Being a mother seems like the toughest job in the world. A mom's job requires 24/7 attention and doesn't ever end, even when kids turn 18.
As a single woman with no kids, sometimes I'm still at a loss as to how parents raise children. I've always been a "want it, get it" type of person, and I love to have autonomy over my time and money.
I cannot (yet) imagine being part of a couple who dedicates time, money, energy AND unwavering love to a child, let alone imagine being someone doing it all on her own.
I was raised by a single mother, and from day one, she always did what's best for me. She has always been strict, and she always made sure I was only surrounded by people who would align with my discipline and have a positive influence on me.
Getting pregnant wasn't something my mom planned; she was barely 23 when she had me, struggling between jobs, looking to get a better education and trying to help with the expenses of her parents and seven siblings.
But I was born, and despite the fact that coming into her life practically messed up her plans and dreams, she never took it out on me. She swallowed her pride and did whatever it took to give me the best life any parent could give a child.
If you are a child of a single mother, I'm sure you'll agree with me that although single mothers are one of life's most incredible wonders, they have a few characteristics that undeniably no other kind of parent can ever possess:
If you think that's an exaggeration, you couldn't be more wrong. Some of the most ridiculous memories of my childhood came as a result of my mother's actions.
I was never allowed to stay out after 6 pm on a school night unless supervised by a responsible adult. I was never allowed to let my male friends into my bedroom, she threw a fit when I let a gay friend in (I mean come on, mom, you saw him putting my makeup on!), and I was not allowed to watch kissing scenes on TV until I was 16!
They're hilarious rules, and were definitely difficult to understand back when I was younger. But now that I'm of age, I know that every single stern rule she imposed made perfect sense, at least in a single mother's point of view.
I now know how difficult it was for her to keep me safe and make sure no harm or bad influences could ever get to me. She had no one to turn to if anything bad happened.
She will give you the best education no matter the cost
My mom enrolled me in expensive private Catholic schools until college. Back where I'm from, people can choose to enroll their kids at a public school and pay next to nothing or go to private schools, which, of course, cost an arm and a half.
Our family could barely pay the bills and my mom could barely make any money then, but she stayed firm and kept me in expensive schooling. Why? Because only that option could give me the best education a well-wishing single mother could ever hope for.
She makes incredible sacrifices that she'll take to her grave before you find out
Every school day, my mom gave me lunch money that I could use at our school cafeteria where everything costs three times more than anywhere else.
My mom would send me off with a bunch of cash without saying anything, and little did I know that with that lunch went the rest of her money as well.
I didn't find out about it until one night when she felt sick. It turns out she didn't have any food to eat all day because she couldn't afford to buy any.
She gets sick whenever you fall ill
I was NEVER allowed to get sick. One time, all the kids in our block got chickenpox at the same time except me. She kept me locked indoors, and I was not allowed to play outside until the "plague" went away. Even, to this day, I haven't had the pox.
Recently, I was rushed to the ER due to an accident, and while being tended to by paramedics, unable to stay awake and could barely speak, all I could think I of was, "Oh God no, if Mom finds out, she's gonna freak!" And yes, of course, she did.
She always thinks of you first, and only you
When we had a good month and didn't have to worry about money, my mom would take me and my brother to a nice mall in town.
We would eat at a fancy restaurant, buy trendy expensive clothes or a bag of yummy chocolates. Whatever we wanted, we could get, but now I realize, looking back, she didn't get anything for herself. She always thought of us only, as if seeing us extremely happy were enough to make her equally happy.
We could barely make ends meet and we were undeniably poor, but I never felt poor. I even felt richer than the rest of the kids I knew. We never felt sorry for ourselves, and we were always happy. Most importantly, as a family without the presence of a father, we never felt incomplete.
My mom not only made sure she did her job to the fullest as a mother, but also as a father, a teacher, a cook, a hero, an angel and a martyr. Life sure doesn't turn out the way single mothers plan for themselves, but they sure do love what comes out of it: you.
I love you, Mommy.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It