Hardest Part Is Trying To Figure Out If I’m Doing Enough: Smriti Sinha
Smriti Sinha is a 43-year old working woman. Competent and caring, just like any other modern women, she is a mother and a father too. Three years ago, she decided to leave her husband. A journalist by profession and the mother of two is a strong and focused woman. Though her marriage failed she continued to face life.
Smriti believes being a single parent these days is much easier than it used to be 50 years ago. However, she feels it is all about the perception of the individual.
Sinha says “20 years ago, my mother wouldn’t have it so easy if she chose to walk out of my father’s house. She would have a more difficult time. People would have judged her and wondered how she was.” She is grateful that she didn’t have to face all of that.
Being a single mother is twice the work.
If it is twice the love and the hugs, it is twice the amount of stress. Playing the role of a single mother is hard. Single moms have to bear all the pain on their own, accept it and readily fight with it.
Being a mother and father – what’s the hardest part?
Talking about the hard role, she says, “The hardest part is trying to figure out if I’m doing enough. I think a lot of single parents always have guilt that maybe I’m not doing enough. Maybe I’m not playing the part of the absent parent. Maybe I’m not able to be their dad. I do wonder. Maybe if his dad was around, he would have been happier because there are a lot of things that men talk about comfortably and happily.”
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She shares how her son is enthusiastic about football. So she reads books about the game so she can keep up with him.
Do you think others’ make it a big deal if you are a single parent?
Smriti shares that they had been living in South Africa earlier. So, being a single parent wasn’t something her children were unfamiliar with. She tells that her children face a few problems.
She shares, “like they didn’t know what to say to their friends. They came to me to ask what should they tell their friends. I had to explain to them that this is no crime, such is life. Sometimes death parts you and some you may choose to leave your spouses.” Smriti says she left it on her children, whether they are willing to share this with people.
Being a Single Parent requires multi-tasking
She also describes how being a single parent, she has to muti-task. Her son is 13 years old while daughter is 12. She discussed menstruation with them. Though she acknowledges she got uncomfortable, eventually she had to do because she is a single parent. “I talk to them. It is uncomfortable but then I have to do it because I am the only parent around,” says Smriti.
No-one to share responsibility with
Being a journalist, Smriti’s job demands night shifts. She has no one to share her responsibilities with. Though, she is residing with her parents, but, she ensures that she is also attending the parent’s teacher meetings. Sometimes because of the night shifts, she even has to compromise and go deprived of the sleep. Talking about this, she says, “I wouldn’t expect them to go attend my children’s parent-teacher meeting because I am there. I would attend their function, events and they would want a mentor some parent mentor. So I would go do that.”
When asked about how other’s make it a big deal if you’re a single parent. She answers that she is aware that people behind her back keep on judging her. She says, “A lot of people judge me. I have heard people talk behind my back that oh she is a single parent. She doesn’t have a husband so she can do all of this. They don’t realize there’s so much more I cannot do because I have to be there with my children.”
Furthermore, she limits her social exposure. She says, “I’m very selective and I don’t go to these random family events and I have always been like that. It has nothing to do with me becoming a single parent. Even as a young woman, I was very particular.”
I have always derived a lot of strength from my family.
“I derive my strength from the fact that I have my family support. When I told my parents that I want to walk out, they didn’t question me. They didn’t doubt me.”
Before her separation, Smriti had been a homemaker for 11 years. It was difficult for her. She applied to a lot of companies. After three months of searching she found a job.