I grew up in a single parent home. My mother raised myself and my brother and sister all by herself. It wasn’t easy growing up in that situation. I remember as I grew older thinking to myself “I don’t want to be like my mother.” I didn’t want to struggle. I didn’t want to be tired all the time. I didn’t want to be a single parent. Little did I know that you can’t always choose how your life will turn out, no matter how hard you try and how hard you wish for it to be.
If you were to see me today you wouldn’t have guessed that I wasn’t the best at school growing up. I struggled with math and spelling in Primary School. When we were younger we helped mum to deliver papers around the neighbourhood. As I walked alongside my mother she would have my spelling list in hand and would test me on each of the words as we delivered the papers. She would do the same for my times tables. I can spell pretty well today, and can even complete some book keeping without crying so I can proudly say thank you for my mother for taking time out of her life to teach me these skills and the importance of a good education.
When we went out to eat there were certain times when the customer service person got an order wrong or gave incorrect change. My mother would always make sure that she checked the docket and made sure everything was correct before we left. If it wasn’t she made sure to rectify the situation, sometimes in a not so nice voice but ensure that she was not taken advantage of. My mum taught me to be strong and to stand up for my rights.
When we were young my mum wasn’t able to go out and get a 9-5 job as she had three children to care for and was an ocean away from her family so she had little support. To make ends meet, mum became a foster parent caring for children who needed a loving home, she cleaned houses and delivered papers before she worked full time in a bank. My mum taught me the importance of hard work. Not only the importance of working hard, but the knowledge that work is work; no matter how menial it may seem, you do it because it is work and it brings you money to feed and clothe your children.
Even though we struggled my mother would give freely to those in need. She would feed as many people as she could, offer her time to those who needed a listening ear and donated to various charities. My mother’s generosity and gift of giving will always be near to my heart.
I am so grateful for the examples that my mother has given me on how to be an amazing mum. I am blessed that I had a mother who loved me and who cared for me and who gave up so much of herself so that I could be the person that I am today. So, congratulations and thank you to all the mothers who put up with hurtful words, back talk, whining and crying and stood firm so that they could teach their children lifelong lessons to make them be better people. I can now happily say I don’t want to be like my mother, I am proud that I am like my mother.