This story is part of a series: Unspoken Saga (Part-7) Unspoken Saga (Part-6) Unspoken Saga…..
When I was divorced, my children were in elementary school. Time was not good enough for me; when they are supposed to be playing and enjoying their childhood with their parents, they were shocked by losing their father. They were missing their father. It was a challenging and heartbreaking time for all of us. So many people used to say sarcastically, ‘Is a child a human being without a father? Do you think you can raise your children without father?’
No matter how modern we are, single mothers are still a question in our society. Being a single mother means failure. It was like an almost impossible task to ensure safe shelter for a child without a man in the family and build family, social, and moral values. We fail to understand that while the role of a man is essential in every family or woman’s life, we can still succeed without a man. Only a mother is enough to show the child the right path.
Today my children have reached the age of teens. I raised my children alone. As a single mother so far, I have taken care of the children with success. I have ensured the basic needs, care, services, education, human and moral values of the children, and their complete safety. I have fulfilled their father’s requirements very skillfully. I didn’t leave any chance for them to feel like ‘If I had a dad…!’
In addition to childcare, I took a job and higher education in New York. Not easy, but not impossible.
There are many single mothers among us whose strong morale and bold initiative are commendable. Some of them, as single mothers, take care of their children properly. When I look back at those days, I realize how much care and attention I have given to being a happy mother today.
As a mother, my first responsibility toward children was to observe their mental and physical behavior. I think a child needs to be read and know as like a book. Of course, divorce means that anyone will suffer from depression, which is a normal reaction. Anybody can break up their relationship, but at that moment, it is our responsibility to help children adjust to the situation, realizing how they are accepting or feeling the new change.
After the divorce, I tried to stay as normal as possible with my children. I have hidden my frustration and anxiety because I didn’t want my emotional devastation to make my children more frustrated.
In the beginning, I build up a trusty relationship with them. Because, at a certain age, our children do not want to listen to us. It is more evident when there is no father in the family. Friends often do not consider the pros and cons of socializing.
They suffer more insecurity due to family breakdown. Therefore, there is a possibility of many accidents. In this case, as a parent, It is our responsibility to gain their trust and send them a message saying, “I am your first aid in any problem or danger. That’s what I did, and my kids used to share with me a lot of things that happened in and outside; still, they do. And by doing so, I can also guide them from that childish age to the good and bad considerations.
My childhood relationship with my parents was not friendly. I was afraid of them. And so maybe I never shared anything with them. But my relationship with the children has always been pleasant. I talk openly with them about anything; from their side, I talk about their likes and dislikes, problems, and other issues in daily life. For example, what happened in school, if they are being bullied or upset by others, what to do if their studies are insufficient, and why they are upset. I take them to the restaurant, at least one or two times a week, also take them to the theater or park as per their choice. I intend to assure them, ‘I’m here for you, don’t worry.’
I always tried to fill in the blanks space all the time. Still untouched. It would be tough and challenging for me to hear them saying, ‘I don’t have a dad or if my dad was here.’ I know they will miss Dad, but I tried not to let that feeling hurt them. Also, every single mother needs to keep in mind that children do not like to hear their parents slander under any circumstances. So after the divorce, I never said anything wrong about their father to prove myself right. In doing so, I have been honored by them, and their respect for the father has increased. I think it is better not to involve children in conflicts in our married life because it is harmful to their mental health.
When my children reached twelve or thirteen, I noticed that hormonal changes started coming into their bodies. Any child can be confused about new physical changes. They may have mood swings because they are bothered about what is happening or why. Mood can become irritable. So I tried to explain to them as much as possible about the physical changes. I never hesitated to talk to my children about all this. They are my children, and I have to stand by them.
I have kept the necessary things available to clean the beard, mustache and take proper body care. Children are a little free with their fathers at this age, but they are ashamed to tell their mothers about these things. So, I played a dual role to them. Now they understand everything on their own and have learned to take care of their body.
One more thing I always kept in my mind is teaching them to be responsible people. As a single mother, I always had to be very careful about my income and expenses. Children often love to make excuses or make unnecessary whims when they see something else, which is not always possible for me to have. And not being able to give the children the thing they like also hurts me a lot. So, from a young age, I used to tell them about my earnings.
Children love to be in charge of the family. So I gave them a chart of monthly expenses initially and allowed them to know how much I earned, how much will be spending for the month, and how much to save. Thus, I have given them authority and some responsibilities from a very young age with a unique strategy. I think they have also acquired the skill of addition and subtraction from this. That is why they have always refrained from spending money on unnecessary things or making excessive advances, even now.
I work five days a week and spend the rest of the time taking care of the family’s unique needs, mostly with kids. Leaving the children alone, I never spent time entertaining myself. However, that does not mean that I do not enjoy my life; yes, I do.
Now they are in their teens. They learned to do the things they need to do responsibly. From childhood till now, I have given them only one message: ‘ You are the most important person in my life.’ I say the word ‘love’ more than once every day. I appreciate a bit of achievement or positive things they do. I notice they become happy, become lively.
As a single mom, I was always strong. I’m still there. I am happy with my children. All single mothers can succeed in happiness, joy, and attainment with patience, effort, goal, hard work, and courage. I don’t think I need to send this message to the foreign society; it is my message to our Bengali community where we Bengali people just become modern in the name; we have learned to do something by looking at the face of the West. Basically, we are still unconscious and backward in mind mentality and thought consciousness.
Stay tuned and happy reading.