My single mom didn't teach me these 5 life lessons. It made me stronger.

A Mother's Day celebration of brave, badass single moms everywhere.

When I was a child, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my mother.

Sometimes, the sound of her keys unlocking the door late at night was all I heard from her. When my parents’ marriage ended, my mother worked day and night to support us. I remember her handwriting — from all the little notes she left us about dinner and chores — better than I remember her beauty regimens or her favorite meals.

I used to wish that things were different. If she hadn’t worked so much, she could have been home to teach me the things that moms usually make sure to teach their daughters. I used to feel like I missed out.


Image via iStock.

But now I realize that even though my mother didn’t have a lot of time to spend with me, she was always teaching me something important.

1. My mother didn’t teach me secret recipes.

There’s no secret to rice or ramen or spaghetti. She showed me how to cook ground beef and pour a jar of sauce on top of it. My sister and I would take turns picking out a box of cereal every week, and we were never allowed to have more than one bowl for breakfast. We rarely got to pick what we wanted for dinner. Sometimes she left a box of macaroni and cheese on the table for us to cook for dinner while she was at work.

I don’t have family recipes to pass down to my children, but I teach them my mother’s sense of duty and responsibility. My exhausted mother rarely indulged us with a comforting home-cooked meal, but she worked tirelessly to make sure that we were never hungry.

2. My mother didn’t often have time to play with me.

In my fondest playtime memories, she is absent. I remember when she’d emerge from her bedroom, tired and groggy, preparing to leave us for the entire day again. She never sat and played with dolls or pretended to have tea parties. If I asked her to play, she would say, “Where is your sister? I have to get ready.”

And so my sister became my companion, an extension of myself, my other half.

Image via iStock.

Instead of waiting for time with my mother, my sister and I took care of each other. We woke, we cooked, we played, we cleaned, and we fell asleep always together. The love we built throughout our childhood made us inseparable. My mother made sure my sister and I took care of each other. She couldn’t entertain me, but I was never alone and she made sure that I always knew that.

3. We didn’t take family vacations.

My mother was too busy working. My summers were spent in our apartment or outside playing with neighborhood kids. Sometimes I spent the whole day at the restaurant where she worked.

We didn’t have many beach days or family trips, but when she had the time to take us to the park for a picnic, it was enchanting. My mother could make a frugal day seem like a lavish outing. When she would take us to McDonald's or let us get ice cream, I felt like royalty. My childhood memories aren’t filled with vacations or grand adventures, but my sweet mother showed me how to find joy in the simplest things.

4. My mother didn’t make sure life was easy for me.

She worked and slept and worked and slept for most of my childhood. She didn’t have time to shield me from many things kids shouldn’t know or see. There were times when both of us were deeply hurt and broken. She couldn’t stop the world to soothe me, but she showed me how to find the will to carry on. When my mother’s heart was broken, when she grieved and when she was weary, she never let her sorrow overcome her. She faced each day with determination.

She showed me that through hard days, you can just go through the motions. On other days, your will can be strong and steady. And on really bad days, you can get through even if you barely make it. I never knew the feeling of a coddled, carefree childhood, but my unstoppable mother showed me how to dig deep and find my own strength.

5. My mother didn’t have time to teach me how to be a "lady."

When it came to navigating traditional aspects of femininity, I was pretty much on my own. She didn’t show me how to put on makeup. The pretty dresses she owned became dusty on hangers in her closet because there was rarely an occasion to wear them.

What I learned from my mother, though, was how to be a bold woman.

She fearlessly showed me her strong yet breakable heart, time after time. She taught me how to rise to an occasion: crisis, joy, terror, or celebration and look straight into it, ready and able.

Photo via Nuffer/Pixabay.

My mother danced in our living room. She wept in our kitchen. She raged when she was angry. She fought when she was attacked. Her laughter echoed through our home when she was joyful.

She wasn’t always right and she wasn’t always wrong. But my bold, authentic mother was always a woman, always herself.

Now, I have children of my own and I have precious time to spend with them.

The mornings when my tired mother would emerge from her bedroom are long gone too. Now my mother is retired, and she gets to sleep as late as she wants. But like every mother, she often wonders if she did enough for me. She worries that we missed so much and tells me she wishes she could go back in time.

When I look back, though, I see an unbreakable, courageous woman. I see the kind of strength that builds a legacy. I see a mother who didn't have a lot and gave everything she had. I see love poured out through hard work and small joys.

I hope my children say the same about me.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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