Being a single mom: Societal Pressure and How to overcome it?4 minute
Being a single mother in India is a daunting experience. It is most difficult to understand the magnitude of problems a single mom goes through until you are in the same situation.
They are constantly worried about the upbringing of the children and sometimes become overprotective or overcompensate for the lack of another parent. Prejudices related to this way of living don’t make it any easier. If you are a single mom, you will probably relate to a lot of things mentioned in this article. If you know a single mom, please be more respectful and kind to them after reading this whole blog. Help yourself and help each other.
No immediate help to rely on.
Single mothers work very hard to make ends meet. Financial Independence is a challenge altogether. The duty of earning, taking care of the house and children, and managing every little detail of running a household, takes a toll on them. It drains them mentally and emotionally, leaving them stressed all time. There's no one to take care of the burden, and thus it becomes increasingly lonely, which turns to depression. If the workplace environment is also hostile and unpleasant, which is not uncommon with single mothers, one cannot imagine how anxious they must feel all the time.
Judgemental society looks down.
As we continue living in this patriarchal society, single mothers are often treated differently. Unsolicited and unflattering approaches by men because they think single women are always available are horrific. Being single doesn't mean they are looking for someone. These awful interactions can range from mild flirtations to mental and sexual harassment. It is particularly traumatizing for the women who have been through this in their marriages or have faced domestic violence. A divorcee is judged because it is incomprehensible to the orthodox minds dared to speak up and will not accept the man as he was. Women continue to suffer in silence because, as in every male-dominated society, it always finds a way to find her fault and blame her.
Financial problems that follow.
As in most of the scenarios, a single mother is the sole earner of the family. She cannot always stay at home to take care of the children even if she wants to or they need her to. If they were financially weak from before, it becomes even harder to manage a livelihood with a single paycheck in this price rise of time. They continue to suffer all alone with the mountain of expenses. Taking even a sick day off becomes impossible.
Get married again.
In India, common and unprompted advice that is always offered to single mothers is to get married again. A single woman living alone, fending for herself and her family, is considered shameful or, more kindly put, incompetent. Marriage cannot always solve their problems. No one ever stops to think of the new complications the addition of an entirely new family can create. It may turn into a blessing, or it may become disastrous. Should she risk it if that's not what she wants?
Struggles with work-life balance.
Work-life balance is hard as is. For single mothers, it's putting it mildly. A sense of guilt always surrounds them, for they fear they are not doing enough. They find themselves alone, mostly with no family to support them, and they try to overcompensate to make their child feel safe. In most cases of divorces, the in-laws abandon them and their children. With all this stress, it becomes a Herculean task to find the right balance between their work and personal life.
Tackling all the questions of the kids.
Their lives differ from most of the other children around. That surely attracts questions that are sometimes hard to explain at a certain age. Therapists have said that they have found women anxious and tense because of this. They obsess over doing the right parenting thing or if she's as successful as other couples. A need to protect their children turns so fierce that it becomes harmful for them.
“Me Time” feels like a myth.
After having a tough day or week, or month, a single mother could hardly ever find some “me time” to relax and breathe. The household chores, kids with their education and development and work, they run themselves thin to check every task as complete. Their parenting skills are always under harsh scrutiny, and she's judged and taunted for every little slip-up. Always remember, she's putting double the efforts filling the shoes of two.
Here are some ways how you can try to find it easier to manage and relax a bit:
- Seek professional help if need be.
If you can, find therapists to deal with the stress of it. Talk to someone and take counsel from the ones you trust.
- Take care of yourself first.
Eat well. Do exercises. Take care of your diet, drink lots of water and eat everything that keeps you healthy and happy. Try practising yoga to calm your inner self. Include your kids in these tasks.
- Gather a better crowd around yourself.
Connect with moms who are similar to you. Arrange playdates with your kids and their family. Limit your usage of phones and toxic social media light.
- Believe in yourself.
Be proud of what you're doing. Always be grateful that you can provide for your family. Accept that raising children isn't a competition, and you're doing your best in parenting. Remember to spend time with your children and that they love you and they are thriving in your loving environment.
- Find a job that suits your routine.
Become frugal. Work hours should be flexible. Find something that can help you give ample quality time to your kids and yourself. You can even try working from home.
- Live in the moment.
You're doing a great job. Take breaks. Find some other role models. Embrace your life.
Life can be extremely tough for you.
Never stop believing in your capabilities, talents, and resilience.
You are strong enough to do anything.