My last name is the same as my mother’s. The only thing my father ever gave me was half his DNA. He left as soon as my mother found out she was pregnant. If I am being honest, not having him around never actually bothered me. It was never really an issue for me, but to other people it was a big deal. Growing up, I was asked where he was or if I felt like I was missing out. The answer was always the same, a simple no.
My mother was not young when she had me. She didn’t think she was going to have kids, having thought she passed her “prime” years. She was the oldest out of all her siblings and they all had children before her. She was content with just being the helpful aunt who help raise her siblings kids. It was at the age of thirty-nine that she found out she was pregnant. My mother was excited at the prospect of finally having her own child.
My mom is a workaholic, both out of necessity and because that’s her personality. She has had three jobs since I was twelve. There were days I wouldn’t even see her, she would be gone before I left and I would be asleep by the time she came back. Her absence forced me into early independence and honestly I couldn’t be more grateful. I learned how to take care of myself because I gained life skills a little bit earlier than most kids. I taught myself how to fix a broken door, cook a meal, wash my clothes, and pay bills.
I know my mom didn’t want to leave me on my own, but she had no choice. She was the only breadwinner and she had two mouths to feed. My mom taught me that hard work pays off, even if it isn’t instantly. I currently work three jobs myself, because I know one day I’ll only need one. I busted my butt through school, even though I struggled with depression and anxiety. When I graduated from college my mom was my only family there and it was just as much my achievement as it was hers.
It was my mom who took care of me, moved to a different town when I was getting severely bullied in elementary school, and put me through college. She is the one who taught me life’s lessons, even when she wasn’t ready to watch me grow up. I see so much of her in me and as I get older it becomes so much more apparent. If I ever become a mom and I happen to be single I hope I do half as good as my mom did.