“Oh! She got divorced! What happens to her kid now? She should have adjusted with her husband for the sake of her child! That’s the problem with today’s so-called educated feminist women – they never even try to adjust. For every small matter, they are ready to break the marriage and file for divorce, without even thinking about the consequences!” a distant relative tells my mother as I overhear them from the distance.
It breaks my heart how without even knowing a cinch about my life and struggle, people are quick to judge me and label me either as – Bechari or Unsanskaari!
While growing up in a middle-class family, I always understood the value of family and marriage. I saw my mother endlessly compromising and adjusting in the marriage for the sake of kids. There were times when she was very unhappy but then out of fear of what people will say and what will happen to her 2 daughters, she stayed in an unhappy marriage.
She spent her whole life being unhappy and in return, she got a badge of honor of being sanskaari! But I never wanted to be like my mom. I never wanted to spend my whole life expecting that things will get better or sacrificing my whole life just to raise my kids in an unhappy home.
Now after 6 years of marriage and a 4-year-old kid, I find myself in the same situation as that of my mother and I refuse to follow the same path. I refuse to be scared of society; I refuse to raise my kid in an unhappy home where he has to see his parents fighting and howling at each other. I don’t want to be in a home where there is no respect and mental peace for me!
So dear society, here are my two cents for you: It’s OK to be a single parent! It’s OK to raise a child without a perfect family! It’s OK to stand up as a Mother and proudly say, “Yes, I am a Single Mom”, without feeling sorry or ashamed about it.
You can label me helpless or bechari or mean or selfish or unsanskaari, but I know I am none of those! I am fearless, courageous, and self-loving! Irrespective of whatever you think, I am a great mother. And it is proven by the fact that I am not raising my child in an unhappy home just because of the fear of log kya kahengey! I am not scared to raise my child alone!
It’s high time that society stops feeling sorry for couples, especially for women, who refuse to stay in an unhappy marriage. Divorce is not a tragedy. Rather, staying in an unhappy marriage is. Instead of insulting and shaming women for choosing to live a life of dignity, make them financially independent so that they don’t have to suffer in silence for the rest of their lives.
As per recent studies, it’s estimated that 4.5% of all Indian households are run by single mothers, which means almost 13 million households are headed by single mothers. It makes me so proud that I am one among them who are striving hard to create a better life for themselves and their kids.
Here’s a small request to the women community across the world – While society still shames and blames single mothers for choosing to live life on their own terms, you should not! It takes a lot of courage and strength to step out of a toxic and abusive marriage. Please support us; not just for us, but for every woman of today and tomorrow!
And, for the last time, being a single mother is not a matter of shame or insult. It is a matter of pride when you gather all the courage to stand for yourself and your kids! Because what’s the point of leading a life with lack of dignity and happiness!