This Mother’s Day let’s get talking about Everyday warriors who selflessly struggle a lot to take care of the little ones they have brought into this world. Yeah, we are talking about single mothers who are raising their children independently despite the strong criticism and judgmental attitude of the society. These moms continue to define courage, resilience and inspiration.
It is difficult to understand the challenges single moms (widowed, divorced, single parent by choice) face on a daily basis in our country. People around them never miss a chance to give them whatever advise they can and belittle them at the same time. A lot of these women feel that society will never change and so all they need is confidence and will power to keep moving ahead in their lives. You have our back, ladies!
Times are changing and over exposure to smart phones and Internet makes life difficult for single moms. This is because they are stressed too much about the correct way to bring up their kids. They try to make up for the absent parent and end up overdoing things. Education system has changed and so has the exposure to outside influences. So single moms have too much responsibility on their shoulders.
Some challenges which single mothers face on an everyday basis are:
• Attaining financial independence
These women find it hard to make ends meet since they are the sole earners and they have to manage their home and children all by themselves. It is an emotionally draining process for them since they cannot afford to fall sick, take time off from their 24×7 job that is parenting. They have to manage all the work like taking kids to tuition, buying grocery, visiting doctor for check-ups, making kids participate in extra things like dance etc. There is no companion with whom they can share their tasks. They are constantly stressed.
• Risk of being judged and being in a vulnerable position
In a country like India which is patriarchal, a single mother is not treated in the same way as someone who has a husband. Men make illicit sexual advances and flirt more with single women. It could even translate to sexual harassment. It is very stressful for women. Single does not always mean being available. The society should not look at a single mom as weak but should know their strengths. A woman is always held responsible for a failed marriage. These women do not need to be pitied. People judge them as someone with loose character. They are not supposed to post pictures on social media of them enjoying. It is here that women need to take a stand. They must fight the challenges with a smile.
• Have a crunch for time
Yes, they are pressed for time, managing kids and home and they do not get sufficient time for themselves. They are completely engrossed in their kids’ activities. People often judge the way they parent their children and things become really challenging for them.
• Social pressures of remarriage
There is always a pressure on single women to get married. Well, people don’t understand the complex family bond that sets up if the woman marries again. Remarriage is a risk which could work or fail. So, they have to be extremely careful if thinking of remarriage.
• Being answerable to their children
Children, of course want to know who their father is or what are the family dynamics. Children compare their lives to their friends lives who have both mother and father as caretakers in their families. Since they see that many things are a lot different in their friends’ lives, they start questioning their mothers. So single moms have to tackle difficult questions surrounding this aspect.
• Balancing work with everyday situations is tough
A single mom has to fulfil the responsibility of both mom and dad which sometimes gets too demanding. She has to be extra cautious about their needs and requirements. Time is something which all children need from their moms and since a single mom has so much on her plate there is always a feeling of guilt if she is not able to give enough time to her children. Of course, she has to fight all odds since people don’t accept the notion of single mothers. They cannot count on their families and they have to fight all alone.
• Cannot find or trust the childcare support
Since they would be working so they need to arrange for child care takers for their children. Single moms are always worried about the safety of their children when you are leaving them alone. The mother always wonders that whoever is babysitting, is he or she is doing the job properly or not. So a single mom has to put a herculean effort for better grooming and upbringing of her children.
Single parenting can actually wear you out emotionally, physically and financially. Things are far from easy for single mothers since they have to face judgment, criticism and discrimination. We hope that by enlightening the people about the challenges these moms face, we are together able to fight the stigma and the mounting pressure single moms have to face on an everyday basis.