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Lessons I Have Learned from My Single Mom

I was raised mostly by a single mom. My parents separated when I was in 8th grade, but before that my dad had been a long haul truck driver who was on the road more often than he was home. Most of my childhood it was my mom, my sister and I. Having this background of being raised by a single mom, I had a reference point for my own single parent journey. I knew specifically what methods I was going to take from my own mother, and the ones I would not be repeating. My mom had made mistakes that I was determined to avoid.

I Will Not Be My Son’s Friend

My mom fell into a trap that is so easy to fall into. After the separation, she became my sister and my friend. She thought (from my view) that she could protect us better from the world if we trusted her like we trusted our friends. She wanted to be our confidant. Being her friend also gave my sister and I the freedom to do what we wanted. We had few rules, the world was our playground. On one hand it was spectacular. On the other, it was a travesty. My sister and I had lost one parent, we needed the other. We had plenty of friends, we needed a mom.

I Will Not Share My Relationship Problems With My Son

My sister and I always knew the status of my parents on again/off again relationship. My mother’s emotions were raw and exposed. I knew what mistakes my dad had made, and I knew what all of their troubles were. It is hard to love your parents equally when all you heard about one of them was all of the bad things they had done. I never wanted my child to have to hear about my problems. It is my job to protect my son from my problems.

I Will Not Let My Son Worry About Finances

We didn’t have a lot of money. My mom had a decent job, but it wasn’t a full time gig. With child support, we made ends meet, but certainly didn’t live in the lap of luxury. While my sister and I didn’t get shiny new cars when we turned 16, we did always have nice, stylish clothes and were able to participate in most activities our peers did. But it didn’t come without guilt. Not guilt imposed by mom, but guilt that was self-imposed. I knew how much money mom made, I knew the status of her bank account. I always knew how much, or how little, money that we had. The thrill of getting the latest designer jeans isn’t that enjoyable when you know that the money should have gone to pay the gas bill.

For a long time I held onto a lot of resentment towards my mom for the mistakes that she made. Once I became a single mom, I was adamat that I would not make the mistakes that she made. And I have worked my tail off to not make those same mistakes. But in the process, I have made others. Lots of other mistakes. And I have forgiven my mom. Being a single parent is not easy, no matter how adamantly you think you know what you are doing and what you don’t want to do. Everyone has their own path to follow, their own mistakes to make.

I have found that the only thing that will really make a difference in my single parent journey is one of the lessons my mom taught me by example. The lesson she didn’t have to teach, because it just came naturally – unconditional love and support. My mom gave my sister and I the most boundless amounts of love and support. Sure she made mistakes, but they didn’t kill us and they didn’t damage us beyond repair. The feeling of knowing that whatever happens, your mom will be there with open arms and undying love is something I will always feel lucky to have. If my son grows up with the same comforting feeling, I will know I have done my job right, despite the mistakes I have made.

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