The Story of My Single Mom
I am married, and I am a dad. I cannot tell you from the point of view of a single mother, how to parent a child. Yet, I still feel qualified to write this piece as I am the result of being raised by a single mom.
My mom had me early. She was eighteen, single and poor. She raised me alone most of my life, and I never felt as though I lacked in any way. I was the captain of my high school basketball team, made it on the high school Homecoming Court, was accepted to the three colleges I applied for, married an incredible woman 22 years ago, and have raised two wonderful daughters.
I am who I am today, because my single mom did three incredible things while she raised me:
1. She never burdened me with her relationship issues. She didn’t bad-mouth my father, her ex. She didn’t tell me she was lonely. She didn’t talk to me about men she may have been interested in. She knew that wasn’t our relationship. She may have complained or talked about men with her girlfriends, but never with me.
2. She never let me know we were poor. Being single so young, my mother had to provide for the two of us on a meager salary. She knew that was a hard situation, but it wasn’t something I needed to deal with. Looking back, I realize that the nights she “wasn’t hungry” were really nights that there was only enough for one full meal, mine. One year she worked on a game for me for three months, building it by hand with scrap wood she rounded up, in time to giftwrap for Christmas. Over thirty years later, I still have that game.
3. She did what it took. Life for her was hard, but hard was never an excuse. It was her choice to bring me into this world. So, my mother made this world as pleasant as she could. She would have to take two buses after work, then run a mile to pick me up before my preschool closed. Then, we’d walk back the mile to the bus stop, and hop on the bus to get back home.
Being a single mom is difficult, but I am so grateful that my mom never let me know this growing up. Her job was to love me, to give me the same opportunities as the kids with two parents, and to shoulder the burdens my back was too small to carry. I thank her every day for what she did for me as a child.
Written by: Leon Scott Baxter
About the Author:
Leon Scott Baxter, “America’s Romance Guru” and “The Dumbest Genius You Will Ever Meet”, is the founder of SafetyNetters.com and CouplesCommittedToLove.com. He’s the author of three books on relationships, and his fourth book is due out by the end of the year, “Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting: Raising Happy and Successful Children – The Common Denominator”.
He has been a public school teacher for eighteen years and with his wife has raised two happy, successful daughters. He still calls his mom at least once a day