I recently read two personal experiences at IHM’s blog. Both were accounts of brave women who fell pregnant while in a live-in relationship and decided to go ahead to become single mothers.
While I do not wish to comment upon their personal choices or circumstances, there is one important reason I had to write this post. The issue of being a single mom. If you have read the posts on IHM’s blog you would have noticed that the men in those stories backed off from their responsibilities of being a parent.
Something very similar happened with me too. The feelings that rose in my heart following my daughter’s birth were polluted with bitter thoughts by what my ex-husband did. It was a planned pregnancy, something for which I had been craving for a while and believed my ex too wanted whole-heartedly.
Yet, when the big moment came when our baby was in front our eyes, in our arms, my husband walked out of our marriage slamming in my face the fate of being a single mom. Though it wasn’t as dramatic as it metaphorically sounds but trust me the impact was nowhere less than the feeling of having a door shut on your face.
I was startled, confused, hurt and sick beyond words. I was unable to comprehend what I should do in such a situation when despite being married for over 5 years, my husband decided to not bother about his wife and few days old daughter. I had heard about men refusing to take up parental responsibilities out of a wed-lock, but this happening to a married couple was something I had never heard or seen before.
If you have been following my blog, you’d be well aware of what followed and I am not going to repeat any of it here.
But, the hurt and raw pain I had felt then is still so fresh in some dungeon of my heart that I can actually re-live it at any given instant. If you are wondering what is the co-relation between my story and the two posts I talked about in the start besides the three of us being single moms, the answer follows.
I wish to take this opportunity to say it loud and clear that shying away from something as big as the responsibility of being a parent isn’t limited to live-in relationships. It can actually happen in a marriage too. I am not talking about the children that grow up with a single parent on account of losing a parent due to death or divorce, for my baby never experienced the love of her biological father despite being born at a time when I was happily married to her father.
This kind of mishap can happen at any point of a relationship whether it has been legally recognised as marriage or is an arrangement by mutual consent of the two partners. So blaming the live-in relationships or the reckless sexual preferences of females is nowhere close to being correct.
A few days ago, a friend of mine who is going through a divorce happened to raise a concern that why is it that all single moms ( in India) whom we have come to know in the past few months are the mothers of daughters and why is it that in our (her and mine) case the fathers of our daughters have never looked back to inquire the well-being of their child.
I must admit, initially I too used to wonder if things would have taken a different course had I given birth to a son instead of a daughter. But, time has helped me understand things better and I now have answers to all these questions.
To begin with, the gender of the baby would in almost 99% cases (including mine) not have changed the course of events that followed in our lives. I say so, because these cases are about issues in the beliefs, conditioning and social upbringing of the men in each story. Though in my case my ex-husband had ulterior motives for marrying me where I or my baby held no importance in his life.
Secondly, it depends on an individual how he/ she perceives his/her responsibilities of being a parent. I have known many cases of co-parenting where couples fail to be good spouses but still both of them turn out to be fabulous, loving and caring parents for their children. It all boils down to individuals in the given scenarios and cannot be blamed alone on the society or commitment phobia.
So the next time you jump on the bandwagon of blaming women for their sexual preferences out of a wedlock or judging single mothers for choosing to land up their children in a situation where they don’t have both parents to love and care for them, please bear in mind that such a situation can arise for anyone who has been married too. I say it from my personal experience, so I know what it means to be ditched into being a single parent.
The song on my mind: Sheesha ho ya dil ho ~ Aasha