I became a parent four years ago. Before that I was a mom.
That's because four years ago, I became a single parent.
Parenting is an oddly cold, even generic, word. It is perhaps the product of a politically correct world, meant to encompass both "mothering" and "fathering." As if such a thing were possible.
Little girls don't play dolly and dream of having their baby call them "parent." Little boys riding their bikes for the first time yell, "I did it, Dad," not "I did it, parental unit."