Mom’s Duties – Having a Heart of Gold

mom's duties

Are you a mom? A dad? Or a mom and dad in one?

Do you have a backbone of steel and a heart of gold?

Being a single mother and raising a child alone, far from you is one of the hardest things in this world. If you are a single parent, especially a mom, you can relate so much, (sorry single dads, it’s not that you can’t relate, but it’s a mom’s thing). Many people believe that being a single parent is a life struggle, but I believe otherwise. Being a single mom is a journey to discover your strength. It is a journey for the strong.

Single mother has a backbone of steel and a heart of gold that can endure anything in this world, especially for her child. Is there anything you would not do for your child?

Why I Became a Single Mom

I am an Islander, born in a beautiful paradise called Sicogon Island in the province of Iloilo, Philippines. This is my story on why I became a single mom and acquired a backbone of steel and a heart of gold.

College life was difficult, and although I had scholarship, I had trouble finishing my first college attempt. It was not easy to study with 100 pesos ($2) allowance weekly, a kilo of rice and a kilo of dried fish. I decided to stop after taking the first 2 years of college, as I wanted to help out my parents by looking for a job. What kind of job? I wasn’t sure.

Mom's Duties Dawny and Crisly
Crisly and Dawny (1 year old)

I went to my uncle who was living in the neighboring city and I was offered a great opportunity. His wife was working as a secretary in the head office of Avon and her boss was looking for 10 employees to send to Japan. My aunt introduced me to her and I was one of the lucky 10.

I went back home excited to tell my parents the great news and asked for their permission. Unfortunately, my parents did not give me their blessings, as they were afraid and worried, knowing Japan is far away.

They can’t bare the feeling that their 18 years old, youngest child is leaving them and going to the foreign land. Because of my frustrations, instead of understanding their intentions and feelings, I left home mad at my parents for not letting me grab that opportunity. After a year, I came back home pregnant and my life changed drastically.

Hard Life Pushes You to the Edge

At the age of 19 I gave birth to a baby girl whom I called “Sweet”, and went from being an undergrad student to being a parent. What did I know about life? I am still a child but now I’m supposed to raise a child? What am I supposed to do? Where would I get the money to buy for her everyday needs? How am I going to raise my child? These are the questions I asked myself when I gave birth to my daughter.

I have to leave again and look for a job, but I could not imagine being away from her while she was growing up. The thought of leaving her devastated me. However, hard life pushes you to the edge where you are left with no choice but to leave.

I left her with my parents before she turned 2 years old to find a job to support her. That day broke both mine and my daughter’s heart. The last words she heard from me that day were, “Goodbye Sweet”. Words that left a scar in my heart. I can hear my daughter crying while calling “mama, mama” while the boat is leaving from the shore.

My daughter remembers those words. She would look at the shore every time there was a boat and hope that I would show up. She would cry and say “goodbye sweet” every time she realized there was no me. Every day she waited for me to come home and put her to sleep, laying on my chest in the hammock. Just like the way I used to put her to sleep, before I left her. It took a few years before it happened again.

Crisly and Dawny (4 years old)

She Fills Up the Emptiness in My Heart

I missed everything. I missed her first day in school, and every first thing that happened to her while growing up.

She often asked her grandma, why she don’t have a mother to take her to school like other kids? Why she doesn’t have a mother to help her with her homework? Why is there only a grandma? Why mom can’t be with her?

Those were the questions that always broke my heart whenever I spoke to my mother over the phone. I wanted to be with her and wanted to do everything that she asked for, but how? I can’t have both at that time.

Sometimes I asked myself: “Am I a good mother doing the right thing for my child?” “Am I fulfilling mom’s duties?” I feared that my daughter would hate me for not being with her.

I hustled a lot, juggled jobs and got back to study hoping to find a better job after I graduate. I was trying really hard to save enough money to make it home once a year to be with her. Going home once a year and being with her for a few days was not enough.

However, I treasured every moment that I shared with her. Seeing her smile, hearing her laughter, and feeling her hugs and kisses made me forget all the missing days I was not there for her. She fills up the emptiness in my heart made by those missing years I was not around.

Crisly and Dawny (6 years old)

Seeing Her in Silent Tears Broke My Heart

Leaving her got harder every time, but I couldn’t lose my job either. So I pushed more, and hustled more ‘til I landed a better job. That allowed me the opportunity to be able to bring my daughter with me and try to fulfill mom’s duties.

When that time came that I can have both, my daughter and my job, my daughter did not want to live with me. She wouldn’t want to stay without her grandparents, especially her grandma. But I insisted that she should live with me.

After my vacation to the Island I brought her back with me so that we can be together and I can be a mom to her. But I guess I was 7 years late. I can’t get back my daughter’s love and affection towards me as her mom. She knows I’m her mom, but she also knows that I wasn’t there for her. Every night my daughter would cry silently. Have I failed at duties of a mom?

Seeing her in silent tears broke my heart. I couldn’t let my daughter suffer again because I was being selfish and wanted her to be with me.

She wanted to be with me but she wanted to be more with her grandparents. So, I called my mom to come over from the island and be with my daughter for a while. Maybe she would get used to me that way. My mom came but she couldn’t stay long because she also couldn’t leave my father for long. They went back to the Island and I was left alone again, without my daughter. It was a torment, but I would rather despair than see my daughter in misery.

Mom's Duties

To all mothers, and also fathers who are fulfilling mom’s duties, let me ask you this: Are you willing to do the impossible for your child?

Anyone can have a child and call themselves a parent. But a real parent is someone who will put that child above their selfish needs and wants. Being a single mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had. Completing duties of a mother with a backbone of steel, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed with the heart of gold.

Did you like this story? If you did, hit the like button and leave a comment below. If you have your own story to share, get in touch with us. We can help you bring your story to life through our community.

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Crisly Todorovic

Crisly Todorovic

This Post Has 92 Comments

  1. julipal2

    Sweet is such a beauty and I am glad that you overcame by doing what you love. All the best.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Julie.

  2. Anita

    As someone who works in the field of Child Protective Services that was what we are always hoping that our families will do, put their children’s needs first. Beautiful story, as your daughter gets older she will realize how much you sacraficed for her

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      It is difficult to understand how other parents forsaken their children. Thank you Anita, she is 12 years old now, and yes she understand that I needed to do what I did. She is still with grandparents hoping soon they both can near us.

  3. Ahsan

    It’s hard to believe what happens in our life, but we had to live with it. I wish your success and a prosperous future of Sweet. You are such a strong woman who can’t be failed. Hold your way, you’ll find what you deserve.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words Ahsan. We can’t change what happened to our life, it is the consequences of our decisions. I hope that this story will open up the minds of every young adults (teenagers) to think not just twice but many times when making decisions especially when they are mad.


    This is really heart rending and touching. I know of a friend who’s a single father and caught in this world of yours and manages to create time for the child. Its never been easy for him

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      It’s difficult to be in this journey, but I am glad that your friend stayed strong and find time for his kid.

  5. Such a great story.. a woman of strength and inspiration.. there are lots of single parents out there who can relate with your story and doing everything for their children just to have a brighter future. Wish you all the best. God bless.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your uplifting words JC. Many single parents left their child for to give their children a better future. Mom’s duties aren’t easy.

  6. Shaylynn @ Purposeful Mothering

    I became pregnant at the age of 18, and became a mother at 19. I can completely relate to your story in that way! I’m giving you *hugs* for doing so much for your daughter. There will come a day when she will recognize it and thank you. Thanks for sharing your story, mama.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your uplifting words Shaylynn. Sweet is now 12 years old and she is starting to understand why I did what I did. We are in the process of encouraging my parents to leave the Island and stay with us, so that my daughter and I can live together.

  7. Lynn

    Such a beautiful story and inspiring article. I’m not a single mother but I understand there are so many reasons why one may become a single mother. It is not easy staying away from your kids so that you can be able to provide for them..Got so much respect for you and other single moms out there.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your respect Lynn, I really appreciate it.

  8. Demure Daily

    Wonderfully inspiring post. I agree that selflessness and the ability to put your child before yourself makes you a good parent. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I am glad that we have thesame perspective, thank you for reading.

  9. Herlina Kwee

    It’s good to know more of you, Crisly. You are doing what’s best for your daughter. My mom has 6 children. We were not wealthy in any kind. There was a period when 2 of my youngest sisters and my brother lived with my grandmother and uncle/aunt’s family. They did what they needed to do for the kids’ best interest. Backbone of steel and heart of gold. I love that.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for reading Herlina, as mom’s, we need to put our child needs first before ours.

  10. Jody Warshawsky

    Thank you for telling your story. I cant imagine how hard it was for you to leave your daughter. I am glad she had your mom. She is blessed to have both a mom and grandma to love her.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      It was difficult, but I needed to do it for her future. Now she is 12 years old, still living with her grandparents. Hopefully soon my parents will decide to live with us and leave the Island. Thank you for your comment.

  11. Princy Khurana

    really inspiring and uplifting. thanks for the share. i got goosebumps as i read it

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for reading Princy.

  12. LoneArt1st

    This is very heart awakening. At least now I have the abstract picture on my mom’s journey on raising me till this very second. God bless her.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I am glad that this opens up your heart. Mom’s will do anything for our children.

  13. Andre Vinluan

    Wow! God Bless you for your sacrifices. I can relate to this since my mom got me when she was 18. Moms are truly amazing! 🙂

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you, indeed we (moms) are. Although many mom’s leave their kids and never turned back, they are still amazing because they give their kids a chance to see the world.

  14. Mitali

    You really are a brave girl… I must say you have gone through a lot and shining like a bright star god bless you

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I appreciate your kind words Mitali, thank you.

  15. Toyin Adekola

    Your courage is amazing! I am also glad that you have loving parents who care for your child too. I hope everyone thing falls into place for you soon and you are able to have them close. Best wishes.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Toyin. I am very grateful to my parents for being there always for me and for my child. They have loved and take care of my child more than I did and I owe them that.

  16. Being a mother of two I can understand how difficult is being a single mom… Great post

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you, I appreciate it.

  17. monicavaklinova

    Wow! This story was really touching! You are an amazing mom, I’m sure! Your sweetheart is a lucky kid! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Monica.

  18. disorientedmom

    I teared up reading this. What you did took tremendous courage, and it was without a doubt the best thing you could do for her. She is a beautiful girl and as she gets older she will come to this realization and understand the sacrifice you made to keep her and provide for her. Blessings to you both, from another single mother (now with a partner).

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your sympathy Robyn. Life has been playing with me, especially on how much courage and strength I really have. I am glad that I have developed a backbone made of steel and a heart of gold to endure all of the struggles.

      1. disorientedmom

        You are amazing, and honestly a tribute to strong women everywhere. Sharing things like this, from the hardest parts of your life, is a great reminder that sacrifice is a part of life. What you did, many would not have done, and the struggle would have been permanent. You have dug your heels in and provided greatly. I have much respect for you.

        1. Crisly Zerrudo

          Robyn you are sweet, thank you so much for your words. My love for Sweet and the fear of not being able to provide for her had pushed me to do the things I’ve done and choose the choice I made.

  19. meplus10feet

    You have such courage. It takes great strength and love to leave a child behind. Im so sorry for the hurt that both of you have dealt with. I am glad though that she is beginning to understand what you had to do. Much luck to you in the future!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your supportive words Danielle. They give me much needed encouragement.

  20. Sara Russell

    Your story is so inspiring and heartbreaking in so many ways. I am so sorry for the loss and sacrifice and suffering, and so in awe of the strength, hope and talent that radiate through your writing. It’s so true that mothers have a backbone of steel and a heart of gold.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I appreciate every words you said Sara, thank you.

  21. Kimberly

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and powerful story. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and I hope that one day you will be reunited. Your strength is inspiring- thank you for all the work you do for the blogging community.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I’m hoping thesame too. You’re welcome Kimberly and thank you for your appreciation.

  22. Kyla Matton Osborne

    What a touching story! Being a parent is the most difficult job anyone can do, even when we are two together. Finding the strength and courage to keep putting your daughter first despite the separation and hardship is remarkable. I hope you will one day be able to have that close, loving relationship with your daughter that you’ve always wanted.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for your uplifting words Kyla. I hope that one day I could win over these life struggles that was being thrown at me.


    Wow Crisly that was heart breaking, life really is full of dilemmas. Things will get even better with time and the love will grow even stronger. I have an aunty who was in the same situation. Her and daughter are very close now. It all works out in the end as long as you are ready to work for what you want ….and that is being close with your girl…. Thanks for sharing

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      You are right Jada, we will get what we want if we work for it. Thank you for your kind words.

  24. Neri Alaniz

    Wow! This is very touching! For me being a mother of 2, I can’t imagine leaving them. I got very lucky to have a husband to support us while I was with the kids. Now that they are a little bit older I decided that I could finally take on a little part time job. Now I work in health care, and run a blog. All still not being awhile from my youngest for to long. ( my oldest is in school) I was fortunate to be able to be apart of those things and of course they are moments you will cherish forever. My sister in law in a single parent raising a 6 month old, and is about to start a job soon. I can only imagine what is running through her mind. Women are strong. We truly are. I really enjoyed reading your post!!!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Neri, how I wished I got lucky like you and other mom’s out there. I missed out a lot of being a mom. life has played with me so much that after 11 years, I became a mom again but this time not a single mom anymore, I thought I was lucky but then after 17 hours she was born, life had played with me again, she was taken from us.

  25. Ann

    Crisly dear, I can feel the struggle when you are torn between your duties as a mom and your job. It really is heartbreaking being far away. I applaud you for such strength for I cannot have the same bravery as you. Sending hugs to you and your little girl XX

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Ann, life is not easy for me, it taught me a lot of lesson through difficulties.

  26. I am so touched. Thank you so much for sharing. This is so raw and honest. I am not a parent but just seeing parents around me, there’s just not anything else in the world that compares. Life is full of difficulties and challenges, but if we show up for it, we shall win. I have faith that this will work out beautifully for you.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Katherine, life is indeed full of difficulties. We cannot decide what difficulties should life give us, but we can decide how we can handle it.

  27. Chef and Steward

    What an honest and beautiful story of love and sacrifice and growth and pain and still hope! I am so glad to have discovered you. You have made a choice to be the provider since there was no one to help you and I am so grateful that Sweet was so well taken care of by your parents that she has bonded so much with them. You know that she know that she is loved. I pray that there will be no residual hint of rejection in her heart because her mama has BIG love for her and I pray that you will find peace and you both will completely heal from the physical separation one day. One day she will read this and understand your side and it will be a blessing to her. Sending love and blessings and I too pray that you can all be nearer soon!

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you so much for the prayers and for your empowering words Kari, it give me more courage and determination to keep fighting the battles. Life has been so hard for me. After 11 years of not being with my daughter, of not being able to be a mom for her, I was given a gift. I becaome a mom again but this time not a single mom anymore. I was astonished, I thought life has stopped playing with me. I was wrong, life is not finished with giving me difficulties, pain, heartbreak yet. After 17 hours of delivering a perfect baby, she was taken from us.

  28. Bee

    What a powerful story and thank you for sharing. Your courage and strength is truly remarkable and I hope that one day you will be able to be with your daughter and have the warm close relationship with your daughter you’ve always wanted. Thank you for sharing your story Crisly and letting others going through the same that they are not alone.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for such an uplifting message Bee, it brings me joy to let other people know that they are not alone, that we understand them and they can get through it.

  29. I can understand the hardship that one has to go through while raising a child highhandedly. I am a father of a one yr old but not single. Your story certainly frightened me of being single with the kid. Its also hard for the kid not have both the parents but making up for the other is a big task that you did splendidly.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      It was a difficult journey, but I did not regret any of it and I am willing to do it over and over for her if I have to. To provide for her needs and put her first will always be my priority. Your child is lucky to have both parents that will provide and be there for her/him physically and whole heartedly. Thank you for reading my story.

  30. joleisa

    This is such an inspiring story that needs to be shared with so many. You are wise beyond your years, and also selfless. Most people would want to make decisions that would suit only themselves, regardless of what others feel, think, or say.. I’m happy you have supportive parents too, because things could have been way different.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Joleisa, I am grateful for my parents for everything they have done for me and my child. I am hoping this story will give awareness to the Youngs not to make decisions when they disappointed. And for single parents to put their child first, before their selves.

  31. Gina Shirley

    Can’t write much – I recently lost a child and this has brought me to tears.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Sorry to hear about your loss Gina. Know that you are not alone and this too will pass. I will be honest with you, time will not heal the pain but it will help you live again and continue forward. We recently celebrated our Angel’s first birthday, and mourn at the same time. After 11 years of being a single mom I was given a beautiful gift. This time I am not a single mom anymore but she was taken back after 17 hours we’ve meet her. I pray that you too can nove forward, we have an Angel now and they are always with us. I am here if you would want someone to listen.

  32. Thank you for sharing this with us. AS children we often do not understand our parents intention. As parents we often have to make hard decisions. I do think that your share will help others.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I am hoping that too. I am hoping that this post will help other single parents to always put their child first. Also for the young women not to make the same mistake I did. Always listen to their parents and think it a million times before making a decision that they might regret one day.

  33. Preeti

    This is such a touching and a beautiful story. Your words have inspiring, positive and uplifting spin. I am sorry for the emotional trauma you’ve undergone over the years, but you are such a brave girl and “Sweet” will surely understand the sacrifices you have made. By the way, she is so adorable.
    Sending you virtual hugs, Crisly. Be blessed.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for the positive thoughts Preet.

  34. Karishma

    Wow . This is truly very touching , and thank you for sharing such a powerful story.

  35. Edwin Prasetio

    I’m so touched reading your story. Whatever your story behind is, now you have your own world with your sweet daughter. You’re strong and may you be blessed along with your daughter..

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Edwin.

  36. enjoyingthedays17

    Crisly, I cannot even imagine how you felt making such decisions. I am looking for words but cannot find any. {virtual hug}

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for the virtual hug Dawn 😊 hug back. It was tough, but it taught me to be tougher.

  37. Melissa

    Wow! What a powerful story. It is amazing! I can’t imagine having to be separated from my children for such a long time. That would be so difficult.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Yes, it’s really difficult, especially when your child doesn’t want to be with you without the grandparents.

  38. therunaway

    Thank you for sharing your touching story with us. I know it must be difficult to write about such personal issues, but I am sure that you are helping a lot many single parents, as they understand that they are not alone in their journey. All the best to you and you family!

  39. ashna

    You both have been through a lot!! Lots of love to both..
    It was a very touching story and I could really feel what you must have gone through.. More power to you..

  40. Antonia Gorneo

    Oooh Thank you for this story Crisly. This is what I need. I am currently working away from home and planning to settle down in December. I can’t start a family away so I should do my best to be back in my province. I have learned a lot from your story and this will surely help me weigh things to come up with a wise decision. So help me, God.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      I am glad that my story can help you with impotant decisions that you will be making soon. You will be a great mom to your kids, and do not worry and do not be afraid to make mistakes, our mistake are our foundations for a stronger and better person we can become.

  41. nikkig916

    Such a difficult decision and one that my heart breaks for you. A child’s happiness and well being is everything.

  42. Geneva Marie

    I was a single mom at 19. I know how hard your decision was to leave her and make a living. She will appreciate your sacrifice when she’s older. Good job mommy. ❤️

  43. Beautiful story and so well written! You sacrificed so much for your daughter and had to handle so much at a young age. It is very impressive!

  44. WifeSAHMLife

    My husband works long hours and I am reminded of how hard single parents have it. I admire the strength and determination that any single parent must present and hold to carry out a meaningful relationship with their child while also doing everything in their power to keep them safe. It is definitely difficult caring for a child when your partner is away most of the day but I know that l can depend on him when he is around. I could not imagine doing things completely on my own. Thank you for sharing your story! You truly represent what a mothers will and love of child should be.

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you for such an uplifting words. I’m sure we moms will do everything and anything for our children.

  45. Bibi on Board

    Hello Crisly! This story is really heartbreaking. I just want to say, that you made the best decision you could make that time. Don’t blame yourself. Now you should concern on your future with your Daughter and your reunion. It will take some time, I realize, but together you’ll find a solution. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you both 🙂

    1. Crisly Zerrudo

      Thank you Ilona, I will do it again if I have to go back in time :). I will do everything to give her a better life.

  46. wordsofntemid

    I don’t have a child of my own yet but I’m willing to, Crisly!

  47. Bushra

    It’s very hard to raise a child alone, but if it’s impossible to the parents to live together,then I see that the mom able to be a mother and a father at the same time.

  48. Shanab

    Such a touching story. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences as a single mother. Very powerful.

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