My dad passed away when I was eight years old. My mother was left behind with a large farm and three kids to cater to. I saw this lady go through so many traumas in trying to seek help from relatives and neighbors and friends that somewhere I resolved to never let this happen to me. While my older sisters would read Mills and Boons and dream of tier knight in shining armor, I would work on my homework and go for swimming practice. My mother would often joke that I was a kid who had planned her life out right from the womb and knew exactly what I was going to do when.
I finished high school, went on to do my college and then completed my masters in business administration. I was the first one to get selected from my campus interviews. While boys did come and go, marriage never crossed my mind and none of the relationships were very serious either. I loved my job and within a year had made a place for myself in the market. My job gave me the security I wanted. I was in control because of it and did not depend on anyone for money, which for me was a huge kick.
Alan was a year my junior in my master’s course. I and he had a thing going, but like all long distance relationships, our also ended once I left college. I met Alan while come back from work one day. He had been picked up for a job in my city too and was looking for a place to stay. I had a flat and was looking for someone to share it with and so Alan moved in that weekend and shared the rent. It did not take us much time to pick up the threads again and despite the fact that none of us were looking for a marriage, we did begin to live together like a couple. Soon the pressure from my family began on how I should be married and have babies. I was not someone who ever wanted a kid and so absolutely refused to go down this path. But fate had something else in store for me.
Alan proposed and I accepted. To date I don’t know why I said yes. We got married and then Alan began to talk about having a baby. I told him I did not want one but he just kept pushing and like stupid fool I agreed. I was a smoker and so gave up smoking for two months before I conceived and once the baby came I did not get back to smoking for the nine months that I fed him. I went back to work after three months and my boy had a nanny at home. The problems started around this time. Alan would absolutely not help with the baby at all and it would frustrate me that I had to manage work and the kid while it was Alan who wanted the baby. Things began to get bad at work too since I would leave right after office hours and this did not go down well with my bosses.
It came to a point where I would either have to neglect my kid or give up my work. Choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea I would say. Alan not helping out in my situation and work getting messed up all collapsed on me at the same time and before I knew it Alan had moved out and filed for divorce. Since there was not much that we were fighting over, the divorce was quick and the settlement was pretty much in my favor.
I had decided that I was not going to involve anyone else in my problem. I did not ask mom to come in and help with the baby nor did I look up to any of my sisters for advice. I hired a nanny and went promptly back to work. Keeping the finances sound was my main concern and I set out doing just that. Till one day a friend pointed out that my son may be ADHD. I thought she was being paranoid but decided to get a professionals opinion in any case. When the doctor began to ask me about my son and his habits, I realized how little I knew. My son was suffering from ADHD and I had no clue. I did not know what his likes and dislikes were, if he could sit still for long periods, if he would often throw temper tantrums. When he left for school I was having coffee and when I came back from work he was mostly already in bed.
Of course my parenting skills were nowhere near acceptable. I broke down when the doctor confirmed that my son had ADHD . He gave me a lot of literature to read. I was asked to join a group also. It was at this stage in my life that I realized that living a life is not about doing it all alone. Sure be self –reliant. Do your best. However, do not move away from others. The support group I joined helped me tremendously in fighting the situation I faced with my son. I signed up for a lot of sites on the net. I often go through http://www.singlemom.com/parenting-advice-tips-and-resources/ and enjoy reading what other single moms like me face. Their battles give me strength. Their advice often works in my case too. I am much closer to my family today and will often ask my sisters for parental advice. They on the other hand will often call me to ask financial issues. In short we depend on each other.
I may have started out thinking that the right way is to move ahead without support. But today I understand that no one can, no one should and no one is supposed to.