A Thank You to My Second Mom(s)

A Thank You to My Second Mom(s)

When I started school I realized that blood doesn't make you family.
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Split families has become a lot more common however whenever someone hears that the parents are split, they assume that the mom is the one taking care of the kids. That wasn't the case for me.

My dad was both parents for me growing up; he played the mom and the dad role. He was there to talk to me about every crush I had or every puberty thing that happened to me growing up. He even bought me flowers and took me out to eat as well as went into the store himself to buy me pads when I got my first period.

He learned how to braid hair when I was younger and learned all the new fashion trends so I would be on top of it. Every shopping spree felt like I was with my mom and not my dad. He took on both roles with such grace and speed that I never felt I was missing out on anything.

However the older I got, the more abandoned I felt. Sure, I saw her every once in awhile but a majority of the time she always called and cancelled. It got to a point where when I was about 4 or 5 she called and told me that we'd go to the beach but I never told my dad because I knew she would cancel and sure enough she did.

Around that point is where I started to wonder why. Why wasn't I good enough and why didn't my mom want to spend time with me?

But then I started school and I realized that blood doesn't make you family.

My grade school and middle school mom was my best friends mom; I originally met her through soccer and then we ended up going to the same school. She bought me presents every Christmas like I was her own kid and even threw me a birthday party when I was 7. She showed up to every sporting event even when her daughter wasn't playing to cheer me on and support me. She even joined the snack sign up list stating she was my mom for softball for a few years. I went to her for everything. Yes, my dad was always there and I told him everything as well, but it was nice having that female connection. Someone I could look up to and say I wanted to be like. She taught me how to cook and how to braid hair. She even taught me how to apply makeup when I became old enough.

Like everything though, once 8th grade came and went we ended up going to different high school and drifted apart so I no longer had my second mom. I was heartbroken. It was like going through that abandonment as a kid all over again. Then I met my high school best friend.

My high school mom wasn't so much as the teaching mom but the loving mom. When I went through my first relationship she was always all ears for every up and down and she was there during my first break up. She met my boyfriends in high school before my dad did. I spent just as much time in their house as I did in mine for those four years. She knew about every homework assignment and test and would always wish me luck before one or congratulate me after doing well. She showed up to my hockey games for the two years I played in high school before my concussions and helped take care of me through them. She always cooked my favorite meals when I was over and even made me desserts and got me small gifts for special occasions.

Just like middle school, her and I went our separate ways for college. This time was easier though. I was more independent and didn't feel the need for a mom figure anymore. I knew I was going to be okay just like that little 4 year old knew she didn't really need her mom because she had so many woman around her who loved her. Woman who filled in for "bring your mom" events and showed up for everything that meant something to me.

But I still ended up with an amazing college mom. Definitely one of my favorites. The cool fun mom. The mom that's more of your friend than your mom. The one you can cuss around and talk shit with. The one that will make fun of you constantly just because she can. Yet will buy you stuff to make you feel better. Always listens when you're panicking and is always there to cry on when you're sad.

I always thought that I needed my mom, that I was so different and that my life would be better if I had a normal family however I realize that's not true. I had plenty of moms throughout my life even if I never really had my biological one.

So this is a thank you to my second moms.

Thank you for always being there for every sporting event, school concert, play, and even graduation. For always cheering me on even when your own daughter wasn't present.

Thank you for being so supportive. You always listened to me whenever I needed anything and always helped me to find the correct way. For helping me find the best path for me and helping me get through the hard times.

Thank you for the laughs. I can't thank you enough for all the fun enjoyable times that we had together. I will forever cherish all those movie nights, dinners, shopping sprees, bonfires, and even car rides. My time spent with you was always so full of joy that I'm glad I was able to experience.

Thank you for the food. I was able to experience meals cooked by a mom even though my dad was an amazing cook.

Thank you for loving me like your own. I never once felt like I didn't belong. I felt like I was truly your own daughter and that there was no difference. I never once felt like I was abandoned; I felt nothing but love.

I'm sure my life would be different had my parents stayed together but I am extremely happy with how my life is now. I will always wish my real mom acted more like my mom but I wouldn't trade all the second and more real moms I was able to experience throughout my years.

So thank you, second moms, for being some of the best things to ever happen to my life.

Cover Image Credit: Aesome

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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I Love My Parents For Making Me Hate Them

If you've never disliked your parents, they're doing something wrong.

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I did not have the "cool" parents growing up. I was not allowed to go to parties, drink, hang out with bad influences, eat sugary breakfast cereal and Gushers, or date guys who my parents thought were too old for me. I looked around at all of my friends getting permission to do pretty much anything they wanted and filled with jealousy and curiosity as to why that wasn't my life.

A very common conversation in my household:

"But *insert friend's name here*'s parents let them!"
"I'm not *insert same friend's name here*'s parents."

At the time, I felt like my parents were suffocating me and not allowing me to make the mistakes I needed to make to develop as a person. Little did I know, the parenting I had was the absolute best parenting I could possibly have had. Looking back, I'm thankful for all of the rules, punishments, fights, and boundaries, because it did shape who I am as a person and a future parent.

That being said, to those who think their parents are too strict: trust the system. Rules are regulations are crucial for teaching valuable life lessons, regardless of how frustrating it may seem at the time. I cannot express in words how sheltered I felt growing up compared to a lot of my peers, but I now understand the parenting style and hope to apply this same guidance to my future family.

My favorite way to describe the parenting style I had growing up would be by comparing it to a retractable dog leash. My parents always let me explore my boundaries and make mistakes to learn from them, but pulled my back when I put myself or others in danger. They knew the lessons I needed to learn through trial and error, and there were always consequences when I did things that they knew I shouldn't. Getting punished insured that I would repeat mistakes, but also created the necessary separation between friend and parent.

Eventually, it would disappoint me to disappoint my parents, and that guilt was almost punishment enough to prevent me from doing anything I shouldn't. Sometimes I did feel like I was missing out on a lot of the things my peers were able to do. At the same time, however, I knew it was for the best and that my parents had my best interest at heart. When I did act as a regular rebellious teenager, my parents always were on my team and made sure I felt loved and cared for even when they needed to punish me.

Now that I'm older and have established right from wrong on my own, my relationship with my parents is something that others envy. We can joke around and act as best friends, but I also know that if I needed it, my parents would always be there to help me with life's hardest problems and decisions. The fights we had when I was younger and the teenage attitude is now something we can look back and laugh about.

Using my parents as models, I now know how I would one day like to raise my own children. Obviously, all kids are different and there are some things I would change. However, I know that if my children never hate me, I would not be doing my job correctly. I appreciate all of the times I felt like I was restricted and couldn't be who I wanted to be because now I realize that my parents were shaping me into the best person I could possibly be, and that's what I wish I would have wanted all along.

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