The Best Female Role Model a Girl Could Ask For

Today is International Women’s Day. I’m honoured (and confused) to say that a number of people found my blog this week by searching for the “international womens day logo” – and even though I can’t say that image has ever made its way onto my blog, I’ll just be happy to know that searching for it brought you to this post.

From what I’ve read and understand, today is a day to honour women everywhere, especially those who have made significant economic, political and social achievements. While the UN has turned it into more of a human rights event, a number of us see it as a day to celebrate the amazing women in our lives. And since I feel like getting a little gushy, I want to tell you about the best female role model this girl could have ever asked for: my mom. (That’s her! When she first moved to BC, about a year before she had me.)

To give you full disclosure, and help you understand where my respect for her begins, you need to know some truth: I was an accident. My mom was only 25 when she found out I was rolling around inside of her belly. And even though she didn’t have my biological father’s support, and her own mother (my Gma) was on the other side of the country, and she could have just taken the “easy” way out… she knew she wanted to have me. That’s where our story begins.

Growing up, I knew one thing about my mom: she worked a lot. And not in a bad way… She still dropped me off at school everyday, picked me up at friend’s houses after work, and talked to me about my day over a home-cooked meal. But I still knew she was a busy lady. Looking back now, I know that every day of work she put in, and every Monday night meeting she came home late from, was for two people: us. And there’s no way I can thank her enough for that.

When she wasn’t busy working, my mom did a lot of other incredible things for me: she taught me how to read (I was reading by myself at something ridiculous like the age of 3), she encouraged me to be artistic… and I have to make mention of the fact that she sewed the most incredible Halloween costumes a little girl could dream of. (I’m talking full Minnie Mouse, ears and all. And don’t even get me started on my Princess Jasmine costume. Amazing.)

Now, here is where I need to mention that my dad – who is technically my stepdad but I would never call him that – is living proof that single mothers can find good partners who would be willing to take on their children as their own. I’m not a mother, and I’m definitely not a single mother, so I can’t speak a lick of advice about parenting… but I can say that, as a child of a single mother, I am so freaking thankful that my mom didn’t introduce me to any of the guys she dated… until she met my dad.

Please note that I was a complete pill about the whole thing. Someone was coming in and taking away from my time with my mom!? As a 7-year-old, I wasn’t having it. Thank goodness they both put up with my nonsense, got married, and brought Baby Bro and Baby Sis into my life… because I can’t imagine a world without all 5 of us in it. And even though “the kids” may not have been around back then, and they’ll never know the single mom that I once knew… who she is has never changed.

This year, my parents are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. In all of that time, my mom has continued to be the hard-working parent I have always known her to be. Until last year when Baby Bro got his license, she (and dad) still drove everyone to school, picked us all up, and asked us about our days over a home-cooked meal. Everything she does is to put money in her pocket, so she can feed, clothe and shelter us… and there’s no better role model for me than that.

Love you, Mom! See you in 18 days, xo

Who or what are you celebrating today?

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