The lady you see at the local market selling potatoes and carrots may be smiling at you, but little do you know what goes behind those soft smile. Or, that strong lady you see succeeding at work, that we all desire to be, may come home finding her self feeling lonely without her other half. Yes, single mothers.. who actually are they?

They come in all shapes and sizes with different backgrounds and stories of their own. They are a sole provider for their children, both financially and emotionally. This may come from  someone without a husband; or the one that never got married, but decided to be a mother or adopt a child; or a mother who just loses her husband.

In where I live, most of us were raised by both our parents, which means coming home from school, or work to normally seeing both our mom and dad. Which also means, you can turn to your dad for a favour when your mom isn’t listening, or going on about your life when your mom is just so hard to bear with at the moment. These are some of little things we take for granted.

It’s hard to imagine how a single mother would be doing all this work without having anyone for her to push you to, or even goes on about her day. Having a child surely is no piece of cake. One need to have a source of income that’s stable to keep their lives together, healthy, to feed and to send them to school, and then when they grow up, they’ll go through puberty, become teenagers that have tantrums and phases of adolescence. Having a boyfriend, getting into fights, going out with friends until it’s late at night. A mother can only worry and get stressed out, but still, they love their children no matter what. So behind the phase of growing up, how does a mother do it?

Some mothers may have a stable job, or otherwise take extra shifts and work till late, just to make ends meet. They’d be coming home late, prepare dinner for their children and do their own chores, that is when they’re lucky enough to have the time or get helped by their children before they dozed off at the counter.

When does she really have the time for herself?

Moms are notorious worriers by nature. They feel guilty at work that sometimes they try the hardest to spend time with their family on top of everything. Even then, they would ask themself, ‘is this enough?’. Everyone, every women, should know that you are not alone and that it’s normal to feel the guilt, especially when there is no more support coming from home that you can rely on.

When these moms work, they would brainstorm things to do for the weekend to spend with their children, sometimes, getting their head off from work incautiously and snapped back out of it. Meanwhile at home, they would list things to do for work tomorrow, just so they can finish it off early to meet their loved ones. It is a never ending process and it goes in circle on their head. One rule that everyone, I strongly believe should follow is when you are at work, work your brain off, but once it reaches 5, drop everything off and now the focus lies on your family.  

There is no doubt that there will be a lot of pressure and constant stress of being a single mother. But being one, also teaches one to be independent, to be more organized and know the priorities of time. These breadwinner moms will feel the rewards of their work that would actually make them become more attentive and become a stimulating parent.

Of course, the struggle will fill you with resentment, and you find yourself fighting frustration. But staying strong and reminding yourself of what a great role model you will be for your children is worthwhile. Mothers get tired and deserve their rest, like how we all do. We, as the children, need to know that they are doing all of this for us, for our future and to have a better life someday. Some day, when the day comes, we will be mothers too. It is crucially important that when we have our own job in the future, that we need to repay them. Repay them with what we can afford and mostly, repay them with love and care. What does she pray for, one would wonder. It is no doubt that they pray for their children.

I cannot imagine the feeling of finding out that you are a single mother, and not by choice. What I do know, however, is that you will certainly have fears, and know that you are not alone in this. Confide in your family and friends who will give you sound advice and they are the ones that should not panic alongside with you.

Never underestimate the importance of your role. You gave birth to them, took them into your arms and brought them to your home. Newborn babies don’t turn to an adult overnight. It takes loving care and your words of wisdom to get where they are in life.

These women are the breadwinners of the family. One would call it bringing home the bacon. Feel empowered because paradise lies on your feet, and Allah will reward you for all your kindness. If you are struggling, do remember that for every hardship, comes ease, Al-Quran (94:5).

Know that if your bond with your children is not where you want it to be today, you can definitely do something about it to strengthen it. That special bond will be continuously evolving into your children’s adult years. They love you and maybe they just need to fly with their own wings for a while. Later in life you will realize that all the bumps you have hit and gone through along the way, all lead to a great and shining moment, and that is exactly where you are meant to be.