She’s a strong parent, she’s a mom, a dad, a mentor, a guide, a friend who never leaves my side. She is beyond all that, an exceptionally strong woman who takes every curveball life throws at her with dignity, and who stands up for her rights and that of others. She is a someone everybody falls back on when they have nowhere else to go. She married the man she loved and had the children she wanted. Little did she know that it would mean letting go of dreams and ambitions she’s always held close, little did she know that to the world she had lost the right to wish and work for the things that made her the person she is — beyond a wife, beyond a mother.
She’s cherished and welcomed everywhere, unfortunately only by anyone she doesn’t call family.
I heard people say she didn’t do a good enough job as a mother. I heard them say she wasn’t there when her kids needed her. I also heard them say she’s a terrible mother. I saw them stand against her, weary of her successes and I saw them try to pull her down with every step she took towards success. I watched them disgrace her for having a life outside of motherhood. I saw them discount all the difficulties of being a single mother. I watched them point fingers without daring to walk a single step in her shoes. If I could give her a moment of happiness for all the times we left her standing alone, I’d owe her a lifetime of joy.
But I know, for a fact, she’s done a much better job than the ones pointing fingers at her have. For today,
While their kids lie and sneak around them, I can speak straight with my mom.
While their kids hide and take a drink, I can share one with my mom.
While they are unaware of their kids’ boyfriends and girlfriends, my mum gives me advice on using the right contraception.
While they believe their kids are angels, my mother knows my devils and how to manage them.
While their kids chase money, I chase character.
While their kids tell them what they eat and where they spend the day, my mother knows what I want from my life and where I spend my nights.
While they doubt every decision their children make and try to enforce their views on their kids, my mother has enough faith in my choices to never doubt any decision I made for myself.
While they mould their kids to always fit in, my mother teaches me how to create the world I’d like to live in.
While they shelter their kids from the realities of life, my mother helps me face them with her, still by my side.
While they teach their children to fight, my mother teaches me how to bend without breaking and have enough respect for myself to walk away from things I don’t believe in.
While they teach their children to live through fake relationships, mine teaches me to maintain real ones.
While they teach their children to use another as a shield, my mother teaches me to become one.
While they wrapped their children’s lives around their finger, my mother made me capable of living even when she’s not around.
While they blame my mother for having gotten it wrong, what do you think they ever got right?
My mother taught me how to be someone I am proud of and live like someone I want to be. She taught me love doesn’t need to come with strings that boomerang you back every time you take a step forward.
And to all those that pointed fingers at my mother while she juggled multiple jobs, her own dreams and desires and her responsibilities as a mother, here are the twenty things every child should know which she managed to teach me, but you couldn’t teach your children:
1. Do not concern yourself with what the world might think of you for as long as you know you will do nothing to intentionally hurt anyone.
2. Always treat people with respect and always expect respect in return. There is no reason to tolerate being disrespected.
3. Love and let yourself be loved for while having it may not mean the world but its absence can be excruciating.
4. Always, always believe and have faith in something bigger than yourself and know that some things will always be beyond your control.
5. Always have faith in your choices, and in the decisions you make because you know that when you made a choice, you did the best you could do.
6. Know that most things you can change either with your actions or your perception.
7. Accept that not everybody on this planet will like you and learn to be okay with it.
8. Remember, whether or not you think your life is meaningful is more important than anyone else’s take on it. Do what you think makes your life worth living.
9. Let go of fear. People will come, people will leave, including your parents. Happiness and sorrows will take turns in your life. You cannot make something stay by holding on to it.
10. Just because you are a parent, does not mean you have to give up all your dreams and desires. You’re still alive.
11. Just because you tried and failed once, doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough.
12. You will only live once so do what makes you happy.
13. You will make some wrong choices, and they will always be a part of your life — be okay with it. Life is long, you will make better choices next time.
14. Try not to develop hatred for anyone, it takes more effort than simply letting them go.
15. Always aim for something that is bigger than what you believe you can achieve, you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
16. Nobody can tell you what you should do with your life or who you should marry, that’s your decision to make.
17. Always be independent and on your feet, fight for what is right and what you believe in. Just because you believe in something does not mean everyone else’s beliefs are wrong. Respect their choices as much as you respect your own.
18. Know that people don’t change because you want them to. They change because they want to.
19. How you look isn’t half as important as who you are.
20. Do not live to be known after you’re dead. Live so you are cherished while you’re still alive.