My husband and I parted ways within 2 years of marriage. The only reason was he was a complete party freak and an alcoholic. I had no complaints about him being social but his extreme drinking habits were creating a nuisance in our married life. He would drink every single day; our fridge was stocked with all kinds of alcoholic beverage. He drank like a fish. Initially, I thought I will be able to handle his alcoholism but I was wrong because if he doesn’t get his drink, he would become abusive and start shouting.
I confronted him many times but he would start blasting me by saying, “You think I am an alcoholic and have no sense”. Weekends would pass by like this, either he will be drinking or sleeping. Therefore, I decided it’s better to part ways because I didn’t want my few months old daughter to start getting affected by his behaviour. My parents didn’t support me in the beginning because of our little daughter but they also witnessed my husband’s behaviour on few occasions. Gradually they also felt that sooner or later it would have happened.
I got the custody of my daughter and took a house near to my parent’s house.
As I was working so without their support managing job, home and my small daughter was not possible and I am very thankful my parents really took care of the baby. My mother often told me to think about my decision for taking a divorce as she was scared what will people say because a society doesn’t treat a single woman nicely and it is not easy to raise a child alone. But I didn’t pay attention to her concern and worry.
Her worries for me became my reality;
I was single handedly taking care of my daughter. Although my daughter would stay with my parents during weekdays and often I would do work from home to lessen their burden. I kept a full time maid, installed a camera in my house. Everything came on me from cleaning, grocery shopping, getting up in the middle of the night to get her sleep, changing her pampers, put her to toilet, doctor appointments and many more. Helping hand is not sufficient, a mother is a mother. I realized few things very soon:
1.It is not easy:
Being a single parent is not easy in fact it requires one to be a super human. One has to be on their feet 24 by 7. I was exhausted all day long from managing my office to fulfilling every single need of my daughter. Taking care of her emotions (when you yourself need emotional support, a shoulder to cry on), playing with her, listening to her stories. We can’t even share our sorrows with anyone because people start judging us by saying, you shouldn’t have divorced your husband. I have often heard people saying “humne pehle hee bola thaa”.
People will not leave a single a moment to taunt you. There will be pressure for you to remarry. At work, there will be evil eyes all over you. Yes, ME TOO does exist everywhere. No one would be there to give a helping hand to the things which I would forget or have missed.
2. Loneliness hit you hard:
Being single has its share of loneliness, anxiety, financial pressure, self doubt. There is a feeling of guilt if you go out to hang out with your friends or keep some time for yourself. Your emotions become the last priority in your life. You always have to look strong, perfect, balanced or else people will grill you. One small mistake and all fingers will point on you for being careless as if married couple never go wrong. Being single doesn’t mean you have no right to live your life.
3. Personal life becomes public:
A single women suddenly becomes a talk of the town. People feel it’s their right to ask her questions like why you got a divorce. How you manage financially? Is she planning to get married again or start dating? Do you meet your ex often? They feel doing by asking such questions they are trying to give emotional comfort or become friendly but it is the complete opposite. People please mind your business. The person is already under lot of pressure so stay away and as it is none of your business.
4. Expectations increase:
Being a single parent puts a lot of pressure on the head be it your child education or upbringing. You want to give your best so that no one blames you for raising them solo that’s why the child is lacking somewhere.
I never planned to be a single mother; I always wanted a caring husband, a stable life, doing things together. But it was my destiny, I did try to work out things but I knew the situation could have become worse. I am trying to do the best for my child. It has pepped up my level of responsibility. I am human I do make mistakes but don’t judge me just because I couldn’t handle one relationship doesn’t mean I am bad in handling another.
I am not going to pretend that it is one of the most amazing feelings to take care of a child alone but this is far better than what my child had to deal with living with an alcoholic father and constant fights in the house.
I know I will give her the best life. I know I am fearless. I know I am independent. I know I am strong. I will do my best possible so that she never misses her father. This is my advice to all the single women struggling to give their best, just be yourself, and stop thinking about useless people who judge you. Be kind to yourself. Welcome your new life with open arms and stay positive. Being a single parent has own share of challenges and perks. Focus on the perks and not on the challenges.