Michael Phelps isn’t just a living legend in swimming. He’s also a product of single mother, who raised him and his sisters alone after her husband left her when they were kids. One PHD on parenting isn’t surprised. He said, “In the process of having to do twice as much as a mom with a husband, single moms tend to be ultra-focused on helping their children acheive their goals.”
Debbie and Fred Phelps divorced in 1994 when Michael was 9. She spent the next few years studying to become a middle school principal at the same time as she was dealing with doctor’s appointments to help treat his diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Since his two sisters Whitney and Hilary were swimmers, he was encouraged to become a swimmer as well as a way to help him overcome his condition.
One therapist who treated Michael said, “Debbie Phelps should win a Mother of the Year award, She single-handedly raised three kids, and since Michael had learning disabilities, she gave him one thing on which he could focus and call his own — his swimming. The Phelps experience shows how survival is all about rising above anger and hostility toward an ex — and getting on with your life. The best revenge is doing well!”
So here’s a single mom who went to grad school, ran a middle school, nurtured her family, and raised (arguably) the greatest Olympic hero of all time. Bottom line, the QUALITY of parents is more important than the quantity.
I hope that inspires anyone reading this who’s going it alone.