Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the designated room. It wasn’t a big room. It’s more like someone’s living room right next to an open kitchen. Black covered chairs lined side by side. It wasn’t meant for a large audience obviously.
“Hey!!!” Eryka greeted me as I walked in.
I was introduced to one of the writers, Mia Amalia.
As we chatted along, the room quickly filled with other women from different styles, different age range, different backgrounds…but one thing in common.
We are all single moms.
I came to the talk show and book launching The Single Moms today and I wasn’t prepared for how truly emotional it would turn into.
Affi from Female Daily act as the moderator and she interviewed 3 out of 4 single moms who wrote the book. Although I haven’t read the book I can relate to so much that was being said.
Hearing these ladies openly shared their experiences about being single moms in a country that still look down on us…besides bringing tears to a lot of eyes, you can feel the bond…the invisible group hugs being shared today that fill the room.
Granted, I haven’t read the book, but I know I will write about it later on. All participants were given the book and I just know what I will do tonight. Without turning the pages, I can already relate to what is being said on the floor. From the negative comments families, friends, even strangers throw in our faces? We’ve heard them all.
One of the writers, Budiana Indrastuti chocked up when she started talking about the stigma that us, Indonesian Single Moms have to face on a daily basis. The room fell silent and as I tried to hold back my own tears, many of these single moms wiped their eyes.
The stigma…oh the stigma…
As I’ve written here, even with the rising numbers of divorce in this country, many people still placed the blame on us women for taking a stand, for choosing to take on the role as single mothers…some by choice (either from divorce or from deciding to keep a baby out of a wedlock). The origin word of single mom/divorcee in Indonesian is JANDA and it’s well known to have a very negative connotation attached to it.
From the writers, we heard how they chose to react to this stigma. They are clearly strong women and I truly admire their coping mechanism and their spirits.
As my friend, Eryka took the microphone and shared her own stories I can’t hold back my tears. Here’s a mother that has to leave her daughter behind in another town to be taken care of by her brother and parents while she’s working hard in the big city trying to make ends meets without any help whatsoever from her ex-husband. People judge her for choosing to do this without realizing how very painful and hard that would be to leave your child behind trying to provide a better future. She’s been a target of negative comments but she held her head high and do what’s work for her. Big love to you, my friend!
Seeing these ladies, listening to their struggles…my heart aches.
It has been an eye-opening event that touches me to the core. Knowing that some of them don’t even have any financial support let alone parenting supports from their exes really makes me angry inside. Yet, it also made me realize that my own situation isn’t as bad as some of these ladies are.
One of the writers, Mia have 4 children. She works from home. She is surviving and thriving.
This made me feel ashamed for sometimes feeling sorry for myself, for the feeling I’m the most miserable person in the world when there are others who really are struggling with little to no help.
Single Moms United
The sisterhood of single moms atmosphere was thick and heavy in that small room. For once, we can all leave our masks behind and exposing our wounds, our worries and listen to how others deal with challenges faced by so many of us as single moms. It was therapeutic to know yes, we are not alone. We can all relate.
In a society that sadly still looks down on us, we have all grown thicker skins in due time, and all we have to do is look right next to us to see our children who look upon us with so much love. They needed their mothers to be strong but sometimes, we feel like the burden is just too much. That’s why having a community of supportive people is crucial.
There will be bumpy roads up ahead but somehow we will make it. Knowing we are enough for our children is also important. We are all in this together, flying solo trying to raise healthy, happy children despite our own unique circumstances, also to defy the labeling that our children will grow up as rebels, as children with issues.
I truly wish more events like this will take place here in the future. Big kudos to all the parties who made this talk show an unforgettable one!