Parenting is a lifelong experience, both challenging and fulfilling, that brings out the best in you, making your resilience scale amazing heights and funnelling in love in double the quantum when you chart the course solo. In conversation with three single moms who hold fort at home and at work with little one et al. Successfully.
Sharing gems on what makes it work for them:
Natasha Zalpuri, media practitioner
“Life as a single mother in a big city, with crazy working hours carries its share of struggles and high points. But women are great multi-taskers. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. I feel the toughest demand is to play the good parent and the strict parent both. If I am stringent, will I hurt Samaira’s feelings? If I am easygoing, will she turn into a spoilt brat? Over the years I have followed my instinct and we have found our rhythm. When things become difficult, both of us find a way to comfort each other or pull each other up. We learn as we flow, growing up together.
Between winding up daily chores, being professional at work, commuting in traffic…anxiety levels keep rising. I have dedicatedly carved out one hour of ‘me time’ to de-stress, and release the pent-up energy and emotions. It also made me feel guilty that I should spend that time with Samaira rather than being selfish and indulging in self-care. But I joined zumba classes, and took up reiki. It is just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of your child, because if you are unhappy or discontent, it will reflect in your relationship with the child.
On weekends, I make her favourites including pasta, pancakes, cupcakes…Samaira loves taking pictures and videos where she pretends to be a blogger. I indulge and we strike a pose and take selfies. I have been extremely lucky to have a sound support system in my parents who are around for Samaira at home, school mothers who chip in generously with help, and close friends who form a warm, loving cocoon. As a single mom, it is important to surround yourself with the right kind of people who add value to your life and those to whom your child can look upto.”
Shilpi Madan for Indian Express