I grew up with a single mother, and maybe you did too or you have someone in your life that has. When you have a single mom, she is working as both parents in a relationship, and for that alone, I think any single parent is what we can consider a real life superhero.
My mom always amazed me, in fact, she still amazes me on a daily basis. She always took every single pitch that life threw at her and swung with grace, poise, and pride. When you grow up with a mom like her, you learn some pretty amazing lessons, and those are lessons I'd like to share with you.
1. Even if you're mad at each other, always say 'I love you' before you go to bed.
You never know when you'll say 'I love you' to someone for the last time. I remember when I was younger how dumb I thought this was, but it's a ritual I live by now.
2. Never use the word 'hate.'
She taught me that 'hate' is such a strong word that it should never be used, especially when it comes to talking about a person. Even people that have done me wrong the most, I do not hold hatred for them. It's too entirely exhausting. I've resorted to using the phrase "strongly dislike with a burning passion" in place of it, but sometimes it does slip when it comes to objects, but never people.
3. It's always okay to cry.
Maybe I took this a little overboard, especially since my poor roommates are often the ones comforting me, and all of my emotions (happy, sad, angry, frustrated, etc) end in me crying. Even so, my mom taught me that having emotions shows you care and have passion. Plus, if you feel better about a situation after crying, then it was all worth it, and if you don't, well at least it isn't all bottled up!
4. Do everything with class.
Even when people did her wrong, my mom always took the higher road. She taught me to not air my dirty laundry on Facebook and to make sure that if I responded to people who were mean, I killed them with kindness. Class, even with a little sass, is fierce and respectable.
5. Life is better when you're dancing.
Every Saturday, my mom would wake up very early to clean the house from top to bottom. I always knew she was cleaning when she was jamming her music. We would jam to music in the backyard when we laid out in the sun. We would dance to music just because! She's always been my favorite dance partner, and weddings are always fun with her. She's told me before that I got rhythm from her and blues from my dad. I definitely agree!
6. Always be yourself, even if people don't like you.
It's always better to be yourself. Why? Because everyone else is already taken. When it came to bullies, boys, or BFFs, she always taught me to be myself. Being fake wasn't worth it, and people that deserved to be in my life would love me for me.
7. Forget what other people think, and do what makes you happy.
When you study something like creative writing in college, you have people that think you're wasting money on a degree. My mom supported me all the way and loved that I was following my passions. When friends or doubts would hold me back from trying to date someone, she would always say, "If it makes you happy, then just go for it." She has always told me that I need to make my own decisions and put my own happiness first when it really matters.
8. You can do anything you set your mind to.
There will always be people who will say I can't do this or that, but my mom always taught me that I am bigger than anyone's (or my own) doubts. If I put my mind to it, I can do it.
9. A good pair of heels is always a necessity.
My mom gave me my love of heels and shoes in general. In my favorite pairs of heels, I am fierce, confident, and unstoppable. Sometimes you have to splurge a little, but heels (and other fun things in life) are worth the little extra!
10. Your heart can never be too big.
Sure, with a big heart, it gets broken a little more often than usual, but a big heart can save the world, even if that is just one person's world. With a big heart, people can feel like themselves around you, you let people touch your life, and you can touch other people's lives. A big, giving heart is what I hope to pass onto my children someday, especially because I've learned from the most giving person I know.
The parts that I like about myself, the parts that matter to others, I all learned from my mom. For that, I am eternally grateful. She is my best friend, my confidante, my muse, and my endless support. Thank you, Mumma, for all the lessons you continue to teach me.