Asmini Patel is the publisher and creator of Single Indian Mommy, blog and channel. It is her mission and vision that women of all backgrounds transform their lives by expressing themselves in the highest and truest form. Special to her heart is the circle of single mothers of all ethnicity as she herself is a single Indian mother. She brings to light some of the challenges she has faced in that arena and the people, programs, practices that offer inspiration in her everyday life. Asmini is a Gujarati-Indian woman born in the United States, working as a healthcare professional and co-parenting with her son’s father. In her journey of struggle and shame, she has found her inspiration in being a stand for single mothers, especially single mothers of Indian descent, as this population continues to struggle with the challenging transition into this role that generally was unplanned and unaccepted by society. The power hidden in these women is an unspoken work of art and in owning this power, women can overcome their own interpretations that are holding them back from many possibilities including being very happy doing exactly what they love, while raising happy, resilient children. It is her personal mission to provide service to this amazing group of women by being their voice, sharing her own story and the way of life that has changed her prospective and allowed her to live life powerfully.
Q & A
- How would you identify yourself as a single mother?
When my son turned one, his dad and I, who had been married for several years at the time, separated. I was in the motion of throwing the ultimate 1st birthday party since he is our ultimate miracle, meanwhile the rest of me and my life were shattering into about a million pieces. Needless to say, my son had an amazing, unforgettable party.
Well before his birthday, I was already the primary caretaker as most mothers are at that point in a baby’s life. Once his dad and I were no longer living together, between our 1 year old’s schedule and the dynamics of our relationship, it was difficult to be around each other. I continued to pray and cling to my routines fearlessly, subconsciously thinking one day, soon, we would find resolution, preferably one that included falling in love with one another again and allowing the reality of extreme distress and irresponsibility fade away. About a year after that, we settled in divorce. I am a strong advocate for equal parental rights, however, there is no question that I identify, legally and physically, as the parent that takes primary responsibility for his day to day life in safety, health, wellness, and development. His dad and I continue to work towards a strong, consistent, co-parenting relationship, which involves many variables and is a work in progress that we are both committed to. I have a village of supporters, his dad included, but I absolutely prioritise my body, mind, and spirit, as there is no back up plan, I am it. I wouldn’t trade that role, no matter how difficult it can be, for anything in the world
- What do you think made you such an independent and strong women as of today?
I want to thank you for acknowledging me as independent and strong, it takes one to know one. Many people have contributed to who I have become. I was raised in a household where women were nurturers, yet unforgivingly courageous. They stood up for what they believed it and fought for what they knew was right and the men in the family mostly listened and honoured those women, and took them into consideration consistently. My mother has been instrumental in the person that I am today, her strong will is contagious. However, she and my dad, and grandparents, all instilled the values of self-worth and independence into all three of us siblings. More importantly, I specifically remember moments of failure in my parents’ lives and the fact that they never hid that from us, we endured when they endured, and how their very real fear turned into bravery. I recognize those moments as being some of the most important discoveries of my childhood. In addition, the gift of education led me to the path of my career in healthcare, which has afforded me the mood of financial independence despite a major setback such as divorce, while exposing me to strong men and women in the face of adversity every single day.
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In 5 years, I would love to see myself extremely happy to be alive, mindfully present and unafraid, wherever the road takes me, and inspiring others to do the same. I have learned that expectations kill life, but if I had to say, I would love to lead an organization for Indian women and empower them to be their true self and leave the weight of their past and the identity associated with those stories behind them. Being a champion for living now and for ourselves instead of the societal agreements for women. Bringing significance to service and faith continues to feel like a calling for me and I would love the opportunity to explore that more on a greater scale. Additionally, I would be thrilled if my son was successfully potty trained and refrained from saying no to most of my requests (lol).
- Till now which do you think is the boldest step that you have taken?
I packed up my entire home of 6 years, by myself, and sold it along with many of my belongings related to marriage and purchased a charming home for my son and I rather than moving in with my parents, whom I love dearly. Even though I never felt ready to take on such a big change, I became an advocate for myself so fast I had to stand back and applaud her for the first time. I stood for myself and my needs rather than caving to the demands of society and their expectations of a single mother with a young child. Although it is most definitely a challenge at times, living alone, it is empowering as well. This decision goes along with me choosing to nurture a safe, loving, unbiased environment rather than one filled with resentment so my son can readily accept all the love available to him from everyone around him including his father. It would have been much easier and more comfortable to retreat to their home and leave my responsibilities sitting in limbo and take on the roll of being a victim. Sometimes it takes being uncomfortable to feel alive and open to take action in reaching your dreams and desires, ready or not.