I Learned to Be a Man From My Mom

82% of single-parents are mothers. The number of single-mothers has risen over the years as divorce continues to climb at alarming rates and dads disappear.

 

There is magic in a mother’s hand. It’s soft and forgiving, a mother’s “hush” can sooth a crying baby instantly.

 

Little boys are raised to be tough and unbroken. In the presence of a crying mother, tough guys discover they are fragile too.

 

The ideal father is intended to be from a branded line of warriors that would stop at nothing to ‘defend’ what is his. Fathers are strong, resilient, and would fight to the death if someone trespassed the well-being of their kin. In my house, my dad was called mom.

 

Families were not created to operate in separation and division.

 

Yet, where have all fathers gone? I want to say thank you mom. Thank you for teaching me how to be a man.

 

Thank you to all the mothers who fall into the above statistic, and yet don’t give up on children who disappoint you. Thank you for not only being affectionate, but also unbreakable. You may not see the fruit of your labor now, in fact all you are probably seeing is defeat, but someday your son will praise you. He will praise you for your love, unwavering commitment to his future, and for drinking from two cups.

 

Thank you mom, for giving up your identity as a woman so that you could teach me about mine as a man. I learned everything I know about manhood from you.

 

Growing up as the middle of two brother’s life was exciting. We weren’t wealthy,  so we never got to go to Disney Land, or go on extravagant family vacations. It was just my mother and us three young men. Looking back now, I think my mother had the greatest struggle of all.

 

No dad to have “the talk” or to teach us how to drive stick. Mom wore many hats, whether she wanted to or not. Perhaps the other 82% of single-parent mothers can identify?

 

Life has its own challenges, but at times, life can be too much for a young man to understand without the steady hand of a father to take hold of the wheel when the road gets to rough. It’s a good thing that there is magic in a mother’s hands.

 

I’m 30 years old, and at this point in life I don’t blame my absent dad. He only followed the example that he had been shown from his dad. I had to break the dysfunctional cycle. God makes all things new.

 

My understanding of manhood came in cards that my mother dealt me. I know how to be a dad because of my mom. As a husband I make my wife’s coffee first, because growing up I had a mom who ate last.

 

I raise my daughter to be strong because no one ever showed me that girls are weak.

 

My son holds the door while people pile into a car. He’s copying me. I copied you.

 

Life is filled with jobs I don’t want to do. Challenges that are easier to ignore than face. I face them anyway. People think that men are brave and don’t back down, but it was a woman who taught me that.

 

I think it’s important as a dad to have worship with my kids. I teach them to pray, talk to God like a friend, and read stories about Jesus. In my house, we get strength from our knees. As a man, I want to lead them spiritually. But it was a woman who taught me to lead.

 

She showed me that God can make beauty from ashes and mountains from dust. Faith for me wasn’t a man in a pulpit, it was a woman getting three kids dressed and using her last $5 for gas. We got to where we were going on half petrol, half prayers. People argue over a woman’s place in church which I think is odd considering how many women will have single-handedly brought entire families to Heaven. Ask 1 in 3 kids in America who their shepherds are. My mom was my first pastor and God ordained her. The world needs more dads, but we’ve been sustained by moms.

 

Thank you to all the women who taught boys to be men. There’s magic in a mother’s hands.

 


Seth Day is the author of Life After Eden.

 

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