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Dear Lifelines: Torn Between Two Fathers

Dear Lifelines;

For Father’s Day last year, I just didn’t know what to do for my step-dad. I usually spend the day with my dad and we do things together, but I always feel bad that I’m leaving my step-dad out. What can I do?

Torn between two fathers

Dear Torn,

The fact that you are concerned with this issue shows that you are sensitive to the needs of your dads. It sounds like you really want to be fair about how you spend your time acknowledging them both. The great thing about your fathers is that they are both really unique individuals with different interests and needs. Remember that it’s not your responsibility to make everyone happy. It’s not fair to place that kind of pressure on yourself, or for anyone else to place that burden upon you. You might want to take some time and figure out what you can do with each of them or for each of them to acknowledge that you care about them. You might want to do a special project with them like build a birdhouse or take golf lessons together. You could also purchase something for them like Father’s Day cards personalized for both dads and step-dads; you could write some thoughtful words about what makes them special to you. Because each person is different, you can make it as individual as they are. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make people feel special – time and some focused thinking can make a special gift come together. Try not to get caught up on making things too equal or too perfect because that takes the fun out of the project. If you have to acknowledge your dads on different days – that’s ok! So think about what makes your dads excited – is it relaxing in front of the TV, spending time on the lake, cooking, gardening, playing sports, travelling, doing crafts or woodworking? Try to focus on a theme and see where it takes you!

Good Luck and Happy Father’s Day!!


“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.”

Jim Valvano


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