Lone mother, single mother

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Okaz

One will be surprised how our children dropped from our arms into the arms of our maids. How our children were holding the hands of the family driver walking them to school, instead of their parents.

SHE told me in a sad tone, “I was the lone mother in the entire football field.” This was my Arab neighbor who came back after watching her child playing football. She told me about how British families go to the field with both the father and mother holding hands of their child. She also told me many other Arab and Asian women who came alone with their children.

British people in general have a strong family bond that can be visibly seen. They tend to wait before starting a family and think thoroughly before getting engaged to someone. That is why most of their marriages are successful and the couples live many years in harmony and peace. This was different from what I used to hear in the past about the style of Western families, which is nonsense. The five years I lived in England was enough for me to notice the unhealthy style we are practicing, whether we are aware of it or not.

Yes, there are many single mothers and single fathers out there. It means that one of the parents takes full responsibility and takes the role of his partner in case of divorce or for any social or economic reason. What I mean here is the actual raising of the child and the financial side of it. It is not just paying their daily allowance or providing food and drink. What I mean here is providing love and time, to receive them when they come back from school and to hear their stories.

When someone is raised in a warm house that is full of love, the person will understand by time how deep the family bond has been. One will be surprised how our children dropped from our arms into the arms of our maids. How our children were holding the hands of the family driver walking them to school, instead of their parents. Is this the life Saudi parents want to live? Why do we live a half-life? This is the same pattern of separated parents without actually declaring the separation. It is an emotional separation that is not announced.

It is important to notice this issue before it is too late. Is it the mother who gave up the chance to live a normal life with a partner who respected her existence? Or is it the father who gave up the chance to enjoy a childhood moment with his own children?

Parents living together when they are emotionally separated is something that cannot be accepted. Everyone talks about divorce, ignoring what happened before and how it led to divorce. There are women who prefer to live in emotional separation or a marriage on paper to ensure the stability of their family. Why can’t we treat this before it happens by increasing understanding between the husband and wife. We need to review the concept of marriage from a “pure biological” aspect, which concentrates only on prestige and giving birth, into a real development and economic project. Only then will the husband need a conscious partner who can help him in this project. The wife will realize that she needs a partner who believes in her and supports her. Both partners need clear and rational goals, not just financial ones that might put their family life in jeopardy.

The challenge falls on the awareness of society and on the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, which is doing a wonderful job in terms of following up with the family issues. What we are lacking for sure are unique programs in awareness to support such projects. I am afraid if this problem continued, then there will be a social fracture that will be difficult to fix if it spread. A strong family will help in creating a strong society. An individual without identity cannot achieve his goals. An individual without a stable family will weaken by time.


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