Ms. Independent

By , palatine, IL
Let me tell you a little background info to lay down the foundation for my story. My parents got divorced when I was in elementary school. I’ve been living with my mom since then and my dad became a “holiday” dad. As in he calls and sends presents around holidays. Now I don’t blame him for not being too involved in my growing up years because that’s kind of hard to do, seeing that he lives half way around the world in South Korea. My mom on the other hand lives here in Palatine with me. Now that doesn’t mean she’s too involved in my life either but again, I don’t blame her. Actually I appreciate the fact I grew up depending on myself because it made me into an extremely independent person. Having a working single-parent made me into a better housewife.

Back in elementary school, my typical meals were skip breakfast or grab something like a Pop tart, buy a school hot lunch, and dinner at home made by me. I can honestly say my mom has never made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for me to take to school. On field trip days we would go to Dominick’s and I would pick out a Lunchable for me to take. That has stayed pretty much the same till now. I guess couple times a week now she cooks dinner and makes me breakfast if I ask her to in the morning. As a result of not having someone to make me dinner every day I learned to use the stove and cook at an early age. Funny enough, I would be the one preparing dinner for my mom when she would get home.



For instance my friends knew I got a hot lunch every day and my mom never packed me sack lunches. One day my best friend at that time, Jackie brought me homemade cookies because her mom felt bad that my mom never has baked me a cake or more less packed me a lunch. From then on, Mrs. Davis packed Jackie extra baked goods to share with me.
Slowly, I became a housewife because I was spending more time at home than any other member in the family (my sister lives with us too, but she’ll be at work or school most the time). I did all of the ordinary things a housewife would do. I would vacuum, do the dishes, organize, clean the house, prepare meals, fold laundry, and any other things that needed to be done (laundry was done by my mom). It was quite humorous because I would know where things were in the house better than my mom and know what we were running out of or needed from the groceries. I was just missing a dog, a husband, and some kids to nag at. Other than that I had become a professional housewife. It even went as far as obsessing over nutritional values in meals and memorizing all the calories and nutrition facts on everything on everything I bought and made.

It was very strange growing up because I would be the part of a daughter and play the role of an elementary or middle school parent. Permission slips and deadlines for everything were always my responsibility to remind and make sure my mom turned in. Completion of homework and grades were never mentioned or brought up until report cards, aside from the time to time of do well in school comments.

Looking back it’s a sad picture of a fourth grader eating dinner by herself but it seemed normal and not depressing at the time. Now, it’s completely normal for me to be having meals by myself or doing chores around the house. And it is more common now for kids of young age to have to take on the role of taking care of themselves now.

However, even if the idea of growing up without much involvement of parents is a bit depressing and sad, I’m glad for how I grew up. Having a single working parent taught me to being responsible for myself and doing the everyday life stuff as well. Not only that, but having little parental guidance made me into a very independent person as well as helping me become more mature (not saying I don’t have room for more maturity). The habits of picking up after myself and keeping everything organized around the house will helps me now to stay organized in school and at home. Also, I know for a fact it’ll help me in the future when I go away for college and live on my own or when I have a family of my own and become a housewife.

Even right now, I’m being a parent to myself by signing up for the PSAT, the ACT, buying prep books for the SAT and ACT, and looking for ACT prep classes, because of the habit I have of being a parent to student. It’s funny and sad at times because even when I’m with my friends and we’re out the housewife part of me comes through. For example, I’m always the one prompting my friends to clean up or I’ll be the one to pick up after them or remember stuff. Also, I’m like a housewife in a sense that I prepare for the worst and am hoarding a bunch of stuff for the worst case scenarios from band aids, extra clothes, hand wipes, umbrellas, snacks and anything you can think of (hypothetically speaking).

Overall, the ends justify the means as in my childhood may seem to be unfortunate or not but the outcome is positive and that makes my childhood worthy. Living with a working, single mom prepared me for the future. It gave me the experience and practice of looking after myself and others and knowing how to keep the house clean and organized. Not to mention over 5 years of practice in preparing meals and making grocery lists.





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