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Growing up with a Single Mother

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PS Behrend chapter.

Looking back, my family was very different from everyone else’s. I did not have siblings. I did not have a stay-at-home mom. I did not have a father who stuck around. I had a single, teenage parent and even though it wasn’t a lot, it was more than enough. Most people would think growing up like this could cause a lot of harm to a child, but living this life actually shaped me to be a stronger, better person.

When you are a child, you do not truly understand things, so I did not really know what it meant to have a single, teen mother. I thought only a few kids actually had both parents and that everyone’s parents were in their early twenties. Because I thought my life was normal, it made me upset when I couldn’t do things that the other kids could. I could not buy expensive snacks or fancy lunches. I could not buy a new wardrobe every year before school. I could not participate in things such as plays or sports if they required fees. I could not get the things I really wanted for Christmas. I had to walk home, and I could never get picked up. All of these things began to build up and eventually they made me resent my mom. At the time I thought this life was normal, so I resented my mom and I thought she was just being mean and selfish.

Once I got older I learned and understood more. I learned about our situation and how hard it was for my mom. I learned that she bought me cheap clothes because that was all we could afford and how she would wear the same clothes and shoes for years. I learned that my mom never got me expensive gifts because sometimes she had to use that Christmas money to buy things I needed and not things I wanted. I learned that I had to walk home because she was busy at work trying to earn money so that she could give me as much as possible.

Now, my mother is married and she also has had two other kids so my life is definitely very different, however, my old life has left a permanent impression on me. It made me someone who is more understanding. It made me more charitable. It made me look at things from two different perspectives. The best thing my mom has taught me is how to be a strong, independant woman. I saw my mother, my entire life, have her own job, pay for her own bills and own her own things. She taught me that a man is like dessert, it is nice to have but it is not needed. She showed me what it is like to have and not have money and she has inspired me to do well so I can live the life I want to live. She has also pushed me to do things that I would never do and has helped me find things that I now love.

Having a single mother is hard, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. My mother is my rock. I call her for everything from me fighting with my boyfriend to me getting a F on an exam. She is someone I can tell anything to even if she won’t agree with it, and even though we have had our rough times, our past has only made us stronger and closer. I now live my life with an insane drive to succeed, not to buy a nice house or a nice car, but to give my mom everything she deserves.


Love you Jessica.

There’s no way I can pay you back

But my plan is to show you that I understand

You are appreciated


Image Credits: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Sorya Nasir

PS Behrend

Native of Santa Clara, CA Senior at Penn State Behrend Management Information Systems Major HerCampus PS Behrend, President Alpha Sigma Alpha
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Kayla McEwen

PS Behrend

Kayla A. McEwen: President and Campus Correspondent  Senior at Penn State Behrend Marketing & Professional Writing Major Part-time dreamer and full-time artist Lover of art, fashion, witty conversation, winged eyeliner, and large cups of warm beverages.