Yes. Looking back, I realize we did struggle. However, at the time I was none the wiser. I reflect now and understand that my mom was a single parent working to make ends meet on her own. I had no concept of that at the time. I was still in elementary school, so I was oblivious to any sort of financial struggle. Yes, we did live in an apartment with minimal furniture for awhile (think, mattress on the floor and tv with no stand, lol) but in my mind, I was living it up. After all, I had a warm place to sleep, a full tummy and my beloved collection of cd’s and books, lol. My mom never gave me any indication that she was struggling. I got a $100 shopping spree at target for my birthday one year, which is super rad to receive at any age, really. I’d still be stoked if I got that today, like yes please?! But I think that’s just the kind of kid I was. I didn’t have much to compare my living situation to and I wasn’t giving too much thought to anything besides my latest crushes and friends at school. In retrospect I understand now.From your perspective how were those struggles defined and how do you think it affected your relationship with your mom?
I was so young, I didn’t know what to do besides go with the flow. We were both just coping and being glad that we weren’t homeless. It did draw us closer together because we spent a lot of our time together. I also think I sensed the stress my mom was under, not to the fullest extent obviously, but I understood. Being so young and placed in that situation is confusing, because I found myself attempting to overcompensate to ensure my mom’s happiness and be as little of a problem as possible for her. It’s a personality trait I’ve carried with me, but it’s not always a good thing. So I’m currently trying to unlearn it.
What did you think about Joe when you first met him?
I was 12, I didn’t think much besides, “wow, what a nice guy.”
Do you think dynamics have changed since Joe and your mom got married? How so?
I think the dynamics have changed more so within their relationship as a couple and how they tackle issues together. I do however feel closer to Joe and he makes it a point to let me know that I can count on him for whatever, always. He lets me know I’m loved and supported and can go to him for anything. That’s something that has shifted after they got married, whereas before he was a little bit more distant, haha. I don’t blame him, it was probs v confusing.
Did you have any fears in your mom remarrying? Did you think you’d have less time with her?
No, not at all actually. The thought never even crossed my mind and I didn’t expect much to change. I never worried because their relationship never gave me a reason to think we’d spend less time together.
What’s some advice you’d give a single parent about parenting that you think you’ve learned that’s helped you and your mom stay close through life’s ups and downs?
I think being close with your parent(s) stems from your bond with them. My mom and I have always been close because that’s just who my mom is and how she taught me to be! She’s open minded, fearlessly accepting and always wants to hear about my perspectives, opinions and experiences in life, that goes for Joe too. I’m so lucky to have parents who allow me to express myself freely, and own my feelings and beliefs as an individual. I think one of the worst things you can do as a parent is to not let your kid(s) be genuinely themselves in their identity and interests. I am who I am and accept myself and others because my mom never passed judgement onto me when I wanted to listen to different types of music or express an interest in conventionally strange topics. I think the best thing you can teach anyone whether you’re parenting or not is to practice compassion, with an openness to understand the world and the different experiences you can have within it. My mom never limited me to who I could be or the experiences I could have, and I am so grateful that she helped shape me into the dynamic person that I am today.
It makes me so happy to share answers to questions like this from Corrine. It’s so special to hear her side of things on some topics, thank you so much for sending in your questions and we look forward to doing this more often with you this year <3
What other things should we talk about, what you like to know? What are some questions you have for us individually or as a family? Please and thank you xoxo