I know that life doesn't just hand you an instruction manual when it comes to raising a child. You just have to try your best and roll with every bump that you encounter down the road… I know that at times your road has felt more like rugged terrain. We only have our best judgement and examples from our own parental figures whether good or bad to guide us when it comes to having a family.
As I became an adult I realized the strength that it must have taken to raise two kids all on your own. No help, no guidance, just you. I know that you always worry and second guess when it comes to how you raised us....
And there is one thing that I really need you to know:
I. Am. Proud. Of. You.
What you have viewed as mistakes I view as an invaluable life lesson. You worked and fought so hard to ensure that I don't have to.
When you were a child you grew up in an alcoholic home with an absent father and an emotionally unavailable mother. You got bullied at school and felt alone... But this is where you discovered independence and the importance of mental health.
You always had a job to put yourself through university and did so with amazing grades. You became a successful career woman and went back at 50 years old for your MBA. This is where you learned the importance of education and hard work.
You left an unhealthy marriage and became a single mother to give your children a better life where they can grow and prosper. All while supporting a shared custody relationship where you were given no support. You wanted us to have a relationship with our father because you could never have one. This is where you became selfless.
You single handily raised two children on your own with no financial or emotional help. You worked so hard every single day to make sure we were fed, clothed and educated- Even supporting our hopes and dreams through soccer practice and dance class all while nobody knew how much you had to sacrifice and give up on your own. This is how you turned into my hero.
You see, every hardship that you have ever faced has played a part in turning you into an independent, educated, hard working, selfless and heroic woman. The best kind of role model for a young woman to look up to. I am so lucky to have been that young woman and have a mother that is so strong. You have always put me ahead of your own needs and have accepted me for who I am no matter what.
You may remember that I asked you recently what you would say to yourself at 10 years old if you could go back in time. You got teary eyed, looked at me and said that you would tell yourself:
“You are good, you are deserving, you are beautiful and smart. You deserve the best. Don't ever settle”.
This is how you raised me. You taught me how to believe in myself and truly see my self worth. I hope that what I have written will help you to see yours. Like I said, life doesn't just hand out manuals for being a mother… so I’m taking these words and the lessons you have passed on to me to create my own.
I think that when the time comes, I’ll have a pretty good manual of my own… all thanks to you.