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A married woman single-handedly taking care of her child as her husband travels is pretty common. Why not praise these supermoms for all they do?
When you hear the words ‘single mother’ you instantly think of a woman without a male partner or husband to share the parenting tasks with her. However, what about the married single mothers? Now I know it sounds like an oxymoron but the truth is that, there are a number of these ‘married’ women forced to raise a child almost on their own.
There are women who are in a long-distance marriage and the child lives with the mother who almost entirely takes care of everything. The second would be women whose husbands travel a lot owing to work and the woman is left taken care of the child. In such cases, even if the father wants to look after the child, he is unable to do so.
The third category are those women whose husband is a man-child himself. The woman can’t trust the man to take care of the child. And finally the fourth are those women whose husbands refuse to take care of the child. These men believe that a man’s job is to earn and the woman’s is to take care of the house, the kitchen and the children. There are various other variants too but I am not going into the details of those.
I have been a married yet single mother, in total sense of the term, since the day my son was born. My son’s father was busy in an important meeting so I literally had to go for my delivery all alone. I took an auto-rickshaw and even got my own self admitted to the hospital.
The doctor wanted to do an emergency C-section but couldn’t do it without the consent signature of the father. She had to wait till 10 pm since that was the only time he could leave the office. In fact, he was the last person to arrive at the hospital- everyone in the family and most of our friends were already there.
My son and I started travelling alone when he was barely 2.5 months old. I am so used to travelling alone with my son, that on the rare trips that the husband accompanies us, it feels surreal. Travelling with an infant is not easy, but I have done it on more than one occasion. There were times when I travelled with not just my toddler but my 80-year-old arthritic dad.
Ask me about travel nightmares! These days we have formed groups for moms and kids to travel together. While most dads are busy, us moms take the kids on trips during their vacations.
As for my son’s school admission, I went alone and blatantly lied that the father was travelling. The father saw the son’s school the first time almost a year after his admission. And in the last ten years, he hasn’t been inside the school more than a couple times.
Most annual days and sports day only have the mother attending it alone as the father is either busy with meetings or is travelling. As for the son’s studies, the dad is always clueless– we feel lucky if he remembers the division and the section correctly.
Ask the father how many subjects are taught at school and he would look at you as if you’ve asked him something on quantum physics. He is equally clueless about the son’s extracurriculars and has only gone to the football class after the son had an accident.
I gave up my demanding corporate career simply because if both of us couldn’t be with the child, what was the point of having one? My work allows me to spend the maximum time with my child which makes me extremely happy. I can watch him grow up and often I feel sorry for his father who has only been in the periphery in the upbringing process.
When his father travels, my son is not particularly bothered. However, when I travel for work, he gets perturbed and has very little confidence in his dad’s parenting skills. Thus, most of the times, I find myself doing my parenting jobs remotely. I’ve even taught him through video calls during his exams even though the father was there in the house. Not that the father didn’t want to, but my son is used to studying with me and doing so with his dad only stressed him out.
Am I complaining? I definitely am not.
The father does want to be a part of the son’s upbringing but is unable to do so due to his job. I know I am not the only one facing this. There are a number of my friends also go through the same thing.
My friends have husbands who are pilots, marine engineers, navy men, film directors, software engineers and all these women raise their children on their own. We are a generation of supermoms who manage everything efficiently all on our own.
No wonder school WhatsApp groups are predominantly full of mothers and not fathers!
Picture credits: Still from movie We Are Family.
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