To my sister, the single mother, I hope you never lose sight of your inner strength.

From the way you handled the news of your husband’s affair, to the courage you had in you to ask for a divorce and ultimately making the decision to raise Baby H almost single-handedly, your determination has done nothing but inspire others around you.

Growing up, you were my role model. Whenever someone asked me who I was most inspired by, I often thought of you and how you helped raise me. You were always there for me. Whether it was attending parent-teacher meetings when mama wasn’t able to or taking extra jobs to pay for my school fees when mama was short on money, you stepped up for me in more ways than one, even when you were never obligated to. For that, I appreciate you.

To my sister, the single mother, I hope you know you are not alone.

I know you’ve had moments where you cry yourself to sleep at night wondering if it is possible to raise Baby H on your own or if you should have stayed in a toxic marriage for the sake of companionship and money.

But I want you to know that you’ll never be alone.

I want you to know that you did the right thing for yourself, for your mental health and for Baby H. You’re demonstrating that toxic relationships should never be tolerated and it’s healthy to draw boundaries and walk away.

To my sister, the single mother, I hope you know Baby H will always be loved.

I know you wonder if Baby H will resent you for leaving his father and if he’ll have a “complete” childhood without his dad. While I can’t guarantee what Baby H is thinking, children are a lot smarter and more intuitive than we think and I’m certain he’ll come to understand your decisions as he grows older.

Most importantly, I’m sure he’ll have one of the most loving and fun childhoods because you’re raising him. (And as a byproduct of your parenting, I can vouch for that.)

To my sister, the single mother, I hope you realize you’re only human and you’re already doing the best you can.

You often text to ask me if you’ve failed as a parent whenever you’re late to pick Baby H up from school or when you’re late to prep his dinner.

From working 9 to 5 to making sure his weekends and vacation days are filled with joy and fun, I want you to know you’re already doing the best you can.

And, that is enough.

Finally, to my sister, the single mother, I know it hasn’t been the easiest couple of years for you. I hope you don’t allow these moments of difficulty to leave you jaded about life and love, and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for you.