She's a supermom and dad rolled in one

Just two days back, Fathers’ Day was celebrated with great verve and enthusiasm. Acknowledging the important role fathers play in their lives, children expressed their love and appreciation through cards and gifts that ranged from ties, shoes, expensive perfumes, clothes and even a dinner out.

Interestingly enough, many of these children gifted their tokens of love to their ‘real’ Dads – their single Moms! In a country like ours where women are still fighting the good fight and progressing towards being equal and independent citizens, Metrolife spoke to four such women on their challenging journey as a single parent.

“I have been a single mother for 14 years now,” Madhu Saxena, working with the Airports Authority of India, tells Metrolife.

“It has been a hard journey. You start by accepting your position. After my husband’s death, it took me around six months to get accustomed to the fact that things were going to be different now. Although, it took sacrifices on mine and my son’s part to get through it all.”

Asked about the hardships that she faced, Saxena says, “It’s the little things that bother you. When you’re a single parent, you have to manage a job and also have to take care of the little things like picking up my son from school or helping him with his homework. Even those times, when your child asks you for small joys like toys or vacations, and you have to make him understand the fact that even he has to compromise sometimes, is what hurts a lot,” she confesses. “But my son is in college now, he’s getting the education he had always wanted and thus my purpose is fulfilled. I let him live his life now, go to places, have fun. He deserves it all,” she ends on a happy note.

Sheela Mathew, mother of two, talks about how the whole experience of being a single mother has helped her grow as a person.“Slowly, I’ve learnt more of the truths and the harsh realities of life, and this has made me more independent. I am both mom and dad to my children; both friend and advisor. I never expected to become a single mother, and in difficult times when you lose all hope, I look at my children’s faces. They need me and I need them. That’s my family,” she says.

Kiran Madan, a 61-year-old single mother to three grown-up daughters says,“Knowledge is extremely important. You’ve got to have a thirst for knowledge. However difficult it gets, make time for your kids and maintain transparency with them so that you keep your bond strong. Never show your weaknesses in front of others. When my husband died, it was like I had been thrown into the sea to swim without knowing how to swim,” she chokes with emotion. “But you get through, you learn, you’ve just got to take everything with a smile.”

Another supermom, Preeti Daksh, a senior accountant at Air India, says, “Before I die, I want to leave my daughter in a position where she is absolutely independent. After my husband’s death, my in-laws abandoned me. I had to support myself financially and also deal with major health problems, but my inner strength and my parents were my support. I refused to give up, and though being a single mother has been tough, I got through and so can any other woman!” she tells Metrolife.

All of these women have one thing in common – their sufferings and the energy and wisdom with which they faced life’s challenges. They dealt with social pressure,  abandonment by their in-laws, and started from scratch to build for their children an honest and fulfilling life. It would not be wrong to place these supermoms in the pantheon of female deities!

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