No, this time it’s not a typo…although my writings are filled with them.
Today, I am reflecting on several things at once but the one thing that dominates my mind is a message for women who, like me, are facing life alone at the head of a household. We don’t have the option to fly away and escape confrontation of pressing issues at home. Those issues, like it or not, have to be faced and overcome because there is no other option. There is no recourse to a man (husband) to call upon for support or guidance. The buck stops with mothers in the absence of fathers who wander off into the sunset.
Do I appear fed up? You bet.
This is one of those days when things come to a head and the collection of little incidents along the way remind me of the long-term ramifications of being divorced. I don’t have the luxury of looking over my shoulder to see if someone has my back. I alone have to reconcile my myriad of thoughts to arrive at a conclusion. It’s not that anything ‘bad’ has happened lately but just the string of events that remind me that I can’t take a break and take my foot off the pedal. It’s not like the movies where a brick placed in lieu of a human foot will keep the car in forward motion. I have to be there all the time and there’s no letting up.
This is why I don’t believe ex-husbands have the privilege or right to be kept informed of any milestones that their (abandoned) children achieve. After all, had they been that interested, they’d have stuck around to have found out first-hand. In my own case, I don’t interfere with what my sons share with their father. I simply feel him knowing or not is of no consequence any more as they are now adults and can make their own decisions. In any case, their lives are not on a live ticker tape as a constant news feed.
I would implore any mother in a similar boat to me, to fight her corner. This is the hallmark of self-respect and, therefore, the demand to be taken seriously by others. Unfortunately, these days children tacitly abuse their parents, especially mothers, in ways which undermind the authority of the latter. The departure of a father seems to leave a mother exposed to ridicule, undermined authority and vulnerability. Children subconsciously play upon this. But it needs to be nipped in the bud. No child has the right to denigrate their parent – not least the mother who singlehandedly has raised them. Alhamdulillah, I have not had concerns of that nature only because if it has threatened to present itself, I have throttled it immediately. This is the unfortunate legacy of single motherhood. The damage that fathers cause has far far wider-reaching reverberations than they care to understand.
On the flip side, it’s important to teach children to articulate themselves privately and publicly; to let them know the value of their input at home and outside. I have inculcated a sense of self-respect amongst my sons so that they know they are no less important than a young person who has had two parents to support them.
Just like how I know my self-worth, with or without a husband by my side, my sons have come to know their self-worth even though they do not come from a traditional family with two parents. We may not be traditional but Alhamdulillah, we are ideal because this is what Allah intended for us and I am grateful that our current situation has created opportunities for us all to excel in areas we’d never have ventured.
There is no flight for us. We are not cowards. We will stay the course and see it through, insha’Allah.