10 Lessons I Learnt While Single Parenting My Daughter

It's never easy being a single parent especially in India. But single parenting does teach you a number of things. Here's 10 things a single mother learnt!

It’s never easy being a single parent especially in India. But single parenting does teach you a number of things. Here are ten things a single mother learnt!

I never thought I’d be a single mother raising my eleven year old daughter all alone. My parents had expected mine to be a fairy-tale marriage where there was no room for divorce, let alone single parenting a child.

And now, here I stand, a proud single mother enjoying motherhood to the brim. Solo parenting can be exhausting and joyous in equal parts.

The challenges are similar to those of a couple raising their child. However, here you need to do all the work and yes, you can reap all the rewards.

For every single parent the journey is different and here are certain things which I have picked up while parenting my daughter:

Make yourself a priority

Remember you are the head of your house and you are responsible for all the daily chores. Keep yourself fit, eat well, sleep well and model your life the way you want your child to live.

Yes you heard me right. You need to be a little selfish.

Stay employed

In a majority of divorces the husband bears the cost of alimony. However, in my case my ex signed a contract that neither does he want to have access to his daughter nor will he provide me any maintenance.

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I was completely okay with it. No matter how hard I had to run a solo marathon, I made it a point not to quit my job.

Yes, again, you heard me right. You need money to run your family and for that you have to work. No one except you will earn that food you need for your own self and the child.

Ignore others’ prudence about you

“Oh, it was all her fault.” “She did not know how to adjust.” “Look she is separating after having a child, shameless.” “Return to your husband for your mother’s sake, she is dying.” These were some of the taunts which were thrown at me.

Just ignore other people’s judgment about you. Do not be too sensitive, else you will perish.

Make your child independent

My daughter and I are a team in our household. I taught her to prepare breakfast, get ready for school, have a bath, and pack her bag and perform other errands all by herself. Make your child self-reliant and in return you will be rewarded with a confident child.

Mark my words. I am saying this from experience.

Set a routine

Fix a proper play time, study time, TV time, and bed time for your kid. There is no need to set a routine for the child like an army colonel, but set a broad one and then breathe easy.

You will find yourself in a less stressful situation and it will also make your kid disciplined.

It’s okay to ask for help

Please don’t try to be a Hercules, we all need help. And you too will need it when you have to repair that fridge, washing machine, television set, place things in order and so on.

Chill. Go ahead and ask for help. Don’t think that couples never need any external support; we all need it and there is no harm in asking for it.

There will be stress

You cannot avoid the fact that there will be stress. Financial stress, the feeling of isolation, emotional exhaustion, juggling kid and work will take a toll on you.

Make it a point to give yourself a break. Take time out for yourself.

Travel with your child

As a couple I never enjoyed my honeymoon the way I enjoyed my stay at Goa with my kid. We could wear whatever we liked, eat what we wanted, go fishing and swimming together, which otherwise had been impossible with my ex.

He was a true role model of patriarchy and I am sorry, I cannot remain a submissive wife.

Learn to embrace imperfections

So your kid doesn’t like to shampoo his/her hair, your maid doesn’t turn up on time, your kid gets late for tuition. Sounds familiar?

It’s totally okay to live with such imperfections. Parenting is all about it. To err is human and the saying goes true for all.

There are couples who fight around these imperfections and here I am, a happy and carefree parent giving a damn to such trivial issues.

Doing things independently feels amazing

I bought myself a new scooty post my divorce. My ex took away the car before leaving us and I vowed to gift myself something in place of that.

It is an amazing feeling when we, the mother daughter duo, go for a ride. I just said being independent is amazing.

I had grown up hearing my mother’s words that I would be a queen to a king someday. But my fate had willed otherwise. I have no regrets that I have shoved away that misogynist, patriarchal, merciless man out of our lives.

As I said, single parenting is both challenging and rewarding. I am thankful every day for my life and the lessons that I have learnt as a single parent so far.

Mind you I am still learning and the feeling is great!

Picture credits: Pexels

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About the Author

Rimli Bhattacharya

Rimli Bhattacharya is a First class gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, an MBA in supply chain management and is engaged with a corporate sector. Her essay in the anthology “Book read more...

103 Posts | 685,533 Views

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