The Best Female Role Model a Girl Could Ask For

March 8, 2013
My Mom

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?

  • Laura March 8, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Sounds like a lot of your moms qualities and maturity rubbed off on you. Good job Mrs. F!
    And Happy International Women’s Day :)

    • Cait March 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

      She’s the best! And right back at ya, lady.

  • Canadian Budget Binder March 8, 2013 at 9:07 am

    What a lovely story Cait and you can certainly feel that you have grown to understand everything she did for the both of you. I did not know it was International Women’s Day!

    • Cait March 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

      I think that’s a sign that I’m getting old… hehe

  • Trish Flanders March 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

    You were my surprise gift sweetheart, not an accident! I am honoured to be front-and-centre on your blog post today. Love you more :) xoxo

    • Cait March 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

      <3

    • Peter Flanders March 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

      I am proud of you for what you wrote about your mom and your gift of writing. You’re the best :)

  • Sarah M. March 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to celebrate this day. There is no greater gift back as a mother to know that your child recognizes the unconditional love that you give them. Bravo to you both. On another note, I’m really looking forward to having you back on the Left coast- hope to connect with you soon Cait!
    XO
    Sarah

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Thanks for your comment, Sarah. I’m back in 16 days! Hopefully see you soon, xoxo

  • eemusings March 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Wow – this was so beautiful, so touching. <3

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Thanks, lady.

  • Girl Meets Debt March 8, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing your story Cait. Your mom sounds like a wonderful role model. Reading this post really made me miss my mom, so I’m happy that I’m going to the island this weekend and will get to see her.

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Are you from the island? Have we discussed this? Either way, thanks for your comment and I hope you had a nice visit with your mom!

  • Melinda Gonzalez March 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Awww, this made me a little teary! You have a great perspective on this. My mom was 17 when she found out she was pregnant with my brother, and she was 19 (yeah, bad luck) when she found out she was pregnant with me. I never thought much about it, but I guess she could have made other decisions and she didn’t.

    Great post!

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Melinda! And not bad luck… she obviously knew she wanted to have you both.

  • K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! March 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom Cait. I really love and admire my mom and I am so proud to be her daughter! Happy International Women’s Day :)

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Same to you, KK!

  • Christine March 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to everything you said here. It is amazing how as you grow up the dots connect and you see all the amazing things your parents did for you. I can say that as a mom it only amplifys how much you care for your mom and realize all the special thing she did for you. Great post!!!

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Thanks, Christine! Being able to write that, I did realize that I must be getting old, haha… but looking back, it’s not difficult to see how hard she worked for us all. <3

  • Diane St Jacques March 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes………..absolutely beautifully written and expressed.

    • Cait March 10, 2013 at 9:01 am

      Thanks, Diane. :)

  • A Quick Debt Update, Changing the National Anthem and Good Reads of the Week - American Debt Project March 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

    […] Blonde on a Budget is almost debt-free too (and won’t be blogging personal finance once she’s there). She started blogging at just the same time I did, and has pretty much killed it turning around her financial situation. I hope she’ll share her new blog with us when it comes time to say goodbye to Blonde on a Budget, as I love posts like this one about her mom as role model. […]

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses March 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Aww what a lovely post!

    • Cait March 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Thanks, Jess!

  • Sunny March 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman.

    • Cait March 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      She’s the best. :)