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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Come To Terms With Having An Imperfect Relationship With Your Parents And Accept Them As They Are

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious.
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Despite coming from an Asian household, my relationship with my parents is not always governed by the classic "respect your elders" and "honor the family" values. Don't get me wrong though, I do hold true to these sayings, but with a grain of salt.

For those of us who do not have the good fortune of having healthy, happy relationships with our parents, there comes a moment of enlightenment when we realize that we will never have those kinds of relationships with our parents. That is absolutely OK.

In my case, this happened in the first semester of my first year of college. I was living away from home and was surprised by the unusually loving behavior of my mom and dad. However, once I started commuting from home the next semester, the loving gestures like texting me to ask me how my day or wanting to have a chat with me just because, ended and I felt like I was back to square one with my parents. I had hoped that the distance would make my parents be more expressive and open with me (which it did) but that was gone in an instant I was back home. I had the same old arguments with my parents and felt like a high school student all over again.

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious. Then we feel incredibly guilty for being such bad children who just can't listen to their parents. This guilt forces us to deal with so much emotional abuse, manipulation, and stress until we realize that our parents are people. We are allowed to not get along with them.

Once I realized that I will neither be able to fully satisfy my parents nor will they treat me fairly, I was able to accept them for who they were. By not holding them up to expectations they couldn't meet, my parents became more human and their flaws were those of people, rather than of my parents. All of my hurt feelings subsided as everything became less personal.

Relationships between our parents dictate our choices, our treatment of others, and our treatment of ourselves. It's important to know that you are not at fault for not loving your parents to the moon and back and that you should not feel guilty for something you cannot control. Parents are not black or white, they are gray in that they give us life and we owe them respect and acknowledgment, but that doesn't guarantee love and harmony.

It is OK to be a "bad" child if that means doing what is best for you.

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