What I've Learned From My Single Parent
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What I've Learned From My Single Parent

Thank you for being both a mom and a dad.

What I've Learned From My Single Parent
Emily Marques

For the majority of my life I’ve grown up being raised by a single mother. This isn’t completely uncommon, but I have found that most kids are raised in a full household with both parents front and center. My mom took on the role of mom and dad for the majority of my life. She had to deal with working, raising two kids, and living her own life all on her own. She didn’t have any support behind her, yet she still somehow kicked butt at parenting. My mom is the strongest person I know, and being her daughter has taught me some of the most important things in life. Here are some of the things my single mother taught me.

1. There’s more to life than being a homemaker.

There always seems to be a stereotype surrounding what is expected from a mother and a father. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a family that has a stay at home mom and a working father, but I learned from my working mom that it doesn’t always have to be that way. For as long as I can remember, my mom worked. She has worked harder than anybody I know to support my brother and me by herself. She balanced being the working parent while still trying her best to be at soccer games and carpool for cheerleading. I grew up knowing that there is more to being a mother than staying home and doing nothing but taking care of your children. She balanced everything and had the satisfaction of knowing that everything she has, she has earned on her own.

2. Never rely on anybody but yourself.

This is probably one of the most important things I learned over the years from my mom. I grew up watching her get everything she wants by doing it on her own. I’ve also watched her be let down when reality doesn’t work in her favor. Whether it means reaching great success or falling flat on your face, my mom taught me to always figure things out for myself. You should never rely on another person financially or emotionally. You have to fulfill your life on your own in order to truly be successful. I learned that you have to keep yourself on solid ground and rely on nobody but yourself to make it. The floor doesn’t fall from underneath you if you’re the one who is holding it up.

3. Reality

This may be a little difficult to explain, but I feel that reality becomes a bit clearer when you have a single parent. My mom never sugar coated anything in my life. For the most part, I was aware when money was tight, when she was stressed, and when life was throwing our family curve balls. She was always fully honest with me, making my brother and I understand that we were all a team and when things weren’t easy, we all had to be aware. Don’t get me wrong, I have been given a very comfortable life from my mom, but I have always had to be mindful of when things were tough. This sense of reality made me prepared for my own adult life, while also showing me how lucky I really am.

4. How to be independent

Growing up with a single parent I learned how to be independent pretty quickly. We were never the family to have a babysitter or the type of kids that needed mom to help us with our homework for it to get done every night. Having a mom who worked, we didn’t have the luxury of coming home to someone ready to cater to us. We were never babied and never treated as little kids incapable of taking care of themselves, and I could never be more appreciative of that.

5. Parents aren’t perfect, they’re human

The most important thing growing up with a single mother taught me is that parents aren’t perfect. They make mistakes just like anybody else. Seeing my mom struggle on her own basically my entire life, I saw how hard it really is to take care of your family. I saw the stress she was always under and I learned that it’s impossible to be the perfect parent and always get it right. My teenage years are definitely responsible for my mom’s gray hairs and I have nothing but respect for her dealing with it all on her own. As I’ve gotten older, I really see how hard it must have been juggling work, her family, and any remnants of social life. She made mistakes, but I understand that she tried her best and that is all that really matters.

So, to my incredible mother, thank you for being the best mom and dad I could ever ask for and teaching me everything I know. I know I don’t always show it in the best way but I love you so much. Thank you for not killing me when I was 16 and always letting me figure out life for myself. And most of all, thank you for always loving me more than you love yourself. You the best, Ma.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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