I’m an only child in a single parent family. I haven’t seen my dad since I was 12 and whilst I tried to reconnect with him about 9 years ago I now haven’t spoken to him in about 5 years and I never intend on speaking to him again (that’s a story for another day).
My mum is brilliant, she’s been my mother and my father. By no means is she perfect and we regularly struggle but she’s my parent and I wouldn’t swap her for the world. I know I can be just as annoying and awful, just as I can be as thoughtful and wonderful. We’re human and that’s just fine.
What I don’t understand with people like me, who have been raised by their mums, is why they wouldn’t have their mum walk them down the aisle when they get married.
I had a conversation the other day and I said how the only person I’d want in a bridesmaid role is male, so that wouldn’t really work. I was immediately told that I should have him walk me down the aisle and how that would be perfect. I found that so insulting. My mum will be walking me down the aisle if/when I get married. Why would anyone else get that honour?
This then made me think. Of the time I went to a wedding and a male family friend walked the bride down the aisle instead of her mum. Of the film Mama Mia, where she invites all her potential dads and then having known them for 5 seconds asks them to walk her down the aisle? In the TV show I just started watching (Witches of East End) where she’s never met her dad, yet when she meets him the day before her wedding she asks him to have that honour.
I just don’t understand. It’s a massive middle finger to the mother and if I was in their shoes, I’d be heartbroken.
I know it’s tradition for the father to ‘give the daughter away’ BUT if the father hasn’t been there, why the fuck should they get that honour? If, devastatingly, the father isn’t around anymore, why shouldn’t that honour pass to the mother? Obviously if the bride doesn’t get on with her mother at all then sure, choose someone else. Or own it and walk alone or with bridesmaids, like a proud, confident woman breaking traditions. Why choose a man just for the sake of it.
I hate the assumption that it has to be a man. I hate that tv and film pushes the idea that it has to be the father. I hate that I’ve been asked if I’d ask my father to come and walk me, asked by people who know he was abusive. He won’t even be invited.
So this Mother’s Day, I want to shout-out to my mum and unsupported single mothers everywhere. She is my only parent, she has fought for me and with me. She is the only person I’d even consider to walk with me, the only person who deserves that honour.