10 Ways Growing Up With A Single Parent Prepared Me For My 20’s

My dad is a single dad. My parents got divorced when I was in high school, but my dad has basically always been the one to raise my little sister and I. We’ve been through literally everything with him: everything from our first steps to first dates and buying birth control pills and going to college. It’s been a ride. I think growing up with a single parent teaches you different things than growing up with both parents would because everything’s totally different when there’s only one parent around to raise you. Single parents deserve all the awards – they never expected to raise you alone, but yet they manage to do it and succeed. S/O to all the single parents out there. You rock.

1. I learned how to love with everything that I have.

My dad has always put his kids before anything in the world, and I admire that. He’s always made sure that my sister and I are loved, no matter what happened between him and our biological mother. The lesson of unconditional love is not an easy one to learn, but through all of the pain, the drama, the heartaches; my dad has never let us down.

2. I learned the importance of support in any relationship I will ever be a part of.

My dad has ALWAYS been mine and my sister’s number one fan, it’s actually crazy how much he supports our wildest dreams. He always tells us that our happiness is worth more than anything, and he makes sure he stands by that. I think I’ve changed my major in college at least four times now, and my dad has been there to support and learn about every single one right there next to me. When you’re going through life as a woman, it’s often times hard to open up to a man about your struggles, but my dad has always been there with an open-mind and listening ears.

3. I learned what it meant to be strong.

I’ve seen my dad get his heart broken. I watched my parent’s marriage fall apart, yet the entire time that was happening, I saw my dad smile for my sister and I and make sure that we were okay. I watched my dad mend his heart back together and try to figure out his life as a newly single father, all while working full-time and making sure my sister and I had everything that we needed. His strength taught me what it meant to be strong in my own life. No matter what pain I endure, I know I will persevere.

4. I learned the value of being able to adapt to changes quickly.

My dad had to learn how to straighten my hair for me when my arms got tired, and he took both my sister and myself prom dress shopping. He helps us match our shoes to our outfits on a daily basis. Single parents have to learn these things quickly in order to raise their children, and I commend them. I think this was one of the harder things my dad had to get used to when he started out as a single father. I remember my aunts all texting me trying to help me with my feminine-needs but I don’t think my dad realized that he was actually doing a really good job at differentiating between shades of pink for my prom dress and whether or not I should wear my hair up or down on that first date. He managed to adapt to all of the changes being thrown at him, and it really taught me how important of a skill that was. I know that life can be crazy and things can change in a minute, but I will always be ready for the challenges ahead.

5. I learned that being able to listen to someone will get you further than you realize.

When you only have one parent to turn to for advice, they become really good at giving it. My dad has become the first person both my sister and I go to for anything and everything. My sister and I will spend hours just venting to our dad and asking him questions about life, and he’s surprisingly really good at answering them. An open mind and listening ears are some important assets to bring with you into the real world. When I meet someone new, I don’t judge them based on their struggles, I listen with an open heart.