Written by Jenna Medlin-Roark
Growing up in a divorced family is never the fairytale a little girl dreams of growing up. Two people fall in love, have children, grow a home together, and eventually grow old together. Having divorced parents is never romanticized and is typically frowned upon in our society as something to be ashamed of. Although my life as a child of divorce has certainly had its challenges, there is something to be romanticized about the amount of love one has received in return.
Growing up, my mom taught us to be strong, independent-minded people. She wanted me to be a career-driven woman, independent of the person I chose to marry, and to be able to support myself without relying on a man to take care of me. I’ve carried these lessons throughout my life, through school, and even into my marriage. Having my name hyphenated on every story I write comes from the idea of being the independent-minded woman she taught me to be and keeping an important piece of myself on each story that is written. My mom is a dreamer, and she taught her children the very same.
I may not believe that I will ever have the opportunity to accomplish my dream but for some reason, my mom thinks I’ll be a reporter on TV news such as Good Morning America or MSNBC, or some other popular news station. She believes that anything is possible, you just have to be willing to put in the time, work, and effort but she will be by your side as your support until the end.
I remember the night I met my stepmom-though she is not really my stepmom-she is my mom too. I also remember the night I met her children. She was warm, welcoming, and her daughter had Barbie dolls and an incredible Barbie house. If you had asked me then where we would be over 15 years later, I certainly would not have told you that she would be my sister and that I would have the opportunity to watch her try on wedding dresses and be her maid of honor.
My mom has taught me to love unconditionally. My family has never really been my actual family. The people who are closest to me are largely those who are not blood-related to me. It’s hard to put into words the kind of love that she carries with her but do know it is the best kind of love there is.
As the person in the family who is always joking at laughing at myself alongside dad and my sister, Maggie, my mom can take any worry I have away and make me smile in an instant. No matter how stupid you are being or any mistake you have made, she is there to help clean up your mess and be your support.
The funny thing about moms is as a young child they are your worst nightmare growing up. What with all of the rules you must follow and being grounded for having bad grades or even being embarrassed bringing your friends or new boyfriends to meet them. As you grow older though, they truly become your best friend or “friends” in my case. See, Mother’s Day for me is remembering the impact my moms have had on my life and being eternally grateful to have had to incredible ones.
Being in a divorced family sounds awful and at times it was incredibly rough. Through it all I got a new mom, dad, two new siblings, and three more that came several years later. I also received more love than one could ever fathom.
Happy Mother’s Day to my awesome moms, to my mother-in-law, to my grandmothers, to my nephew’s mom, Destinee, and also to sister and soon-to-be mom Cali. What impact has your mother had on your life? Share it with her and never forget to thank her for the incredible sacrifices she has made for you.