For All the Girls Raised by Single Moms

She’s somebody’s hero

A hero to her baby with a skinned up knee

A little kiss is all she needs

The keeper of the Cheerios

The voice that brings Snow White to life

Bedtime stories every night

That smile lets her know

She somebody’s hero”

 

The most significant story that has shaped the person I am today is my own story of being raised by a single mother. Although some people may see this as a negative experience, I whole-heartedly believe that being raised by a single parent can help shape our perceptions of the world, our motivation and work ethic, and our ability to appreciate the value of sacrifice and hard work. I do not always like to admit that I am like my mother in some ways, but I am proud of who I am because of her.

The country song, She’s Somebody’s Hero, by Jamie O’Neill instantly comes to mind when I think about my mother. My mother is my hero, as cliché as that sounds. She has been my confidante, my provider, my protector, my chef, and my chauffeur for the past 24 years. I do have a part-time job, and I am a graduate student at college, but my mom will always continue to play each of those roles for me because that is what moms do. She has given me the tools to be independent and has shown me the importance of sacrifice and dedication.

Giving all her love to her was her life’s ambition

My father left no void in my life because my grandfather became my “father figure” and my mother showed me that life may not always work out the way you planned, but that is the beauty of life. My mother and I have an open and honest relationship, and she never she never forbade me from contacting my father. I chose not to.

Mom redefined masculinity and femininity because she was both my father and mother growing up. My mother sacrificed her time to work multiple jobs in order to make sure I had the best life possible. My mom redefined the gender assumptions that a woman should take care of the children and household while the man works. In some cultures and religions having children out of wedlock (before marriage) is frowned upon. My mother turned that judgment on its head. This experience continues to impact me every day as I am beginning to explore life on my own.

I understand that life consists of unexpected twists and turns. I realize that I do not need a significant other to provide for me because I am capable of doing that myself. I am frustrated with the economy and how men and women are not treated as equals in the workforce. Women in the United States still only make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes. It is difficult for me to grasp this concept because this is based on the personal choices men and women make.

Women bear the children and need maternity leave, but men also help create the children so do they get paternity leave and a pay cut as well? I may never understand how and why the economy functions the way it does, but I have a different understanding of the value of every dollar earned on a paycheck. Being raised by a single mother has taught me how to budget my money in order to be prepared for any curve balls life may throw at me, but at the same time to enjoy life as much as I can with the people who matter most to me.

Both genders are being stereotyped because of societal standards about gender. It is time to open up the discussion and explore the gray areas that society does not want to address.

 This one is for you, Mom

 

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