In Part 1 of this series, I gave you guys a peek into the life of a Shippy Wife. That was solely from a wife point of view. This time I’m going to give you a feel of what it’s like to parent when you’re a Shippy Wife.
I have a daughter who is everything I have ever hoped for. She gets that Dadda is away and she cooperates with me and helps me in any way that she can. She’s just 6yrs old. Bless her. She manages to really keep the atmosphere light by her naughtiness and cute ways. And she keeps me on my toes, leaving little time for me to think and mull over whatever bothers me about the adult world. We bond like crazy in a world of our own. It’s blissful when we laugh at a joke together. It gives me great joy to hear her giggle at something I said or did. Because when she misses her dad, that pain pierces right through my heart. I can’t do anything to help the situation. At that moment, I can only put on a brave face and distract her by being happy-happy myself, pretending that it’s not a big deal. So when I’m able to make her laugh it gives me peace knowing that she is happy. I think to myself – “Her dad isn’t here. She misses him a lot. But I make her laugh, and she forgets her sorrow. For now, I am enough.”
We all love our kids. We do our very best in taking care of them. So let’s also be honest that parenting is not an easy task. We take it very seriously. And being a single parent is that much tougher. Half the year I’m a single parent. Someone says, “At least sometimes your parents come to be with you.” YES! Whenever they can. And I’m so thankful (More on that in the following paragraph). But you miss a partner. I salute all the actual single parents out there. They do this round the clock all year through. It is the toughest job in the world. Because for the single parent, especially stay-at-home ones, there is an absence of adult conversations. And that is not something to be taken lightly. Us humans thrive on community living. It makes the journey of life pleasurable. The absence of someone to talk to or simply just to be with can get very depressing. So, to that earlier point, it is not the absence of my husband that makes me sad. It is loneliness. The worst thing in the world is loneliness. And a shippy wife yo-yos between these two states – 1. days packed with activities and socializing and sharing everything with their partner….and 2. then suddenly days without it. The keyword being suddenly. No matter how long you’ve done this for, it takes time getting used to it every single time. And if you’re not comfortable with drastic change, which I certainly am not(it’s a Taurean thing, we like stability and set routines and patterns), it can be overwhelming.
My story would be incomplete without a mention of my dear parents. They’ve been, and still are, my solid support system. Lately, my in-laws also have been frequently visiting. And I love it. My parents and in-laws both live in cities different from mine. So it means a lot to me when they are able to take out time to be here with us. We treasure every moment together. It is also a great deal of help to me personally. Not so much physical help, as much as emotionally. If I could describe, in one word, the personal benefit I derive from when they come to visit , it would be “befikri”. It means I’m more relaxed. And I’m less lonely. That makes the whole difference to my mindset.
Again, this isn’t a sob story. The truth also is that the minute I get used to the change(a few days after he leaves), I’m unstoppable. I use my free time for writing, going social dancing(only if the grandparents are available to babysit), learning a second language, taking up some freelance work, catching up with friends and family, sketching, fitness, taking care of my health, being more disciplined, the works! There are many upsides, just like for everything else. A shippy wife’s life is a roller coaster of emotions, up and down, up and down, again and again…but it’s a thrilling ride for sure. As a Shippy Wife, I don’t need a pat on my back. Nor do I want any sympathy. I know that this life brings everyone their share of struggles. This type of struggle happens to be mine. One learns to deal with it because one has to. That’s just life. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. My struggles have taught me the value of so many things we generally take for granted. And I’m thankful for it because that’s a better way to look at it – that it’s helping me in my personal growth.
© 2020 Aanchal Nithin Prakashan All Rights Reserved.
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I wrote this article for First Moms Club. This article was published on July 03, 2019 on their official website – https://firstmomsclub.in.
First Moms Club is India’s leading community of over 1 lakh urban Indian mothers across 60 countries. FMC aims to encourage the women behind the mothers to find emotional, entrepreneurial and social identity.
Link to this article on the First Moms Club website – https://firstmomsclub.in/a-full-life-half-lived-a-shippy-wifes-tale-part-2-a-parents-perspective/