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“How Did She End Up Alone?” Is NOT The Question We Must Ask About A Single Mom!

Posted: October 3, 2018

Being a single mom myself, here’s why I think being a single mom makes you so strong – nothing like real life experience as a teacher!

Single mums are ‘easy’.
Single mums have no morals.
The children of single mothers will become failures.

As single mothers, these are some of the things that we hear every single day. It’s a damaging rhetoric that throws our entire moral compass into question. Our sex lives are under assumption, our parenting skills are dismissed as second rate. It’s no wonder that single mothers are the social demographic with one of the lowest levels of self-esteem in the world. Google Searches such as ‘Can a Single Mum find love again?’, ‘I feel so lonely as a single mother.’ are evidence of a global pandemic, a midnight worry that blossoms into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When we become less than adequate in our own eyes, we start to mirror the judgement of everyone around us.

It’s the look on the faces of men, older women, the other parents at the school. They question: ‘How did she end up alone?’, they reason that somehow it must have been our fault. That the abuses of men, the death of a father come secondary to our own demoralising behaviour.

According to the Kids Count Data Centre, 16% of families in Asia are single parent families. Compared with almost 30% in the USA. This is set to rise in the next decade, as the nuclear family is on the decline. Women are now seeking parental autonomy with the uprising of feminism and a lower tolerance for domestic violence. Women are being educated and are seeking degrees; we no longer need a man to survive the economy.

The ideal mother is portrayed as the homemaker, the one who greets her husband as he comes in from work; briefcase in hand. The mere suggestion that a woman can do both is abhorrent in many Indian social circles. To shun the matriarchal duty for a more ambidextrous occupation-as the mother AND the earner, seems to big a task. One that the media loves to tear apart with it’s well sharpened claws.

It’s true; single mothers have less access to medical care, are more likely to live in poverty and are assumed to have less religious values than their married counterparts. However, this must not deter us from changing the impression of the judging masses. We must strive to break free of the chains of poverty, become entrepreneurs and examples for the next generation. Even if that means starting a YouTube channel for beauty tips, cooking or seeking education abroad.

Let’s remind ourselves of why we are strong and take the next day by the horns.

  1. We work tirelessly day and night for our offspring, foregoing our own needs in order to provide for them.
  2. Sometimes we have more than one job, making us exhausted. This is so our children can go to school.
  3. We don’t rely on a partner for our income and often ignore our own love lives.
  4. We escaped an abusive husband, so our children could grow up free.
  5. We are judged by everyone for our lifestyle yet we leave the house every day with our heads held up high.

Image source: a still from the movie Nil Battey Sannata

Single Mother, Student, Blogger, Writer

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