Being a mother automatically puts you under a lot of scrutiny. Add to that the fact that you are a single Mother and you find yourself like a microbe under an electron microscope, every move and action under HD scrutiny. You feel like your life is a 70 MM movie and the only lot of people you know are your critics.
When I was pregnant soon after marriage, I went for the first test all alone. With no one accompanying me, I was subject to a lot of stares from the staff of the lab. I guess the lab tech sensed something wrong, and eventually after a lot of small talk managed to ask me the real question she wanted to ask. “Do you want to keep it?” Years of experience might have made it easy for her to read people, or maybe it was just sheer coincidence. But it was a valid question and I believe it made me sure about the change to come. With a shamble called a marriage and no one to ask for help, was I capable of handling this responsibility all by myself? But when I answered “Yes” in a heartbeat, I was as confident then as I am now, that it was the best decision I ever made.
Soon I became a parent, a mother. Even before my marriage could crash and burn, I was his only parent. But the legal paper I was bound to made it difficult for anyone to see that I was alone. And no one saw the same hardships then, because, well I was married. I was raising the boy single handedly then, that too in a hostile environment. We did not have a kind word, or a helping hand, we never got a smile, so wasn’t I a Single Mother even then?
I decided that my son does not need hostility to grow up, I decided that he needs smiles and love and joy around him. I decided that he needs to be around people that genuinely want him around. I decided to end the legal bindings, or should I call them shackles that were tying us down. I decided after considering all the factors involved, and deducing all the eventualities possible. I decided to walk out, with him. I decided that we need to be happy. I chose to move out and move on.
At first I heard a lot of, “but it sure is hard raising him without a father, He needs a father”. Or worse yet some called him a liability – a wrong decision. To those people who don’t get it I have this to say, He is the reason I have a life. So, stop! Just stop making him what is wrong with my life. If it were not for him, I would have not wanted to live and breathe freely. I was happy taking abuse in the name of conforming to societal norms, with the hope that one day things will change. He made me realise that I have to be the change I wanted to see in my life. He was a catalyst in the turn of event that eventually led me to a life that was unfettered and independent. I know I am being judged at every point and mostly everything I do is just termed as wrong, but following my heart and pursuing my dreams, trying to strive to get better everyday are all the qualities I learnt from my Son. I call him my inspiration, my reason, my strength; he is all that and so much more.
Today he is happy healthy and does not miss what he never had, and people still don’t get it? Yes it is hard, but not for the reasons you think. It is hard work because it means I am spending double the time with him, double the effort. But it is also double the joy and love – Unmatched Unequivocal Love. Neither one of us is alone, or unhappy. We have a home to live, and a family that loves us. Our life is full of people who are happy to be around us. Friends I can count on, Family that loves me, what more can I ask for?
And to anyone who wants to be a part of my life in whatever capacity understand this. I really get why you are concerned. But you never had to stand where I did, nor have you faced what I have. So stop judging and trying to tell me what is right. People who are truly happy to have me in their life know, realise and appreciate me for who I am and the people who matter to me. And those who are in a similar situation I expect understanding, not some sort of unreasonable argument. No my Son is not a liability. He is my responsibility, my biggest one. And there in lies the difference. He isn’t a decision I regret, or a problem. He is a part of my identity and who I am. I am a better person because of him. He completes my life and makes everything worth it. He is the reason I exist. He is the reason I am doing what I love and doing it so well. He is my confidence and my pride and joy. He gives me the most important thing in Life – He gives me hope – a hope not just for a future but a better life.