I have been a single Mom since Kid#2 was 2 years old, and Kid#1 was 10 ……
Sorry to burst your bubble! This is not a Main Bechari post, because its been great! It has dawned upon me bit by bit that the only essential thing one has to have to play any role in life is one’s own self. The rest is …. peripherals I guess. When I realized that I would be single Mom, I literally quaked in my shoes! My generation was brought up on the image of Durga Khote dressed in white toiling endlessly on a sewing machine, or Rakhee telling her tormentors “Mere Karan Arjun ayengey, zaroor ayengey!” In truth, the scenario is different. My sons would actually say “Stop or My Mom will Shoot!”
The lessons learnt in life have been plenty, and I am blessed with excellent hindsight, totally 6/6
1. You need to be financially solvent. Yes, the ability to pay your bills is a big blessing, it shuts up the doomsday kind of well-wishers and also keeps critics at bay. Plus it gives you a sense of power that gets the kids in line too (this is a big blessing!)
2. You need to be emotionally solvent. As a mother, I realized that I could not love and nurture them unless I felt happy with myself. For that I needed to stop blaming others. I needed to know what I am, a flawed human being, and needed to be friends with myself. Only then could I parent my kids. It is at this point that the biggest love story of my life began! I discovered I loved me and so I could love others too.
3. You need to be “in” on your kids lives. Yeah, that means, use their language, try and make sense out of their rock music (even if it threatens to dislodge your dental fillings) and play basket ball with them even if your knees get tortured, and be friends with their friends. I did that, and what do you know, I even lost some minuscule amount of weight. Having youthful friends made me feel young myself!
4. You need to have a life of your own. This is a “gyan” that dawned on me slowly. I went overboard being with the boys and forgot to live my own life for a bit. Luckily I realized before they kicked me out of their lives. I have my life now, my friends, the net, and I have them too. Pretty good eh?
5. You gotta realize that The Buck Stops Here. Face it, you are the parent, and there is no one you can fall back on, for discipline or for financial help. I always wanted that sigh! To wave a menacing finger at the buggers and say “Just wait until Daddy gets home”, but I guess I managed pretty well eh?
6. Dont take yourself and your parenting skills seriously. Remember you are just doing the best you can with all sincerity and one day these *&^%$# are going to turn around and tell you pompously that you are a bad parent. Just smile and promise yourself that you will spoil their kids silly and turn them into insufferable horrors. It is the best you can do!
Being a single mother is eventful and demanding. It is rewarding too. Your kids may not thank you, but they can not take away the pleasure and pride you feel at seeing them stand tall and oh so grown up, interact intelligently and be independent.
As for gratitude????
It is past one in the afternoon. The ba*&^ds have not even wished me a Happy Mother’s Day as yet, forget about getting me some measly flowers!
Edited to add : They came to my office (yes I was working today even tho its a Sunday) with a chocolate cake!!! Aint that lovely?
Happy Mother’s Day