Roy Gilbert

What my single mother taught me that can help all parents

My mom and I moved to a small house in the Northeast when I was a little girl, after a difficult divorce from my father in the 1980s. After the closing, the man who sold my mom the house had his say on his way out the door.

“Well, I wish you luck!” he said. “You’re gonna need it! A single woman owning a house!”

She still laughs every time she repeats his words. If anything, he fueled her fire to succeed even more.

Despite the seller’s comments, single parent homes aren’t so uncommon. Almost a quarter of US children live with one parent and no other adult, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data. That’s a rate that has been on the rise since the 1970s.

My mom and I faced challenges as a family of two, but I learned a lot of important lessons that can be applied to any family, including my own now that my husband and I have children. These are the things she taught me: Hard work counts

I knew money was a source of frustration for her. I was aware when something was a necessity and when it was a luxury. The mortgage, food and clothing were the top priorities, of course, but over the years, my mom slowly made home improvements.

I remember when we got an automatic garage door opener that took the sting out of frigid winter evenings. Later on, we added our first dishwasher, renovated the bathroom […]

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