Destigmatizing Single Parenthood– My Childhood With My Mother

There's a stigma behind single parenthood, but many people fail to recognize how it's not always a bad thing. Here's the story of my single parent.

My parents were divorced when I was four years of age– and for good reason. Bottom line: I’ve lived alone with my mom for nearly 14 years. Like many other ideas and concepts I’ve written about, this is a topic that has layers. So, so many layers that can’t all be peeled back at once. Growing up in a home where there were two human beings when there should have been three was different. I matured quickly, assumed more responsibility, defied stereotypes; but could not have imagined it any other way. Here are some of the things I realized growing up in a humble home with my mother, showing me what single parenthood was like.

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It can occasionally get lonely

To support the both of us through single parenthood, my mom works absolutely tirelessly. This means long hours, which often means a lot of alone time. Sometimes the alone time can get a little too quiet. This may also be because I’m an only child as well– but at the end of the day we always catch up no matter how late in the day it may be. This seems to make up for the time spent on our own.

Destigmatizing Single Parenthood-- My Childhood With My Mother

$$$$$

In all honesty here– money is pretty tight. Living with one income means no crazy vacations, no fancy cars, nothing like that–it’s just a part of single parenthood. I’ve had some kind of a job since I was 14 years old so that I could take some financial burdens off my mom’s shoulders. That being said, I’m so incredibly thankful for everything that we do have that my mom has worked so tirelessly for: a home with food and clean water, clothes on our backs, and little luxuries like going out for a nice cup of coffee from time to time. We always take time to appreciate the little things.

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I miss her… a lot

When I went off to college first semester, I found myself so very homesick– mostly because I had spent so much of my time with my mom! We’d watch movies together, vent to one another about our days, have Saturday morning coffee together in our kitchen… I really missed all of that. It was strange not having my best friend around. In exchange for all of this, we spent lots of time on FaceTime first semester. LOTS of time. Being away from her, I believe, made our relationship more resilient. But of course, we always find a way to make up for lost time.

It’s a lot like having a roommate!

Two women in the same household, sharing a humble space. We brush our teeth in the same bathroom, often at the same time, we have PJ time and wake each other up in the morning, can talk to one another for hours on end, and have housework we each need to complete in order to make our space organized. Our energy is divided in two between the both of us. Maybe that’s why dorm life didn’t seem too bad!

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My mom is my best friend

My mom and I have truly done everything together. She’s been my biggest supporter for school concerts and musicals, in my academics; been my mental health advocate, and pushed me towards being the best version of myself. I quite literally tell her everything– and I’m not sure I’d be able to say these things if I didn’t spend as much time with her growing up. Like any relationship, ours is far from perfect. Yes, we argue. Yes, we bicker about who’s supposed to take the garbage out. It happens! It’s healthy. At the end of the day, being able to have one parent who supports you entirely and wants only the best for you is the biggest blessing.

Destigmatizing Single Parenthood-- My Childhood With My Mother

Many think that single parents don’t work as hard, and have a difficult time forming meaningful relationships from their children. My mother has proven this to be the farthest from true. I wouldn’t be half the person I am now without her undying love and support. Everywhere I go, I carry a piece of her heart with me. She has defied the definition of what a single parent is, and is just another example of the fact that women can do anything.

Do you have another story to help end the stigma behind single parenthood? Tell us your story in the comments!
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