Single mothers tell Prabalika M. Borah how everyday is special and a day to celebrate
“Mama we love you, mama we care…mama we love you, mama my friend…” crooned the Spice Girls. And the words and the beat of the song echo. While mothers have always been seen as close to their sons, daughters and sons of single mothers (separated couples) say “we are each other's best friends.”
From long drives to surprise picnics, to midnight birthday bashes and quiet movie time at home the fun stuff these folks do speak tons of the special bonding. This Mother's Day (May 9) will be double delight for Flovie Martins. While for some single mothers there is no time for celebrations, Flovie gets to meet her kids on weekends. “My financial situation went against getting the custody of my kids. We are looking forward to spending the Mother's Day together,” says Flovie.
Deepa Chander, character stylist (in movies) didn't know what her world turn into when life tossed ‘the single status' challenge. She played along and years later she and her daughters discovered ‘best friends' in their home. Friend yes, but there is a twist, her younger daughter Drishika is terrified of her elder sister Anindita, who is studying law. Drishika constantly needs to tutor her mother to hide about outings and drives during the exam time. She says, “Mom is like a friend. She takes us out on night drives, chauffeurs us on midnight birthday surprises for friends, sings for us and all. It's didi we both are scared of when we are freaking out during times we shouldn't be. Most of the times during my exams when I step out with mom for a bite, didi calls to enquire about my study schedule and we get caught. Mom is bad at making up stories.” This bond might appear enviable, single mothers love to talk and plan new ways to bond but there are ‘matters of concern' as well. Mothers say, kids brought up by single parents mature faster and understand pain. Sahaja Kumar's daughter is ten years old and she expresses her concern for kids like hers by saying: “As a mother I think it is sad that they have to understand the failings of adults, and tiptoe around the pain/anger/grief of adult parents.
Bonding is better, if as a parent we are willing to be truthful (as tactfully as possible) to the child.” Sahaja however loves the way her daughter bonds with her crazy girlfriends. The two indulge on jungle treks, camps and nature walks. Does that mean it helps not to behave your age? “Not always I guess. Children hate competition. In our effort to please our daughters we shouldn't start dressing like them. At least my daughter tells she would want to see me in trendy ‘my age' dresses,” says another mother. “I listen to my daughter and vice-versa and I feel blessed,” she says.
The flip side however to being a single mother is the financial stress. “My son is nine years old and understands what I can afford and why I postpone certain purchases. I was 21 when I became single, I grew with my son,” laughs Radhika Sapkal, a communication professional.
Radhika's deal with her son in buying ‘me' time is: “I get to play ball with your pals if you insist on coming for ‘movies not meant for kids' with me. But her heart melts each time he plans a walk or a simple pani-puri trip just to cheer up his mother. “I never say no to his cute plans,” she says.