids were little:

We have a great breakfast at home. The kids give me kisses and presents. For the past two years its the breakfast in bed deal.

My husband takes the kids and visits HIS MOTHER who thinks Mother’s Day is very important for a few hours. My mother and I go to lunch, see a movie, do something without my children, who I love dearly, but who can be quite clingy.

They come home, we finish Mother’s Day by taking Mom out to dinner.

This is a great compromise for us. I get some time with my mother, and I get some adult time (which is what I really want for a mother’s day gift), and the kids still get plenty of time with me. Plus, my mother-in-law gets what she wants, while I don’t get what I don’t want (which is spending my Mother’s Day with her - she is a wonderful person, but she isn’t my mother).

For the record, I agree with you guys so far. I would not run off and leave the family behind. I let Mom and the kids decide what they would like to do after throwing out a few options of my own. It needs to be this way so that they can feel that they’ve done something good for dad, something to make dad happy.

If I didn’t feel that I could please my father on father’s day it would have made me feel terrible and in turn my father would have felt bad that I felt bad and no-one wins.

On the radio this morning they took several callers and all of them agreed that the dad was NOT being a jerk for going fishing without his kids on father’s day.
I was stumped and shocked, therefore the thread.

Keep up the comments.

I’m also curious as to how dads juggle time with the family and time with their own fathers, if you have any suggestions.

I do whatever I want on Father’s Day. It just so happens that what I want is to spend time with my kids.


Everyone is different, everyone demonstrates their feelings for one another differently, etc. In some families, they probably send Dad off fishing and everybody’s happy, in some, they have some day long tribute and togetherness fest.

IMHO, if the father really loves fishing and his family knows that, I see no reason he can’t go on an all day fishing trip. You can still have dinner, presents and family time when he gets back. Sure he’ll be drunk off his ass and smelling like fish, but hey, it’s Father’s day. :wink:

Myself, I’m going to enjoy my kid-made cards and bottle of cologne, then go on about the business of being a dad, just like any other day, except I won’t have to do as many chores. :smiley:

Uncommon Sense, you might want to call the radio station and tell them that when you win a Nobel Prize, it’s considered poor form to just take the money and not show up for the ceremony.

A dad has to at least be with them for part of the day, so they can tell him they appreciate him.

Hey now US, I did not listen to the radio show you are discussing this morning but, in my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with dad going fishing all day on Father’s Day. Sheesh, some people are acting like it’s on par with slapping your wife and telling your kids they’re worthless.

It’s dad’s day. Dad wants to go fishing. He shows us he cares for us and loves us every day. Let the man fish!

No, it’s not “guy” day, it’s “Father’s” day. You’re only a dad for (at least) one reason - Be a dad and spend your day with the reason for the day.