by Kaila Shoales 2 years ago in parents

My Personal Hero


In the United States, three out of about 12 million single parent families in 2014, more than 80%, were headed by single mothers. Today one in four children under the age of 18 — a total of about 17.4 million — are being raised without a father and nearly half live below the poverty line. Unfortunately, my mother and I fall into those statistics. Considering there are many single mothers, to some, my mother may not be special. Although personally, my mom is set apart from those mothers and the reasons behind that are the same exact reason as to why she is my personal hero. My momma is my personal hero because is strong willed, she has raised me by herself, and sacrificed things for me.

At the young age of 18, my mom became pregnant. She was young, she didn’t have a steady income, and her relationship with my father was not stable enough to bring a child into their complicated relationship. At one point in her pregnancy, she wanted to give me up to my grandparents in hopes that it was the best for her and myself. Yet, as she always says, once she went to get her first ultrasound and saw the child she was carrying, she just knew she had to keep me. Since she made the decision to keep me, there were a lot of things that she had to sacrifice: partying, free time, and basically everything. For her decision, I am both thankful and shameful. I am thankful that she was brave and selfless enough to take on the job of raising a child when she was practically still a child herself. Yet, I am shameful because I feel as if I took her young adulthood away and forced her to give things up.

When I was around one, my mom made the smart decision to leave my dad; it was for my sake as well as her own. She was relieved to have that behavior out of my life because she didn’t want me growing up thinking that it was alright to drink alcohol and for a man to hit a woman. Upon my mom and dad separating, my dad didn’t want much to do with me nor did he want to help my mom financially wise. There was one time when I was around the age of three and I had gotten sick. My mom didn’t get paid until later in the week and she only had half of the money for my medicine so she asked my dad for the rest of the money. She even offered to pay him back when she got paid, yet he refused to pay for my medicine. As time went on, he wanted less to do with me and more to do with alcohol and his criminal ways. Eventually my mom and dad both went to court over custody. My father willingly gave my mom full custody of me, meaning that she had all legal rights and he had none. Although he had no rights, he was forced to pay child support to help my mom financially.

Once my mom had custody, she took this as a sign that she didn’t need him to raise me and that she could do it on her own. She became determined to be not only my mother, but my father as well. My mom began to raise me and care for me full time, not needing help from him. She has raised me my entire life and done it by herself, something that I feel as if not a lot of people can manage on their own.

Although my mom worked and received financial support from my dad, it was still hard to make it with my school and other necessities. I wouldn’t say we were poor, yet we definitely weren't the richest. Throughout our "poor state," my mom was strong and never gave up on making sure I had my necessities. She was determined to make sure I was taken care of so she worked harder. I remember at one point, my momma had to work so much that I never got to see her except for a few hours on the weekend and I believe that this is what made her very strong willed.

Upon reading this, you're probably thinking, What does this have to do with you? Well the things that I have told you are just as personal to me as they are to my mom because, as a child who was raised by a single mother, I value the hardships other single mothers, and fathers, go through to raise their children. Considering this is a personal essay, the events leading up to my point are severely important to the meaning behind my personal hero. Everything that my dad ever did to my mom and myself, made my mom strong willed, brave enough to raise me alone, and selfless enough to sacrifice things for me. All of these attributes are what I value enough for my mom to be my personal hero.

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