The startling figures of single Indian parents reveal that we cannot just brush this issue aside. Around 320 million of the 2.3 billion children around the world live in India. In many cases, the family consists of a single parent looking after their child (the number of children in single-parent families around the world is also 320 million). These families face different types of challenges – including social isolation, economic difficulties and personal problems.
Main reasons behind single parenthood
Parental death is the primary cause of a single parent raising a child. There are different causes for parental deaths, like disease, accident, war and maternal mortality. Unfortunately, according to estimates, one-third of the children lose one of their parents during their childhood.
So what do we need to understand regarding the challenges that single Indian parents face?
1. Juggling of multiple responsibilities
As a single parent, you have to fulfill the duties of a mom and a dad. You need to juggle between responsibilities, which makes life a lot tougher. Time becomes a precious commodity as there are many things to do. There is always this sense of guilt for not being there for your child.
2. Hard to find reliable babysitters
No matter whom you trust, you are always worried about your child’s safety and well-being. You are in constant mental distress about whether your child has eaten properly or not. You are always wondering if the person babysitting your child will take proper care of them. After all, it is always hard to find someone dedicated, who will stay with your child.
3. No social or financial support
Single Indian parents often have to brave through the storms of economic turmoil. As a single parent, you have to do everything by yourself. Sometimes, there is no social or financial support available to you. You have to manage your finances – and at the same time, take care of your child’s emotional and social needs.
4. Unwanted proposals for marriage and indecisive state of mind
You heard it right – single parents keep getting proposals to get married. However, they are always in a quagmire if they should accept a proposal or not. The thing that always keeps them on the edge is finding a trustworthy life partner. They are not sure if the person who wants to marry them will take care of their child or not.
5. Social pressures of getting married
Indian society always keeps putting pressure on a single Indian parent to get married. They often overlook or conveniently ignore the complex family bond that they are trying to create. The remarriage proposal may or may not work. Sometimes, it does work – at other times, it miserably fails. But as a single parent, you need to keep listening to unsolicited advice anyway.
6. Less quality time to spend with your child
A parent needs to spend quality time with their child as it is a crucial factor in their upbringing. However, they keep struggling to find quality time to spend with their child. The unavailability of time keeps the parent worried if their child will become a confident individual or not. Will their child be able to face the challenges of the real world? Similarly, they always feel a guilt of not giving enough time for their child.
7. Filing of legal documents
Many legal documents in India require the name of a child’s father. It is typically difficult for single mothers, who need to come up with all sorts of excuses to get the documents submitted.
8. Preying eyes on single mothers
An interview of a single Indian mother suggests that single mothers also have to fight against illicit approaches from other men. The society treats a single mother differently from someone who has a husband. Some may even try to be kind to them and show as if they care – but have different motives for it.
In fact, these single mothers have chosen a difficult path for a reason. They have proven to the world that they are confident superwomen who can fight their life’s challenges with motherly smiles on their faces.
Indian society has to change its attitude towards single Indian parents. It needs to understand the underlying problems that they are facing.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.