Stardom is what you actually experience as a single parent. As you cater to all the facets of life, where you are the superwoman, bat woman (sometimes the watchman, also), Mary Poppins and Mr Flubber, as well. The life that you have at hand is just like Jumanji, you never know what is waiting for you around the corner. Sometimes it’s way too much excitement than you can handle.
The fact is that no one chooses to be a single parent, circumstances force us to become one. We are heavily reliant on babysitters and nannies, who understand that and can end up taking us for a ride or some of them become like family and it is a huge chance you take with the lives of your children.
With expenses soaring high and diminishing salaries, you are forced to look at options to save costs, live far away and send your child to their home country for studies. All this comes at a huge cost. The emotional distress and turmoil that you face is one that no one can see or understand. It is easy to sympathise, but difficult to endure the pain where you have to choose to send your child away. It is a lonely world. Friends and family move on. You learn to be grateful to the people who are there in times of need and yet you are ready to let go of people as you are only trying to survive.
Single parents have to function like a family and bear all the expenses, because not all divorces are peaceful or fair. The long working hours means you would end up raising latch key children, which is not your choice, but your helplessness and a lot of companies try and take advantage of your helplessness.
When a friend of mine forwarded the Gulf News Instagram video, asking single parents to write in on their struggles. It brought tears to my eyes. It is an acknowledgement of us. We exist, we strive and we are eternally grateful. As single parents, we see the best in life, the hope and goodness to survive and pass it on to our tiny humans.
- The reader is based in Dubai.