Dear single mothers in Indonesia,
I understand you.
I understand how torn you feel the majority of the time.
Some of you have gotten into this space of being a single parent by choice, some by unfortunate fate that your beloved departed first, some by a sheer survival act that left you without any choice but to put an end to something that brings with it little joy or brought you too much pain.
I am not going to judge how you got here…to this realm of being a single mother. No matter how you came to this point in life, I salute you, you brave strong soul.
Sometimes you just need someone to understand you, to acknowledge how you feel without passing judgment or rumor. You don’t need another noisy want to know it all who dissects your personal life as if it is for public consumption. I get you. I understand.
Sometimes you want to be alone with your thoughts, to examine your own feelings. To check for damage buried deep within the surface of what brought you to this place. Most often than not, it is absolutely necessary to dive deep and hold the magnifying glass closer to our wounds. It is not pretty, believe me, I know. Yet it is essential to do this to allow ourselves to move beyond forgiveness, beyond healing.
Being a single mother is similar to flying solo on a plane with children.
A friend of mine once wrote: “Stay focused, have faith that ALL things are healed in time. Be proud, and reach high. Treat yourself to all that you deserve. Being a single mother is a hard road, a long journey… buckle up, get your landing gear ready, get into a crash position, and hold on. There will be turbulence, and heavy winds, requiring you to circle around and get refueled. Now that you are ready for your journey, put your tray table down, unbuckle your seatbelt, put your seat in the reclining position, close your eyes for relaxation, enjoy the music, and prepare for a safe ride…”
Does that resonate closely with you, single mothers in Indonesia?
When you go into the vortex of divorce, your whole world – your plane – feels like it has entered violent turbulence. Your whole life has shaken uncontrollably. There are times when you feel like you have been dropped from 50-plus floors down, and your stomach goes crazy.
Should the ‘turbulence’ have gotten so bad, you might be forced to do an emergency landing…anywhere…somehow, sometimes you don’t even know where you’ll end up. The landing alone might be difficult with the chance you will get several deep bruises. It’s all part of the journey.
Maybe your oxygen mask would drop from the ceiling and dangle in front of you. Just the way the flight attendant has been showing you…go grab that thing! If you have children, you must come first. There is no question about this because if not who would help out your kid(s) if you were to pass out? This one is so true for me because if I can’t rescue myself first, there is no way I could care for my son.
Does the above metaphor resemble life as a single mother? It certainly does for me.
Flying solo is not always easy…it is even harder when you have little ones depending on you completely.
There will be times when you will get so overwhelmed with everything that you just want to drop everything you must juggle and go hide in the corner and calls it quits. Please don’t! You were trusted to live this life because you are strong enough to get through what life presents.
As difficult as it gets…as tough as it is…please know you that are never alone. There are angels among us sent by the universe to help us get through these. Trust me, all it takes is for you to open your mind’s eye and you will soon realize how tremendously amazing the universe works.
Just like when you are flying alone with children. You will soon see out of nowhere strangers reaching out. Angels among us who would happily reach out and give a hand. From the kind man who offered his help as you evidently struggle to push your carry-on into the overhead bin, to those who just nod and give you an understanding “I’ve been there too. It will get easier!” smile. Accept that…have faith that someone up there is watching over you and sending these strangers to ease your way. Thank them and who knows maybe someday somehow you will have a chance to do the same thing to others who need help.
Be an open vessel to extend kindness whenever possible.
It is easy to get frustrated, you are bound to get frustrated. There will be good days and not-so-good days up ahead. Yet that is life, isn’t it? Reach out to those who love you, to those who have been there before. Find your support group. Just know you are never alone. There will always be someone who has experienced what you are feeling and there are those who are in a much less fortunate situation than you are.
Dear single mothers in Indonesia, do not feel ashamed. Do not let society push you into being a second-class citizen just because you are a single mother. Being a single mother does not make you less of a human being. It does not define you as a person. You are you, uniquely you with your gifts and talents to share with the world. Your life and your journey may not be deemed as ‘normal’ by our society but let it be. Embrace your status, be proud of how far you have come along and share your wisdom with those in need.
Dear single moms of Indonesia. You Got This!
Maureen Hitipeuw adalah ibu tunggal dengan satu putra yang berusia 16 tahun. Maureen membentuk dan mengelola Single Moms Indonesia sejak tahun 2014. Ia ingin Single Moms Indonesia bisa menguatkan dan menginspirasi lebih banyak ibu tunggal untuk kembali berdaya dan berbahagia bersama anak-anak mereka.