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Why I’m Grateful My Mother Raised Me to Be a Strong Woman

I'm proud to be her daughter, and everyday I try my hardest to make her proud of having me as a daughter.

I’m proud to be her daughter, and I hope she’s proud of the person she’s raised me to be.

In honor of International Day of the Girl, Babble has dedicated a page to celebrating girls and giving them the tools to take control of their destinies and rise above stereotypes. Find out more here.

I don’t know about you, but countless times in school I’ve had to write sentences that describe “me” — my family, my friends, my hobbies, etc. Every time I get to the bit about my mother though, I just don’t know what to say. How do you describe the person who taught you, mothered you, and raised you to be a decent human being all in one sentence? What do you say to that? How do you describe the person you’ve spent the majority of your time with, for the past eighteen years, in seven words or less? In my opinion, it’s almost impossible. I have a pretty much unlimited word count here, and I’m still struggling trying to use the right words, just to convey how much of an amazing mother she is, and how much I owe to her for raising me to be the strong person I am today.

My mother and I are quite similar, in some ways. We both love Disney, have crazy ideas, have the same brown hair, brown eyes and are known to break into song whenever the mood strikes. When I was little, she was my biggest inspiration. I wanted to be as smart as she is, as kind as she is, as funny as she is. More than anything, I wanted to make her proud of me. I soon learned that she would be proud of me, no matter what I did (as long as it wasn’t something that was cruel), but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to make her proud of me, every day of my life. That’s not to say that I was the “perfect child,” because, of course not. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve lied. I’ve stormed off to my room and slammed the door on multiple occasions. On one horrendous occasion, when I was fifteen, I said “I hate you,” something which I really regret because I didn’t mean it. I’ve done so many actions which may have not made her proud at that time, but I hope that, even if she wasn’t proud of those particular actions, she’s proud of me as a human being.

She’s taught me so many things: how to read, my multiplication tables, how to handle money and a credit card, how to sew on a button, and how much makeup bordered on trashy. She’s taught me that whining and throwing a tantrum is never the way to get anything achieved — instead, whenever I wanted something, I came to her with a fully-fledged argument with at least three main points, with my best “persuasive debater” voice. She raised me to never make weak excuses when I did something wrong, and instead just apologize and admit that I made a mistake. She taught me that it’s okay to not be perfect; that’s it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes. I owe all these things to her, but it’s other things I’m more grateful for — things she’s taught me, every day for the last eighteen years, things that are of more worth.

My mother has raised me to be strong in my convictions, assertive, polite, and a good human being.  She’s the reason I don’t conform to peer pressure, mainly because she taught me to never do anything I didn’t want to do just because someone was pressuring me, and that it’s okay to not follow the crowd. She’s the reason I was able to stand up to a teacher that was repeatedly humiliating me recently. My mother is the reason I’ve often (strangely) gotten complimented on my (somewhat excessive, in my opinion) use of  “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” She raised me to never settle for anything less than I’m worth, and over the last 18 years, has raised me to be confident in who I am as a human being.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay her for everything she’s taught me, and who she’s raised me to be. The only thing I can do is to try and make her proud of me — and that’s something I try and do everyday, by being the person she raised me to be. I know she’ll be proud of me (almost) no matter what — but that’s not stopping me trying to make her proud past the automatic “she’s-my-daughter-proud,” and be proud of me as a human being, and my actions.

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