Single-parent families are more common than ever and being a single mother brings along its own set of special challenges. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)
Mumbai: Raising a child independently, in spite of family support, becomes challenging as it requires a lot of mental toughness and positive attitude towards life. Few of the biggest roadblocks faced by single mothers the world over are financial strangulation, loneliness, unwanted interference by the society and emotional stress.
The challenge of single parenthood can be quite daunting as on one side, the single mother might at times feel confident of raising her child/children on her own, by making her own choices and living her life her way; but on the flipside, she has to tackle the exhausting issues of loneliness, dejection, anxiety and uncertainty.
There are many women who either choose to or are forced by circumstances to be a single parent but either way, there are a lot of ways in which this challenge can be overcome. Here are few ways, practices you can adopt that can ease and enhance your experience of being a single mother:
Dealing with emotional stress
All human beings need someone they can trust, someone to confide in and usually this person is a life partner/spouse. The act of sharing our life with someone makes us feel loved, taken care of and our hormones are balanced when we physically and mentally engage with someone we love and trust.
The absence of such a person abruptly or unwillingly creates a lot of turbulence in otherwise stable life and this turbulence, at times, becomes more pronounced when you have a child to take care of. There are few ways you can manage this stress:
- Come out of your comfort zone: We must avoid the tendency of not meeting people, indulging in self-pity, crying in loneliness and pretending to be happy in front of others. Just be yourself, as there is no need to punish yourself for things which are beyond your control.
- Look at the things as they are: Do not procrastinate or exaggerate things out of proportion, as this doesn’t lead anyone anywhere.
- Look forward: Life is like a giant hard disk, which captures every single event that happens in our lives. The only way to move on in life is create more pleasant events rather than focusing on forgetting prerecorded events.
Aspire for financial independence
This is one issue that concerns almost all relationships in our lives, irrespective of whether we have a partner/spouse or not. It is always better to have your own source of income, irrespective of your family background or alimony or anything else. Being financially independent provides you and your child with the freedom to live your lives on your own terms.
There are lots of job options available these days, even for women who wish to work out of home. With the advent of social media, making a career out of even platforms like blogs, YouTube, etc is a possiblity.
Managing societal interference
Fortunately, or unfortunately, humans are social animals and we need people and we need to be a part of a larger ecosystem in order around us to survive. Sometimes, we can’t choose the people around us, but we can certainly choose those whom we wish to associate with and those whom to wish to avoid.
At times, people who cannot negatively affect you will try to negatively influence your children. Especially, if you have young, impressionable children, some people can try to create disharmony with their interfering attitude and insensitive questions. The best way to handle these situations is by being honest with your child/children and always communicating with them openly, without any fear or hesitation.
Balancing work and social life
First of all, find a way to give back to society, in whichever way you can, big or small. This practice of giving, will help you not only increase your happiness quotient but also develop a more refined perspective of life itself.
Secondly, when it comes to work, aim to always leave your work related stress at work itself. Try not bringing it home. Develop a routine and sticking to it, which includes some quality time that you can spend with your child/children. Try and work with organisations that offer support like flexible hours, work from home, virtual offices, etc.
Last but not the least, dare to smile and defy the odds…
*Disclaimer: This article has been contributed by Vivek Sharma, a social entrepreneur and founder of EVAH Integrated Solutions Pvt Ltd. The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Deccan Chronicle and Deccan Chronicle does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.