As Stay-At-Home Mom, How I Dealt With Loss And Entered Workforce As Single Mother

One fateful day, our family lost a dear son and a loving father. I lost my husband, my soulmate my rock and ended up being a single mom to a 10-year-old.

Anjali Jain
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Anjali Jain
“When life gives you lemons make lemonade or enjoy it with a shot of tequila” I used to love this phrase and think that's the way to live one's life, but when life did give me lemons I ended up realising it's easier said than done.

I am Anjali, and I work with the content team at FlexiBees. Until two years back life was full of fun and frolic for me. I was a stay-at-home mom and indulged in things that interested me like painting, travel, writing and photography. My husband and I shared our responsibilities as parents and looked after our ageing parents.

One fateful day, our family lost a dear son and a loving father. I lost my husband, my soulmate my rock and ended up being a single mom to a 10-year-old. It felt like I was in a deep dark tunnel with no end in sight. The will to live vanished, it was an effort to even deal with basic chores.

Finding a purpose to keep going

What should I do? I used to wonder in the initial few days but then looking at my son I realised I needed to put on my big girl shoes and get a grip. I needed to own my woes, accept the situation and start working to normalise life as much as I could.

I found a wonderfully flexible and remote work opportunity with FlexiBees. It gave me the ideal set-up to manage my life after the loss and take care of my responsibilities. Working with the organisation made me regain my lost confidence and helped me learn new skills.

It improved my time management skills and also gave me a new identity apart from being a mom. Now I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. My family and friends feel happy to see me feel secure and do not look at me like I am a lost lamb needing to be rescued.


The burnout phase

Soon I found myself constantly in the driver's seat, always the one carrying the grocery bag, taking the kid to school, for doctor check-ups, and play dates, while managing work and a household. Flexibility at work is certainly a boon.  However, there are also times when things get tough, despite the flexibility. There is no respite, and yes this feeling of even “wanting respite” fills me with guilt. At times this used to make me feel low and I would end up crying in the shower. But with time I have realized that wanting a break is ok, it's ok to need some time off to unwind and craving for that “me time” is not being selfish.

I have now begun to work on my routine and make time to pursue my passions, like painting, and learning a new language. I feel more comfortable in my skin now and want to make the most of the opportunities available, as I try to live life to the fullest. This change in attitude is also reflected in the environment around me and I feel my kid is in a happier place to see his mother happy.

I recently had the opportunity to be on the team that brought to life FlexiBees’ first book “ Found Again - Real Stories of Women, Work, & Flexibility”

While going through the interviews of these wonderfully talented women who are our protagonists in this book, I  realised that women always end up making tough choices and put themselves and their needs in the backseat for the well-being of their loved ones. This only strengthened my resolve to put myself on priority, even if it did not come naturally to me. ‘

A couple of months ago my son had to leave for a school trip, it was the first time he would have travelled without any of his parents and that too for 4 days. He was keen to go, but the overprotective mom in me decided to say no. I reasoned with him, citing bad weather up in the hills and that I would be alone and many more frivolous reasons. A dear friend convinced me to let him take this school trip and comforted me saying that he would be well looked after and that it would be great for him to travel with his friends. In the end, all he had to tell me was if Dad was around he would have said I need to grow up and this trip would help me learn a lot many things. He would have let me go. That did it.


It made me realise that I should not let my insecurities hinder his growth, and I cannot let my fears work their way into his mind, he too has a right to prioritise himself. I took a deep breath and put my signature on the consent form for his trip. How I spent those four days is another story but my friend ensured that I had company for those four daunting days and constant assurance that he would be doing well there.

Today I am glad I did let my son take the trip as he came back home happy, more confident and with a lot of joyous experiences.

My Mantra and Life's Lemons

Being a mother is a gift, it's like a coronation but with the crown comes responsibilities. Don't let things bog you down, and take things in your stride - is my mantra now. Own your flaws, your shortcomings, and your insecurities, and work your way to conquer them all in your life and celebrate each day.

A long way to go before I start living life with a shot of tequila but I sure have started to gather the lemons life has to offer with a smile.

#OwnItAll is FlexiBees’ tribute to mothers, asking them to own all they have been through, all they have been, and all they ever wanted to be. This Mother’s Day, SheThePeople is proud to collaborate with FlexiBees to help bring stories of women who embraced challenges, took charge of their lives and returned to work, one way or another.

Suggested reading: Found Again: Real Stories Of Indian Women, Work And Flexibility

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