What People Who
Grew Up With Female Father Figures
Know to Be True
Contrary to popular belief, girls don’t have a monopoly on daddy issues—guys have them, too—so we can break that stereotype straight off the bat.
In a patriarchal society, it’s easy to understand why people automatically give you a sober “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that” with a corresponding look of pity when they find out that you were raised by a single mother. Actually, scratch that—raised by strong female figures, regardless of whether they were our titas, lolas or cousins twice removed.
We have about as many quirks and issues as the next person who grew up in a traditional household (maybe even less), and we wouldn’t change anything about our upbringing for all the manly pats on the back in the world. So really, everyone, we’re fine. As a matter of fact, we’re doing much better than you expected us to.
8. We don’t need pity.
Hetero-normative culture be damned, the women who raised us also taught us everything we need to know about loving ourselves and becoming a fully functional member of society. Sure, we come with a convenient sob story about our absentee parent or how our fathers never hugged us, but if you’re going to feel bad for us about something, do it over the fact that we spilled coffee on our shirt or tripped in front of our crush—not because we come from a different family background than you.
7. Our “daddy issues” don’t make us special.
A lot of things are attached to having “daddy issues”: issues with intimacy, being emotionally unavailable, getting easily attached to people who can take on that role in our lives, ad nauseam. Here’s the thing though: a lot of factors play into having any of those issues, not just growing up without a dad. In fact, you could grow up to have all of the above and still have had the best father in the world. Things are always more complicated than they seem, so writing it off as “daddy issues” is an unfair generalization.
6. We don’t blame you, dad.
Not in the least. Whatever reason there is for not having a strong male figure or presence in our life doesn’t mean that we hate them or don’t acknowledge the strong male presence that we do have in the form of other family members or friends. Some people just aren’t wired to be dads—we learned that a long time ago. Rather than waste time and energy on it, we moved on.
5. We don’t subconsciously crave male attention.
Our strong, awesome female father figures taught us, through example, that loving and appreciating ourselves are more important than what any single person can give you. We grew up just as loved as the next person, thank you very much. We don’t go running after every person who pays us the slightest bit of attention because we simply don’t need to.
4. We grew up quickly.
It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, but we also learned to help out when we could. We taught ourselves to cook to take the load off mom, forced ourselves to clean up to help lola out around the house. Seeing how devoted the women who raised us were made us work that much harder. While it wasn’t a conventional childhood, we turned out all the better for it.
3. We don’t settle.
Because we know that we grew up a little differently from the rest of our friends, it just means that we have much higher expectations of the people we choose to be with. We’re not emotionally crippled or incapable of having normal relationships. We just know what we want and we don’t settle for less.
2. We’re sensitive, but not in the way people think.
We started to question our identities early on in life (thanks, Catholic school education!), and so learned to define ourselves outside of what’s “normal.” By age seven, we’d already clued in to the fact that growing up “normal” isn’t always normal, and every family has their own weird dynamic that works for them.
What’s unconventional to you is totally normal to us—in fact, it helped us become more aware and sensitive of the people around us. It helped us realize that everyone lives life a little differently, and that “normal” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Guys who were raised by women aren’t soft, and women who were raised by women aren’t too headstrong and opinionated—we’re just more in touch with both the masculine and feminine sides of our personalities.
1. We get both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to celebrate them.
Our wallets may complain, but we get two holidays (three if you count birthdays) to celebrate the awesome women who raised us. From the bottom of our hearts, today and every day, thank you to the women who managed to be both mother and father to us. You’re amazing, and we couldn’t be more proud.
Share your thoughts about being raised by your female father figures in the comments section below!