I’m not sure if this is something common, though I think this may surprise many of you.
From my teens onward, I was raised by my father as well as my sibling, by himself.
As for the great maternal influence and my knowledge about femininity? This did come from my housewife mother before they separated and she left us with our father. After that, my grandmother stepped in, though she had always been quite present in my life.
At a young age, merely in my teens, I had to step into the role of a mother in my home. I don’t honestly think I did too great, after all it was a time in my life where I was hormonal, still figuring myself out and dealing with pressures at school. I had always been an overachiever and I wanted to keep it that way, it was one of the things that really made my family happy. No matter what we did, all members of my family, especially my father’s, were high achievers and have proven themselves intelligent. I was still going to make my mark in our family academic legacy.
So for me I did what I could, it was a gradual pace of taking over the housework. Having to actually put what little cooking skills I knew by example from my mother into actual application. Earlier I simply used to watch her and learn that way, or help her cut and prepare things. I didn’t actually do the main cooking. Suddenly I was doing it all by myself and trying to figure out the whole process alone. Luckily as more time passed, my grandmother stepped in to help, she even helped me with housework as I was juggling it with schoolwork.
I can confidently say it’s only been in the last couple of years that I finally did get it down pat, having had had the time during my later university days to establish my homemaking style completely. That and get quite a few recipes tucked into my belt confidently.
Now that I’m studying again at a different pace, I have more time at home and I’ve definitely been spoiling it with my attention. Every corner and tile is shiny and clean. You could see your reflection on them! Seeing my home come back to life after I returned I am quite overjoyed nowadays.
My father is quite pleased, much more so than when I first started many years ago. I do my best to support him, be his confidant and offer advice when he asks. I try to calm him down when he’s angry or stressed and of course if other people are giving him a hard time I am always on his side. My father is actually quite young so we have a small age gap, this way I feel quite lucky. Most of the time he really is like a best friend I greatly respect and love.
I still acknowledge that of course, he is the authority in our home and the breadwinner. Though sometimes even the mightiest patriarch has his down times and struggles, especially a single father who’s been through so much. For many years he lacked a close support, especially the comfort of a wife and I hoped that he would find somebody. As his daughter I tried my best to be a reliable female advisor and ally, as I can never really replace a wife. I could comfort and relate only as much as a daughter could.
Now my father has a partner of his own and I must say I am quite happy for him. He deserves so much happiness, after having been the proud rock of our family for so long. You never really hear of a lot of feminine and maternal women who grew up without a mother (as I did in my teens), but I could say something different. Actually it is very much possible.
Simply because I learnt how to support, comfort and respect the men in my life even more. I saw their potential and strength as I did in my father and I knew most of them truly need a feminine support by their side in their lives. My father always kept going for me and my sibling, his love for his children sustained him and I will be eternally grateful for that.
I can only hope that all I had to offer through the years was enough.