Dads Don’t Really Care About Father’s Day

Do Dads care about Father’s Day? Nope. Not really. At least that’s the way it seems to me.

The fact that most fathers don’t seem to care about having a special day set aside just for them is frustrating, but it’s also kind of a godsend for us mothers, if you think about it. Ask any Dad around the question ‘What do you want for Father’s Day?’ or, ‘What are you doing for Father’s Day?’ and I’m pretty certain their immediate response will be, ‘Um, right… When is Father’s Day?’ (In case you were wondering, it’s Sunday).

Let’s be honest. What mother hasn’t dreaded searching for something for Father’s Day? Sometimes I think having a root canal would be less painful than trying to come up with yet another gift. This year, after I asked my son’s father what he wants for Father’s Day, it took him an entire week to come up with something. And after seven days of me pestering him to think of something – anything! – he wants, he came up with, ‘A gift card to Home Depot.’ Yep, it took my son’s super-smart father an entire week’s worth of thinking to come up with the genius idea of gift card.

Should us moms just be happy that the dads in our lives don’t aim high or barely think about it when it comes to gifts on Father’s Day? It’s not that I don’t try to make it special. I do. And that’s a problem. I want to do something special for both of my children’s fathers, but neither really seem to care. In fact, I’m more excited about Father’s Day than they are. I’ve asked my son’s father if he wants to spend the day with or without the kids. He doesn’t care. I’ve asked if he wants me to make dinner reservations. He doesn’t care. Asking my son’s father what he wants to do on Father’s Day is akin to asking my son, who is five, what he did at school today (‘Nothing!’) and who he played with, (‘Nobody!’)

Last year, my son’s father was as happy as a pig in shit when I went out and got him his favourite breakfast, a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin and large coffee, before he woke up. Sometimes you’ve got to love the simplicity of men! I mean, come on, how easy (and cheap?) is it to buy an Egg McMuffin and coffee?

When it comes to Mother’s Day, I usually don’t even have to think for a nanosecond about what I want. Yet, ask a man what he wants and his brain seems to shut down as if we were asking them to answer a theoretical physics question instead of just picking out a damn present they want. This is why many men only get cards.

I’m convinced that fathers really don’t know what they want and also, unbelievably, they genuinely don’t want anything. This is why Dads end up with yet another golf shirt or apron for barbecuing, with ‘World’s Best Dad,’ written across it. Fathers are entirely unhelpful when it comes to helping us out with gift ideas or ideas on how to spend the day. And it’s simply because they don’t care!

Have you ever seen or heard of a Father dropping a hint for a present, or leaving out a brochure on the bed with a sticky note attached to a page featuring something they want? I certainly haven’t. How many of us have heard, ‘I don’t want anything.’ Now THIS I don’t get. You don’t want anything? Really? Nada? Well, okay then! Nothing is what you’ll get.

I kid. (Sort of).

I think that one reason why Dads don’t care about celebrating a day just for them is because many men just buy what they want, when they want it, year round. If my son’s father wants a new gadget, he just orders it off Amazon. When my daughter’s father wants a bottle of wine, he buys a case. Unlike women, men don’t wait for special days to give themselves permission to pamper themselves or buy something special. They just buy it.

Many mothers, whether they admit it or not, are way more emotionally invested in Mother’s Day. And because they’re not as emotionally invested, fathers also don’t get disappointed. For years, I’ve spoken to many disappointed mom friends the day after Mother’s Day. There are a ton of mothers who feel let down every Mother’s Day because their special day didn’t live up to their expectations. Yet, I’ve never heard one father complain after a Father’s Day, ‘Well THAT Father’s Day sucked. I can’t even talk about it!’ Have you?

Even in this day and age, mothers still do most of the planning around special occasions. If all us mothers in North America got together and collectively and purposely forgot about Father’s Day, I wonder if there would even be a Father’s Day.

In any case, this Sunday I’ll be at McDonald’s picking up a breakfast sandwich and coffee for my son’s father. And he’ll get his gift certificate. I’ll probably do something else special for him. But it’s not because he cares, because he really doesn’t. It’s because I care.



  1. Lisa on June 13, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I feel like I am the only mother that doesn’t really care about mother’s day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really cute that the kids try to do something for me and I love how excited they are, but I don’t feel like I need a day designated for them to proclaim their love and buy me stuff. To be fair, I also feel that way about valentines day and Christmas…I enjoy the season and time with family, but don’t feel I need recognition or gifts. As stated in the article about fathers, I usually buy what I want when I want it, without guilt. It is pretty rare that I want anything other than functional items though. I guess I am the odd one out!

  2. Heather Dixon on June 14, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Love that you have another opinion to offer up! Thanks for weighing in, Lisa!

  3. Matthew Schmidt on June 18, 2017 at 2:40 am

    i like your article and I understand it. I don’t “want” anything for Father’s Day. However, it is one of the most important days of the year for me. What I want is to spend special time with my daughter, in recognition that she is the most important person in my life to whom I am completely devoted. I usually get my wish, but as she has just become a teenager, I understand it is natural we will have less of those times. I am probably not typical, and I am divorced so I think that is relevant. Thanks 🙂

  4. Jeff on June 16, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I feel this is wrongly said/stated Most fathers do care and would prefer to have some type of family thing going on like a good home made meal or an outing Men/fathers don’t show it as they are being modest and show no expectations. That is our job to shrug off such holidays . Think about it for years the father played the role as the bread winner the one who went out and worked hard to provide and the mother stayed at home to take care of house and kids, that role has changed with that change comes a different thought process from a dad. Dads of past put on a front showing they didnt care some do it because of financial reason, some because thats how their dad reacted to those days. It has been ingrained in dads to respond in such manners. Trust me I was a dad who used to shrug off the fathers day thing due to this was how we were raised what we saw from our fathers. I learned quickly that wait i do care and look forward to those special times/days Family,Kids,Grandkids and fun times is what it is all about and honestly the gift card means less and seams uncaring I would be willing to stretch my neck out here and say most dads care they just will not show it

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