Single parents have to take on the role of both the mother and the father for their kids. I have learned and matured so much from growing up with a single parent, more than I could with two parents. My mother, though she may not have realized it, taught me so many valuable lessons throughout my childhood. There are so many of these valuable and incredible life lessons from my amazing mother that I feel are necessary to share. Here are some things I learned from growing up with a single parent.

Single parents prove that you can be a real life superhero.

When there were spiders to kill my mom was the one to swat first. She was fearless with every little problem we encountered. While juggling college tuition, our extracurricular activities, our day-to-day dramas, not to mention starting a new career that would support us throughout our lives, she never gave up. She taught me that it’s possible to do it all when it comes to the people you love.

She rescued us when we were in trouble. She dropped everything and anything to run over to us when something was wrong. She would stay up late with us when we cried over heartbreaks, even though she had to get up at six a.m. the next morning. She has not only been our mother but has been our personal chauffeur, therapist, handyman, chef, bank, cheerleader, and lastly our best friend for our entire lives. She has worked so hard to give me and my siblings the best life we could possibly ever have, even better than if we had had two parents. For that, I can officially say superheroes are real. Instead of wearing a cape, she wears an apron and waitresses to continue to give us everything we need.

I’ve learned so much from her and she’s left huge shoes for me to fill when I become a mother someday. She taught me so much about independence, feminism, and motherhood that I feel equipped to one day raise children that hopefully if I'm lucky, will admire me in the way I admire her.

I learned to be independent and fearless.

I watched my mother support us on her own from the age of eleven. She taught me how to be independent and never rely on anyone for my success. She taught me that I can survive on my own and I thank her every day for that. Constantly I see people so desperate for happiness and love that they allow themselves to be around destructive people because they just can't be alone. Being alone has taught me so much and has been a true blessing when it comes to figuring out who I am and has shocked me when I see what I'm capable of.

Sure being alone is scary and we always strive to be in relationships both platonic and romantic. But it is important to never ever rely on someone for your own happiness. The only person who can truly make you happy is yourself. You can still be independent and in relationships, there is no question there. However, you need to know that you are capable of being alone and can do great things without having to rely on others for constant approval and without seeking gratification. I know now that I have never relied on anyone but myself for my happiness because of my superhero of a mom. She taught me that I can do anything and be anyone I want to as long as I work hard for it. She's inspired me to be fearlessly independent every day for the rest of my life.

I learned that gender doesn't dictate your parental role.

As I've grown up, I've thanked God every day for giving me the best mother alive. My mom just so happens to be the best mother and father all in one. She was strong like a father should be. She was nurturing and caring like a mother should be. She is the perfect combination wrapped up into one.

Being raised by a single parent showed me that the word "gender" doesn't define or dictate your parental role. My mom did everything from killing spiders to cooking a homemade meal every night, to driving us to countless soccer, dance, and basketball practices, yet managing to have time to take us to all of our appointments, and she supported us with every achievement along the way. She did it all and never complained once about it. Growing up, I started to understand that women and men have an equal amount of nurturing and love for their children.

I learned to love myself and to love life endlessly.

My mom has taught me many things, but if there's one that has stuck with me most
it's this lesson. She taught me never to compare myself to someone else and to love my imperfections. I'm not going to lie, gaining a bit of confidence in our society might be the hardest task of all. What is the point of life if you can't live it to the fullest and love every minute you're alive? Saying life is hard is an understatement. But every time we fall we must fight to get back up and continue to try again. My mom taught me to never be defeated even when life throws us the toughest challenges. So yes, life is hard and makes us be hard on ourselves in response. But loving myself and loving life has turned everything around for me, and I can only thank my single parent for teaching me these important values to live by.

I learned that my parent is everything I aspire to be and more.

Saying, my mom is the coolest person alive is an understatement. Excuse my language but she is a badass in everything that she does. To me, my mom is everything I aspire to be and more. I hope to be not only a mom like her but the amazing person she is as well. To be that giving, independent and fearless is incredible, and I can only hope to be half the person she is.

There's a million and one things that I can say about my superhero of a mom. She's done everything and continues to do whatever it takes to make us happy.

She always told us "You can only be as happy as your saddest child".

She's the reason I'm still standing here today. She's the reason I'm as strong as I am now. Without her, I don't know where I would be, and I'm thankful that I don't have to find out what that life would've been.

So yes, I am a child of a single parent. No, I am not damaged. I am strong, and stronger than I would've been with two parents. For that, I'm eternally grateful for being blessed with having someone so special in my life. Thank you mom for everything. I love you.