The other night I had a fascinating conversation with a new group of friends.
It was as if we knew each other for a long time or in a past life. We seemed to speak on the same wavelength, nod our heads in accordance and share similar beliefs regarding equality, education and politics. When we got around to asking each other about our upbringings, we realized we were all raised by single mothers.
Although our fathers may or may not have been in the picture full time, we all lived predominately with our mothers. I started to ponder the common threads throughout our childhood and what we took away from our upbringings.
A solid work ethic.
The single mother is a badass working woman. She works tirelessly, in and out of the home. She is in the kitchen washing dishes at night and up first thing in the morning to prepare breakfast. She walks the halls at night and makes sure the doors are locked to protect her kin. She knows how to invest, saving leftover pennies for her children’s college funds.
She rarely sleeps but when she does, she does deeply knowing she’s done everything possible to make sure everyone is healthy and safe.
A can-do attitude.
This I learned very young. The word “can’t” wasn’t allowed in my household. There was try, try again until success or satisfaction was achieved. Can’t change a tire? Learn. Can’t fix a blown gasket? Read a manual. My brother and I were mowing the lawn by 10 years old. My mother said, if we wanted our friends to come over and play in the yard, we had to mow it ourselves.
This can-do attitude has translated into resilience. Getting up when there is no desire to do so. Trying again until a goal is achieved.
She walks to the beat of her own drum.
Single mothers walk to the beat of their own drum. They don’t get invited to couples dinners or galas where the seating is in even numbers. When everyone walks in pairs or holds hands at the movie theater, she walks alone but is not lonely. Her confidence does not depend on the crowd. Her confidence is deeply rooted in her being. She understands that the decisions she’s made have led her to the now, and in this moment, she is perfectly comfortable with her step.
Never underestimate her power. I am woman hear me roar. I’m sure a single mother said that first.
Self-love. Single mothers define self-love. They know the importance of self-love, self acceptance, divine intervention and they accept this all. The single mother does not settle. She is not waiting for mister right. She is constantly preparing herself for her very best life and when love enters, she will be ready.
They throw plans to the wind.
They know firsthand that the plan doesn’t always pan out. That the idea of the plan working out is beautiful, but so is freedom, courage and abandoning everything that was supposed to happen, because it didn’t.
They are lovers.
Single mothers are lovers and I’ll vouch to say, they are the best. When they get the opportunity to love, they embrace it wholeheartedly. There is no other way because there is not enough time in their day of servitude. Their responsibilities are enormous and the weight of carrying it all can be tiresome and burdensome.
But, this, this moment, this gift to love, is magical. All thoughts and rationale and to do lists are thrown to the wind. There may not be an opportunity to love tomorrow, but today, she’s going all out.
Author: Ashley Martinez
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: leonfishman at Flickr