If you are a single mother, then you’re most probably burning both ends of the candle, juggling work and life. You want to spend time with your children, but you need to work to put food on the table. You want to take some time for yourself, but your children need you. You want to save for the future, but you’re already struggling to make ends meet. Wouldn’t you love to have a community to support you with all of this?
I’m a single parent myself, and I would consider myself blessed if I ever found a tribe of my own where I’m not judged, shamed, or criticised for my choices, a community that helps make life easier for me and my child, and a place where we felt we belonged. Given that renting a home as a single mother is challenging in India and many women wouldn’t have the support of their family in a patriarchal society like ours, this would be a boon for single mothers!
A recent post in the New York Times spoke about how single mothers in Western countries come under one roof and raise their children together as a family, thus sharing finances, parenting, domestic chores, etc. This commune of single mothers is called “Mommunes.”
Single Mothers On Mommunes
SheThePeople asked single mothers who currently live with their parents about their opinion on “Mommunes” and if they would be open to such a set-up in India.
“I would be eternally grateful if such a community for single mothers were established. I would say single moms are not a thing. We need communities. We can marry again or not. But we need communities that are non-judgmental and safe. I can go on dates without thinking about whom I should call to babysit my child, what to do about dinner after an exhausting work day, when I fall ill, when I need some me-time, or when I’m emotionally down. Having a group of single mothers stay together would be a cushion. I would wholeheartedly welcome this idea!” excitedly said Subashini Sreeram, an IT professional and single mother of an 11-year-old.
Deepika, an entrepreneur and mother of two boys, admits that it takes a village to raise a child. But a mother can do it alone if the energy and will of single mothers come together. “Just like in the pride of elephants, mothers will look out for each other’s children. If living happened that way, it would be beautiful. A new family will be knitted. Mothers will heal and thrive. Children will heal and support each other. Each of them will find a friend or counterpart who exactly knows what they are going through. Home management, planning vacations, sharing of responsibility, finances, health, hobbies, love, compassion, and more can be shared under the same roof. There would be no judgement, no alienating, and no pressure!”
“It would be a dream come true if this happened in India. I knew about this concept much earlier. I read about it a couple of years ago and found it really nice, because what better than to have your own tribe along with you, always supporting you? You don’t have to worry about having to raise your children all on your own or them growing up alone. You don’t have to depend on your family, relatives, or anyone else. You’ll have a tribe to look after you and your children. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child; the concept of “mommunes” will be a whole community raising each other’s children. So, I feel it’s a wonderful concept, and I would be open to it myself. As a single parent, I would love to live with my son in such an environment,” said Priya Rajendran, a writer and single mother of an 8-year-old boy.
Shahana Narendran, an auditor in Boston, is a single parent who is living abroad for work reasons while her 8-year-old son is living with her parents back in India. “If such a set-up was available at large and I found the right kind of fellow single mothers to live with, I would definitely bring my son here to the US. It’s hard to be away from him, but given that my work is demanding, I can’t afford to raise my son alone here. I would be extremely happy if we had such communities for single mothers across the globe.
Suggested Reading: ‘Single Mothers Being Denied Accommodation In Bombay’ Says Charu Asopa
Views expressed by the author are their own
Image Credits: The Cinemaholic (Still from Working Moms, Netflix show. Picture used only for representational purpose)