“At 40, I decided I’d rather be a single mom than continue being in an abusive marriage”

"At 40, I decided I’d rather be a single mom than continue being in an abusive marriage; I walked away after thirteen years. I stayed in the marriage for my son–he’s partially deaf and can’t speak. But I’d to leave for my daughter; my husband was abusive and if I stayed, I’d be conditioning my daughter to normalise abuse. That was the last thing I wanted; I wanted her to live a life of dignity, to be independent.

I moved out of my husband’s house. Thankfully I’d always worked–I earned my living through direct selling and had flexible working hours. But my daughter was barely two and my son required special attention, I’d to fend for all three of us. The separation had pressed the ‘restart’ button of my life, but I looked at it as a challenge

The first year was hard. Between cooking, dropping and picking up my son from school, tending to my daughter and working– I barely slept. Whenever I’d to attend conferences or trainings, my daughter and her art kit accompanied me.

Within a few months, I decided to become a motivational speaker– I’d been conducting training sessions for years and I felt ready to share my experiences to help others. My workload naturally increased, but I made sure I prioritised my children–I’ve never missed an annual show or PTM. And they’re such good kids. Whenever I come back from a tour, they had cute surprises planned for me. This time on my birthday, they ordered a cake and made a card!

And they keep making me proud– whether it’s my son participating in school quizzes or my daughter winning dance competitions. But honestly, it’s when I see them working as a team that my heart swells with pride–be it my son teaching his sister or her being patient with him. Oh and you should see them on vacations– they’re always ganging up on me.

It’s December now, which means all three of us are busy filling our goal sheet, a practise we follow every year. I remember 5 years I’d written in my goal sheet, ‘Stand up for yourself. Give your kids a better life.’ And when I see our small family of 3,sharing a tub of ice cream and battling it out over a game of chess; happy and complete, I know I did the right thing. We’re going to be okay.”

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