There is no denying the fact that being a single mother is hard. The responsibilities that come with it are endless. Having a job, providing sufficiently is one thing. But doing so while also being present and aware of your children’s other needs is another ball game altogether.
It’s like having to fit into two pairs of shoes for your children – of the mom and dad. Financially and emotionally, you have to be responsible for it all. Don’t even get us started on how the problems exacerbate during the teen years. You really have to be a sole superwoman to survive that phase.
Then, comes the problem with society. Society’s need to constantly dictate how you should live or how your upbringing might not be up to the mark without a man in the picture. All of this can be really exhausting on the mental health of a woman. Read more about how being a single mom is not as easy as you think.
Being A Single Mother Is Hard!
Widow…the word consumes itself. Being a widow at the age of 28, and being a single mother is a life of daily struggle. The fight for respectable existence is a hard one for most single mothers in India and is unique for every mother.
“Where’s the father/husband?” is an extremely common question, from school admission to places like supermarkets. On knowing the truth, people change their attitudes. I am quite happily single but these constant remarks make me question if I should be looking for a man in my life.
When I went for my son’s admission to school, I was instantly asked after filling his school form how I would manage to pay his fees being a single mom. They also questioned if I would be able to cope with my job and his studies alone.
Not just in school and social places, but even in the supermarket, my motherhood was always questioned. Once while shopping, I met one of my schoolmates who I had not been in touch with for years. She said, “Poor you. May God bless you.” She also suggested I should get my kundali checked for any “dosh” due to which my husband might have died. With tears in my eyes, I walked away.
I had two roles to play at once
It’s hard being a single mom. There is no denying that. Being answerable to the world was not that difficult once some time has passed since my husband’s demise. I learned to fight alone and was a proud mother to my son. For him, I was a supermom. But being a father and mother both at the same time takes a lot of courage. As a single parent, I had to ensure that I had to love him like a mother and be his inspiration like a father.
From running the house to earning a living to being involved in my child’s life, the to-do list was endless. Everything just doubled up for me. But I knew I wanted to be a successful single mother. Facing my son’s questions was something I had to learn.
He always used to ask, “How did my father die in an accident?” “Why did it happen to him only?” All his friends have their fathers. “Why can’t I have a dad now?” “Are you going to go away, too?”
Yes, I was strong, independent and proficient. But sometimes when my son asked me such innocent questions, I would break down. Many times, my days seemed to be longer than usual. Long working hours and juggling between my responsibilities, and then no shoulder to lean on at the end of the day left me feeling emotionally weak. I still gathered courage every morning to fight the odds.
He was a very good friend
Prasanth used to be my team leader in the renowned company where we worked together for two years. As he guided me through my tenure, his words always gave me strength. He always used to say, “Come on, cheer up, lady!” “You are strong like a lioness, you have come off strong in all situations of life and you will surely be a good mother to your son.”
We started meeting each other more often for lunch and dinner. He would even accompany us to the park and children’s play zone on Sundays. Being a single mother is hard but spending time with Prasanth made it all a little bit easier.
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Since Prasanth was fun-loving and sensitive, Arush felt comfortable with him. He enjoyed Prasanth’s company. Whenever we had any plans for an outing with Prasanth, it always excited Arush and there was a different kind of happiness in his eyes.
One day my son asked me, “Can I call Prasanth Uncle Papa?” I was shocked and had no answer to his question. I really did not expect things to take such a turn. I realized my son wanted a man to look up to in his life. My eyes welled up. I made him understand the situation and told him that we are just friends.
There was a knock on the door
Prasanth and I had been good friends for 6 years. One night while I was at home doing my chores, there was a knock on the door. I opened it and to my surprise it was Prasanth. He asked me “Won’t you let me in, I need to talk to you?” and smiled.
I said, “Go ahead.”
He looked into my eyes and said “Do you mind talking to my mom?” This question was unexpected, it surprised and confused me at the same time. I asked him, “What are you saying?” and he replied, “I want to marry you and Arush.”
I simply started crying and replied, “I need some time.” But the confidence and trust in his eyes, the sparkling love had almost already convinced me. I did not need any romantic marriage proposals when there was so much truth and love in his eyes.
The next morning his mom called me and said “My son praises you a lot and wants to marry you.” I shared this news with my family and they were very supportive. We got great support from our families, friends and colleagues. Everyone was part of our happiness on our wedding day.
We got married on 29th December 2016. Now, we are excited to welcome our second child, due in September 2018. And more than anyone else, it is Arush waiting for his younger sibling. Life always gives you a second chance. For me, it has turned out to be magical.
The hardest part is the juggling of roles that come with being a single mom. You have to be a great mom, a great dad and always a best friend to your child. You have to make sure that while you are fulfilling one responsibility, you are not ignoring the others because they all fall on your shoulders only.
Yes, it is. Being a single mother is hard. You cannot argue with that. But it is also beautiful because it strengthens you and makes you a superwoman. Nothing in life can bog you down when you have faith in yourself and love your child immensely.
They can be! It’s all about subjective experiences and personal perspectives. Some women enjoy being a single mom and prefer it as a way of life because it makes them happier and gives them a sense of freedom.