To be a good mother when my heart is breaking is one of the hardest roles I’ve ever played.
When the father of my child skipped out, I began to play both roles. Not because I was not enjoying being Mom anymore, but because I had to spend every waking hour earning enough money to pay the mortgage, school fees, home maintenance, groceries and so on. Sometimes, I think back about how I used to whine for the stuff other women had — security, love, family, social acceptance and more. Then, I decided to wipe out the painful memories and park them in one corner of my mind for some later day. I took a look at my son to reinvent myself for him every day.
I wanted my son to look at me as though I were a bag full of surprises. Is that not what a 5-year-old kid would want? I wanted to erase all the bad memories from his mind. So, I decided that, each day, I would do a multitude of things that would make him smile from his lips to his ears.
Which hand was his cookie in? Which way would we walk to the bus stop? Would we be splashing in puddles or leaping over them? Would we walk in the rain or enjoy it from the balcony? Would we dance to our special song if it accidentally played on the radio? And so much more…!
Our life was quite ordinary, but this was how I tried to make it extraordinary. Not because I had everything, but because I made it feel that way. We were heaven to each other; we were each other’s superhero.
I read this saying back then: “It’s hard living without a father, but it’s easy when you have a wonderful mother playing both roles,” and I set out to be just that.
I found my own courage hidden within me. Of all the tough times I had to deal with, the emotionally challenging ones were the toughest. I had to fight a thousand battles and I am still standing tall. I have cried on millions of nights, but I am still smiling. I have been demeaned by people, but still have earned my respect. I have been abandoned, betrayed and used in relationships, but I still walk with my head held high. I have cultivated this new ‘me’ and grown an inch taller every day since then. While some people decided to bury me, I have risen from the ground.
I decided to take to writing as a weapon of choice. I wrote about my fears, my insecurities, my heartbreaks and everything that made me feel uncomfortable. The newspapers have been my greatest and most loyal friends. And, in no time, my articles began to make a noise.
With almost 150,000 people following me on social media, delivering global TedX talks, being ranked as one of the top 10 motivational speakers in India, to be fondly and lovingly anointed ‘The Modern Sufi’, my ride has been quite an eventful one.
To all mothers reading this piece, I have one thing to say, ‘You alone are enough’. Whether you are married, in a relationship, or divorced with kids, you are more than what you need. Dive inside and dig out that courage that lies beneath the dust of people’s opinions about you. Shake off the dust and wear this courage proudly. Your children look up to you, so make sure they have a good reason to. Have no guilt of the past, no regrets of the broken and give no heed to mouths that talk against you, because, honestly, they do not matter.
What matters is that you and your little world around you. Choose your own ammunition and embrace the massacre that lies ahead.