Joy Reid: How I overcame growing up in a fatherless home

theGRIO VIDEO - In a video for, the host of MSNBC's The Reid Report discusses how growing up without a father figure impacted her life...

For MSNBC host Joy Reid, Father’s Day was never a special occasion growing up.

The day would come and go as if it were any other while Reid and her siblings maintained a distant and detached relationship with their father.

But because of her father’s absence, Reid admits that she learned some valuable lessons which helped mold her into the inspiring woman she is today.

In a video for, the host of MSNBC’s The Reid Report discusses how growing up without a father figure impacted her life.

“I really didn’t have my father in my life for most of my life. He would come visit us once every couple of years,” Reid told “He didn’t really do a good job at fatherhood, but what we did get out of the experience of his absence was a sense of real self-sufficiency. We were very self-reliant kids.”

Instead, Reid and her siblings were raised by their mother — who sadly passed away in 1986. To this day, Reid credits her mother for many of the lessons she instilled in her.

“In a way, I’m not really sorry that I didn’t grow up with a father because I feel like a much more self-sufficient person,” she said. “We definitely didn’t learn dependency on a man or dependency on anyone; we had the experience of growing up in a household with a strong, independent woman that was in charge of our lives.”

Reid, former managing editor of, is among the millions of people who grew up in a fatherless home.

Her inspirational story sends a strong message to others who have distant relationships with their fathers.

“If you are a fatherless child, then you have to find those male role models in your own life that can fill in,” she said. “And sometimes that ‘father’ in your life is your mom and you just have to accept that’s who it is and if it’s you and your mom against the world, then you just have to make that the best that it can be.”

Reid has three children with her husband Jason – and Father’s Day is a chance for the Reid household to honor him.

“It’s been interesting because my kids have had the opposite experience; they have a really involved, really great dad,” Reid said.

“It’s been great for them to have a father who is in their lives but I think also great to have a mother who grew up without a father and who knows what it means to be an individual.”

Watch Joy Reid share her moving, personal story above — and tune in to MSNBC every weekday at 2 p.m. to catch her on The Reid Report.