WOW | What You Think

THE CHALLENGE OF BEING A SINGLE PARENT

Compiled by: Anushka Shrestha
wow photo file © Ram Tandukar, Gokul Shrees, Sabina Mainali

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Ram Gopal Shrestha
Director, Phonepay Nepal

All of us come into the world alone and die alone. But during the journey of birth and death, we seek for a partner with whom we can live our life. And for me that person was my wife. Ever since I lost my wife, I have never been able to find someone who understands and supports me like her. This has been one of the greatest challenges for me as I have no one to share things with. There are men who stay unmarried their whole life. For me it is challenging as I have already experienced what it feels like to always have a partner by my side. Of course, a lot of people ask me why I didn’t get re-married but I think marriage is something so pure that it is better to do it only once in a lifetime. Secondly, the law states that half the husband’s property should be given to his wife. I and my wife have given birth and raised my children. Therefore, I didn’t want to share my property with anyone new when I can transfer it to my children. I don’t know how my daughters take it but for me, they are the living symbol of me and my partner’s love. And in all these years, I have realised that I should look after myself not depending on anyone else.

Lastly, I would like to say that one becomes lonely when he allows it. Even men with wives are loners these days. It all depends on how you choose things in the journey of life.

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Lily Thapa
President, Sankalpa

In Nepal, there still isn’t proper data about single parents but being a single mother I know we have a lot of challenges to face. Most single mothers are illiterate. They do not have knowledge and skills. They have to take responsibility of their children but how they are surviving is a big question. It is very difficult for young single mothers both culturally and economically. They aren’t even treated well and accepted by the society. Even literate single mothers have to face cultural differences in one way or another.

Fortunately, my journey as a single parent has been better as I was born into a middle class family and was educated. I had access to all kinds of facilities and my family was also very supportive. But having said that a majority of single mothers do not have this kind of support. I was treated differently after my husband passed away than when he was alive. Nevertheless, I raised my children quite well and provided them with good education as I was quite sound economically.

To all women I would like to say: if you are skilled and economically independent, no one can question you about anything in life.

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Meghbar Chemjong
Entreprenuer/Security Expert

Being a single father, I wake up every morning to new challenges. It takes patience and courage to get through the day. It is not always easy to stay positive. Every single father faces their own specific challenges but there are some common threads among us. Loneliness, financial burden, instilling discipline in children, father wounds, distance, communication with your ex, bond with your children, organising your life and many more could be the challenges of a single parent.

Whether or not by choice, physical distance between you and your children is emotionally tough. The main challenge I have been facing is to get to know my daughter better. I miss the bond between us. I don’t get to spend much time with her as I see her only once a week. Even though I get busy with my work on other days I am yearning to have my child with me every single day. Most significantly I want to guide her, teach her ethics and values and be there for her whenever she needs a friend. I miss all the fun times I would want to spend with her and make beautiful memories for both of us. Every day I just look forward to be with my daughter and I think that’s what every father desires.

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Chetan Karki
Musician/Vlogger

Being a parent itself is very difficult but being a single parent is even more difficult. There are thousands of stressful situations I had to go through while bringing up my child. Here are some major challenges that most single parents face. The first thing that I had to face is financial burden. Secondly, I had problems in managing time for my daughter as I had to work and find the time to give her simultaneously. The judgment of the society has been another big issue for me as people assume things on their own. I had to sacrifice my way of living because I had to take on my daughter’s responsibilities. Lastly, emotional stability is something that has been very difficult to manage.

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Manoj K.C
Guitarist

I don’t think being a single father is a challenge. Our society perceives it as a challenge because ours is still a patriarchal society. People think that raising a child and looking after him or her is the job of the mother.

I lost my wife but I have my family and friends who have supported me a lot during my hard times which has proven that I am not alone.

The only challenge for me is having to take the responsibility of being both mother and father. Having said that, my son has two loving grand mothers who look after him and take care of him like nobody else could!

When I have to travel for shows, I miss my son and vice-versa but thanks to technology, we get to facetime even if we cannot physically be present with each other.

Lastly, I would like to say that a mother’s place can never be replaced. In all these years, my respect for mothers has gone to another level.

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