For the last five years or so, my mother has independently raised me and my sister.
Living in a house full of all hormonal and estrogen-charged women inevitably leads to a plethora of fighting, messes and a lot of money spent of tampons.
Amidst all the chaos, I often forget to thank my mom for her courage, strength and immense patience she has with us kids. So, here's what I wish to say to all single moms:
Dear Single Mothers,
Being a single mother, or any single parent for that matter, means you encompass the roles of both parental figures. You are not only the breadwinner, but in charge of the domestic duties, too.
You make sure your children are fed, arrive to practices on time and are bathed before bed. You have to work twice as hard, usually without compensation or reward.
I commend you, single parents, for making ends meet, for still cooking dinner after long days and for still loving your kids just as much, if not more.
Mom, thank you for showing me what it means to have courage.
You abandoned your dream house and your cookie-cutter neighborhood for a smaller home and more responsibility.
You took a risk with your career, your home and your friends, all for a new life of purpose and freedom. You knew it would be challenging, and you knew you would not receive immediate gratification, yet you left anyway.
Thank you for leaving, Mom — and for taking me with you.
You showed me no one deserves to be bullied in his or her own home; thank you for standing up for yourself. Thank you for breaking the patriarchal family stereotype.
Thank you for not taking any sh*t from anyone. Thank you for choosing a better life for yourself and for your children. Thank you for choosing a life free from verbal abuse, resentment and inferiority.
Thank you for disciplining me, Mom.
Thank you for being the good cop and the bad cop. Thank you for grounding me when my rambunctious stage crossed the line.
Thank you for teaching me how to have manners, how to act appropriately and how to exhibit decorum.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a lady, but one who is not inferior to a man. Thank you for teaching me how to tackle everything I pursue with confidence, grace and poise.
Thank you for teaching me my worth, Mom.
When you left Dad, you taught me that when someone loves you, he or she should love you for all your positive qualities and all of your flaws.
You taught me that a significant other should make you a better person. He or she should not try to change you or sculpt you into his or her idea of the unattainable, perfect human being.
To your significant other, you should already be perfect. Perfect because of your quirks, your mistakes, your past, your present and your ambitions for the future.
Thank you for working overtime, Mom.
Thank you for working two jobs. Thank you for making sure I had a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back.
Thank you for teaching me how to live within my means, how to be fiscally responsible and how to work for the things I want.
Thank you for being my friend, Mom.
Thank you for the late-night talks in the kitchen, the "Law and Order" marathons, the trips to the gym that ended with a date to Starbucks, the adventures to the sunflower field and the numerous Garth Brooks jam seshes in Roshanda the Honda.
You have taught me what it means to have a best friend to whom you can tell all your secrets. You have taught me how to enjoy the little things in life because those are the things that matter the most.
Thank you for loving me, Mom.
Thank you for never going a day without a phone call, a text or a hug. Thank you for holding me when I cry, for taking care of me when I am sick and for celebrating with me after all of my successes.
Most importantly, thank you for loving yourself enough to be able to love me that much more.
Single moms, thank you for proving to women everywhere that some of the strongest women are the ones who are independent.
Thanks for proving that some of the sweetest, most selfless individuals are the ones who must escape the realm of normalcy, the social stigma of the nuclear family and live life outside of the socially constructed boundaries we have accepted for so long.
Single moms, we may not say it, but we are so thankful for you.
We love you, and we would not be the same without you.