The winds of change have begun to blow. Gone are the days when women would hang their heads in shame in the name of ‘single mothers’. Today women are singlehandedly and proudly handling their kids and also giving due attention to their career. I was fortunate enough to have a word with one such mother – Priyadarshini Basu.
Life of a Single Mother
Priyadarshini is a full time professional, working with IBM in Bangalore and also has a daughter who goes to school. And she’s handling both singlehandedly for the past four years, with poise and efficiency. Her reward at the end of the day is when people who interact with her daughter say, ‘what a well brought up child she is.’
She has a good word to say about her city Bangalore too. She feels that maybe she hasn’t faced any tough time from the people around, because the nature of people in the city is very cosmopolitan and accepting. Her greatest challenge till date has been more in terms of logistics – managing her work and her daughter’s school and extra-curricular activities.
But that does not mean that everything has been easy for her and she’s totally escaped all snide remarks. Most difficult time was when she and her husband decided to part ways, after a love marriage and fourteen years of togetherness, instead of subjecting each other and their child to constant bickering. The Indian society is still quite narrow minded and still believe that a child’s proper growth and nurturing can happen only in a two parent environment.
Pressure of Society
Priyadarshini narrates an incident when she had gone for a job interview to a well known multi-national company in Kolkata and the HR person there asked her whether she had plans of remarrying or not. The comment had stunned her so much that what she had mumbled then was a hesitant no.
Thankfully she says, unlike many others, her in-laws did not raise a major hue-and-cry about her divorce and being a single mom. She also had the support of her family, especially her father and a few close friends, who were, in fact, relieved when she was out of the marriage. Also since the parting was amicable, the child, who turns ten in June, still continues to spend time with her father every Sunday.
Lucky In Ways
Maybe she had it lucky with her daughter’s school and her work place where people have not asked her any untoward questions. This is probably because they have known her as a person since she was married.But not all ladies are always as fortunate. Unlike her, a number of single mothers are women whose marriages didn’t work out, and they conceived out of wedlock, and yet decide to bring up the child, or adopt a child to experience motherhood.
All said, times for sure are changing. We still have a long way to go. But today, single moms are definitely standing up and making a life for themselves, at their own terms.