REFLECTION: Strong women raise strong women

Adriona+Murphy

Adriona Murphy

Adriona Murphy

My mom is my hero and my best friend. Now, I know how cliche and stupid that sounds because most people would probably say their mom is a rockstar. But as far as badass women go, my mom tops the list in my book. Although I’ve always told my mom I never wanted to work in insurance like her and my grandma, I have always wanted to be like her.

My mom went to college in 1994 and was pregnant with me in 1997. She left school after her spring semester that year and moved home to have me. Throughout her pregnancy, she worked several jobs, and even took some classes. After I was born, she started working full-time and went back to school.

My dad wasn’t the best at the time and my mom told him “I’m not raising two children” and basically told him to go. 

I remember watching my mom cross the stage at her graduation. We were up in the bleachers and it was so unbearably hot for my tiny self that I just kept complaining about how I wanted to go home, not realizing how important this moment was for my mom.

I was admittedly a really good student throughout high school, and now college. She likes to think that’s it’s all me, that I got my brains from God or that it’s all me. Truth be told, I think I get it from her. Every time I think about how much I hate school and how I want to drop out and try my hand at being an Instagrammer, I remember my mom still finished college even with a baby. 

Even though she was a single mom who worked full-time, she made it to every first day of school, sporting event, dance recital, play, everything. She listened to me cry after my first breakup, she laughed with me when I told her about my friend’s bad haircut, she went to see movies with me that she definitely didn’t care about when my friends didn’t want to go. My mom worked so hard, and even though I’m sure she struggled, she never once showed that side to me.

Like most mothers, she taught me a lot of important things — how to tie my shoes, how to drive, how to cook for myself. But one of the most important things was how to be strong when you don’t think you can.

Half of the things I’ve been able to do, I wouldn’t have done without her. I can tell you right now I would not have been able to get my post-graduation job without her undying support and love. 

She inspires me everyday to work for what I want, and kick ass when I do it. I have a lot of friends who were raised by single moms who feel the same way: powerful women raise powerful women. Any single mom, regardless of the situation, is a powerful woman all of their own.

She’s also made it very clear that, yes of course, it’s important to be strong. But it’s also important to be vulnerable and ask for help, something I struggled with a lot when I was a kid. 

But as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized I’m empathic because of her (thanks for making me a cryer, mom). For reference, she cried when she found out I got into Ohio State and then cried when I told her I wasn’t going there. She cried when I told her I got an interview for my dream job, and then cried even harder when I told her I got it.

She helps me with the smallest things. I ask her to proofread my emails or if I’m sending a text to someone that could result in some sort of confrontation. When I need advice, am walking to class or just need to scream into the void for a little while, she the first person I call. 

Even now as an adult, I still have days when I just think, “I really need my mom.” And even if it’s 2:30 in the morning and she has to be up for work at 6, she always answers.

Adriona Murphy is the opinion editor. Contact her at [email protected]