“Being a single mother is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears, but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.” ~ Unknown
The first memory of my life was of my mother.
Her beautiful, long blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and the most caring heart.
My small world was perfect. I had two younger sisters and one brother. Dad worked long hours, and mom stayed home with us. She would take us to school, make us yummy afternoon snacks, and tuck us in at night.
Then one day, our lives were turned upside down overnight. I was only seven years old. We had to start over in a new home and a new school with a newly single mother.
In our new life, we had to walk to school by ourselves, make our own afternoon snacks, and there was no one there to tuck us into bed at night. Our mom was now our only provider. She had to work three jobs around the clock to pay the bills.
We weren’t happy with this new arrangement. We didn’t make it easy on her. We fought this new life with everything we had. It didn’t feel fair. We wanted our old life back.
But as hard as it was, I’m glad we had the life we lived. I now understand why things had to be the way they were. I am proud to have been raised by a single mom.
Being raised by a single mom has taught me these valuable kick-ass lessons:
1. She taught me career goals.
She was the hardest working person I have ever known. Because she was a single mom, she wasn’t in a position to be picky about what work came her way.
Because she felt lucky to find any job, she went in every day with a positive attitude, energetic drive, and unwavering devotion. She was loyal and trustworthy. She cared about doing a good job, and it showed in her work ethic.
Because of you, I pride myself in my industrious career goals.
2. She taught me how to make my own decisions.
She gave me the distance I needed to grow. She trusted me to make my own decisions and supported me. This included all the mistakes I made along the way. She taught me that those mistakes were how we learn and grow.
Because of you, I make my own decisions regardless of failing.
3. She taught me how to multitask like a boss.
It didn’t matter how busy and hectic our lives were, she made it look easy. There was an ongoing to-do list that never seemed to end. Because she was a single mom, she was the only one to get things done. She prioritized the urgent items but kept tackling the nonurgent things that still needed to be done. She delegated as much as she could because it had to be a team effort. Everyone needed to pitch in.
Even on days it felt like we were going to crumble, she never became overwhelmed or stressed. She was positive and determined to get it all done, which she did.
Because of you, I have made an art out of my superhuman multitasking skills.
4. She showed me that hard work pays off.
She put herself through college, worked, and raised four kids all on her own. And she never gave up. She never shed a tear. She was brave, bold, and fearless.
She worked her way up from multiple low paying jobs to a career as a State Police Officer.
Because of you, I am the hardest worker in the room.
5. She taught me that we didn’t need a lot to be happy.
Growing up with no money was hard. I wanted more than our current situation allowed. But because she was a single mom, she showed me it was the simple things that made life worth more than money could buy.
She showed us how a free meal at the park was just as good as fast food as long as it filled our bellies. She showed us that a day of arts and crafts at the local church was just as fun as a day at the amusement park as long as it brought us laughter. She showed us a day with each other was just as great as a day at a summer camp as long as we felt cared for and happy.
Because of you, happiness is sleeping in a freshly made bed, feeling the sun on my face, laughing so hard that it hurts, time for myself, and a fire on a cold night.
6. She taught me to be independent.
Because she was a single mom, she leaned on us to help around the house with chores. We had to care for each other while she worked.
And once I was old enough, I needed a job to pay my own way. She taught me how to balance a checkbook and the importance of saving.
Because of you, I was able to stand on my own.
7. She taught me strength.
She appeared powerful even after life handed her the road less traveled. She was tough and took every blow the universe threw her way, with the sweetest smile. And she took a curtsy after the world tried to knock her out. She wasn’t going down despite the attempts. She stood up and said she wasn’t going anywhere.
Because of you, I became my own strength.
8. She taught me how to love myself.
She had no one to love her. Because she was a single mom, she was too busy to find love. Her nights were spent alone in her room. There was no one to hold her tight or kiss her good night. There was no one there to wipe away her tears. There was no one there to talk to.
She only had herself and her children. That became enough for her.
She gave us all of her love. She didn’t feel sorry for herself. She didn’t wait to restart her life until someone saved her. She saved herself. She lived her life. She lived it according to her own rules. And she was happy.
Because of you, I can love myself. Even the broken pieces.
Mom, thank you for every kick-ass lesson you taught me. I am who I am today because I was raised by a single mom.
Thank you to all the single moms out there. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs. Being a single mom is even harder. And to conquer that mom thing alone is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Just in case you didn’t know, everything you are doing is perfect in every way.
We are lucky to have a kick-ass mom like you.