Growing up in a single parent family is learning the fine art of balancing. From a tender, young age you are aware that one of the important stabilizing influence of your life is missing and as you learn to master the hang of it, you are likely to be thrown off-balance as you fend for yourself to a large extent. The journey ahead is bound to be bumpy and difficult and it would take you years to accept the fact that you are missing out on something important but at the same time, it is bound to leave you stronger and more resilient at the end of the day.
No matter what the cause of the separation of your parents be, whether death or divorce or abandonment or an off-shore posting, your family dynamics are never again going to be the same. You shall, in almost all small and big matters of your life acutely feel the absence of your missing parent whether be it in your day to day encounters with your friends and cousins or in the most defining moment of your life say your Graduation ceremony, wedding or bringing an off-spring to this universe. The list is going to be endless with every birthday, every rebuke by the available parent, every failure,every heartbreak making you acutely aware of the angst of what you are missing out. The feeling becomes even more prominent when there is a disagreement or dissent or conflict with the available parent which further aggravates the feeling of loneliness. You are forever left wondering how it would have been had the other parent been around you to love you, nurture you and care for you?
Sometimes an acute feeling of insecurity or guilt might begin to plague you, especially if one cannot seek a valid accountability for the death of the other parent. The inability to perceive and process the dynamics of a man-woman relationship in a single parent family leaves a strong imprint on the impressionable mind and heart of the child. It does tend to either prejudice the child’s view towards one or the other parent depending on his/ her relationship with the available parent.
However, there is always a silver lining in the cloud and presenting such a dismal picture of a single parent family is not justified. There is a lot to redeem and revere. The hard work, toil and sacrifice of the available parent does make a person grow beyond his years. The bond with the single parent which undergoes through so many trials and tribulations become unbreakable, intense and strong. The relationship based on shared responsibilities, shared dreams, shared aspirations and shared struggle is unmatched ina two parent family set up. The love and adulation you have at the end of the day for the available parent is unmatched in its intensity.
The child in most such cases mature way faster than his peers. The coming of age, the assuming of responsibilities before time, the angst and the suffering of doing without one parent all adds up to make a man / woman out of the child much before time.
The road may not be easy by any means but whenever in doubt, it is worthwhile to remember that some of the most prominent men in history who have made difference to the lives of many, have been raised by a single parent.