1. Independence. You grew up a lot faster, and it feels great, now.
Independence became second-nature by the time I was in middle school. I had to learn to be accountable, responsible and understand the basics of taking care of myself at an earlier age than most. Whether it was walking to all of my after school activities (my mom knew that it was important to keep me busy growing up), learning the bus route(s) back home, cooking (which was usually a miss more so than a hit), and which situations to become involved in or walk away from. Eventually, that independence feels great, because you're able to see all that your mom allowed you to accomplish.
2. You’re resilient and fearless
Nothing scares me easily, and this is because my mother is anything but timid. You'll realize from an early age, whether it's through the experiences you develop with your closest friends or through the multitude of jobs you'll undergo (because you more than likely became a worker a lot earlier on than other teenagers), that there are many moments, situations, or environments that will prompt some reasonable amount of apprehension and doubt. These instances also taught me, as the saying goes, "sometimes the fear won't go away, so you'll have to do it afraid."
In the end, those moments of discomfort only helped me grow as a person, and make you happier afterward. You'll develop this sense of valiance because: 1) You kinda had to, which definitely comes in handy later on 2) Looking back on your own upbringing, there were probably a-million-and-one things that scared your mom, but she did it, too.
3. You appreciate the little things and the big things
You appreciate the big things and the little things. There's no such thing as a non-blessing because everything happens for a reason. Whether it was getting my dream dress for junior prom or helping me get my first job, every good thing that my mom did wasn't meant to be ignored. You appreciate her because she's giving you basically everything from thin air, and that kind of magic is not easy to create.
4. You're conscious about money (because it doesn’t grow on trees)
I'm really good with money, and it came with practice. Recently, my mom told me that by the time she was in her late 20's, she had found herself in a lot of debt. Long story short, the situation was pretty bad, but she didn't drown and resuscitated both her credit score and savings account. Whether it was through example or being explicitly mentioned, she always made it a point to teach me about the importance of managing spending habits, putting a certain amount of money away a month into your savings and in case of an emergency, and always planning for the future in a monetary sense.
5. You grew up with an example of a strong woman
There were definitely a lot of chances where my mom could have simply said, "I can't do this." But she never did, and always did all that was necessary to make sure that we were both okay in the end. There was never a "no" that lasted as more than a temporary obstacle. We both always had nice clothes, there was always food in the fridge, the bills were always taken care of by her, and she killed all the spiders (not so much anymore since I moved out). She showed me that a woman is soft, but always having a backbone. She showed me that although unfortunate circumstances arise, they don't define you. Most importantly, regardless of all of the things that have happened, she's the same unbothered and free spirit.
6. She’s a go-getter, so you are, too.
"You have to envision yourself winning" isn't a quote that pops up into my mind at random. Because of my mom, I grew up believing that with the right amount of focus and dedication, anything is possible. When I say that any and everything happened, I sincerely mean that every and anything my mom put her mind to was eventually manifested into existence. Whether it was switching me over to a small private school because she wasn't feeling the public school I was originally enrolled in, or buying and renovating her first home, everything that she wanted was eventually hers. My mom taught me that being a woman didn't mean sitting there and allowing someone else to give you everything, but to go out there and get it on your own. She guided herself through life, and because I was there I learned a lot along the way, too.
7. You learn the importance of keeping it together and “bouncing back”
I learned the importance behind "bouncing back" and succeeding even if the odds may be against you early on. My mom has an unusually high level of patience, self-control, and focus. I've seen so many people allow any unfortunate circumstance touch them in a way that causes them to break down, or maybe even give up. Whether it was during a financial struggle, emotional/personal struggle, or career struggle, my mom never did. She picked herself back up and kept her attitude light and approachable.
8. There’s a switch between the “child-and-mother” and “woman-to-woman” relationship
I'm a daughter, but I'm a young woman, too. Although my mom still insists I'm her baby, our conversations have definitely changed in a way that is now more honest and personal. She'll remind you that you're not friends, you won't want to share every detail about your life either. But, every now and then, the dialogue switches from "mother-to-child" to "woman-to-woman." Whether it's about relationships (which can be a two-sided conversation depending on your momma), boy troubles, friends, a reminder to put "your big girl pants on" and toughen up, outfit decisions, or even work opportunities. Once you begin to take that independence she helped cultivate, apply it in a way that's beneficial toward your life and personal decisions, and start surprising her instead. You'll probably begin to have conversations similar to the ones she's had with her girlfriends.
9. Mistakes happen, but you know when to forgive
Even superwoman has her moments, and it will impact someone else, too. In most cases, that person was me. My mom is a human being the same way I am, and her ability to forgive others is impeccable. She never holds a grudge or continues to allow passed circumstances to linger on. Whether it was a decision that hurt me emotionally or seemed unnecessary at the time, it taught me that everyone will have their slip-ups. It gives you a mature outlook on mistakes, and on forgiveness.
S*** happens, and I do the same thing that my mom does: forgive, and continue being a positively vibrating energy source because no one should make you despondent. Admittedly, I've messed up before, too. Although her reaction was far different than any of mine, she did something most parents won't: with time, left it alone.
10. You learn a lot about relationships, and you’ll be more mature than other people your age are with them
Whether your mom dated or was involved in some serious relationships, you've innately learned a thing or two about them before you've even had one of your own. Growing up, I witnessed both. You may be dragged into some relationship drama, and receive some insights that a child shouldn't know. You may grow up with a couple of father figures. These kinds of things will only shape your view of your version of a "good" relationship. In the end, she still has your back and will be there for you. She'll forever receive both your mother's and father's day gifts because her relationships didn't exist to hurt you. In the end, you just develop a stronger sense of what to do and what not to do in a relationship that you'll actually care about in the future.
11. You develop a strong sense of self-respect
I developed a sense of self-worth that is definitely much more heightened than others my age. This is not to say that these traits make you better than anyone else, but after seeing your mom deal and go through with multiple unfortunate occurrences, you'll become the kind of girl that doesn't just deal with any bull shit. After seeing how she goes from lady to "not-the-one-to-mess-with," you learn that her solid and serious attitude is what's kept you both so blessed and lucky. She taught you that being respected and maintaining a sense of self-love will either make you or break you.
12. You’re A Picky Dater
I won't deny that I didn't have a few daddy issues because of my own personal experiences, but I didn't allow myself to see it as a reason to rely on someone else to make me feel loved or happy. Even during her own relationship issues, my mom made it clear that you don't come second to anyone else's needs, and that putting up with another guy's bull shit is usually not going to bring you closer toward a happy ending. I learned that you don't exist for anyone else's comfort and that if you meet someone who expects you to not be so adventurous, open-minded, or is incapable of dealing with your attitude every now and then, why force it? Maybe you're a free spirit, too.
Personally, I decided to just keep dating, having fun, and not to take it so seriously if it isn't. Or, you have a relationship with another person that respects your strength, determination, grit, and sensitivities, too.