Whenever that special day in June rolls around, I always wish my mom a Happy Father’s Day. It’s not because I’m trying to be silly. On the contrary, it seems more than appropriate. When my parents separated when I was five (AKA too young to even remember a time before then), my mom had to take the role of both parents, so she gets both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. She earned it a million times over. My childhood is proof that you can thrive with just one parent. So, this is a tribute to my beautiful and amazing single mom.
- She taught me the value of money. We had some lean times, growing up. Taking care of two kids is tough when you only have one bread winner, but she showed me how grateful you should be for every meal and how having brand name stuff isn’t the way to be happy or make friends.
- She showed me how important it is to be self-reliant. My mom had to do everything herself. We didn’t have a second parent to chip in, yet she still managed to put food on the table and make us feel special. She did it all by herself. Because of that, I know I can do anything, too.
- She proved that self-sacrifice can still be fulfilling. My mom, brother and I lived in a two bedroom apartment for 11 years, starting when I was six. Because my brother and I are six years apart, she decided to sleep on the couch in the living room and give each of us our own bedroom. For 11 years. I talked to her about that recently and she didn’t feel bad about it at all. She said it was worth it to see us happy. Now that’s amazing.
- I avoided being a nightmare because I didn’t want to make her situation any harder. As I grew up with a single parent, I was always aware that she was doing this alone. She was in charge of two kids all on her own. I can safely say that one of the big reasons why I was such a good kid is because I didn’t want to cause her any more grief than she already had.
- I’m more comfortable being alone — and I mean that in the best way. When you’re raised by a single parent, you find yourself alone a lot while they work, especially in the summer when school doesn’t take up a large part of your day. Personally, I found that alone time liberating. It taught me the value of independence and I think I have healthy relationships as an adult because of it.
- My family is incredibly close because of her. Our family is small — just us three. And while some family has been tacked on over the years, including when my mom finally got remarried to a nice man nine years ago, that doesn’t change the fact that we remain an incredibly close trio. I love our little family unit.
- I have a best friend for life. You know those people in your life that you could spend every day with and almost never get sick of them? They’re few and far between, but awesome when you find them. For me, that’s my mom. Honestly, it feels weird if I don’t see or talk to her two days in a row, and that’s great.