There are now three definitions for “Ibu Tunggal” (single mother) recognised by the government, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Karim.
She said these were reached by a special taskforce committee set up to study the issue in early June this year.
“These have helped to clear any confusion and to ensure the aid meant for them really reach them and their dependents.
“As a result if formerly we have about 800,000 single mothers on our record, after the streamlining, the number has been reduced to 235,240 only,” she told a media conference after a gathering for about 200 local woman leaders from the corporate, non-governmental organisations and civil service hosted by her ministry.
According to Rohani, the first definition was that “the single mother who is the head of the family is a divorcee or separated permanently from her husband and has unmarried children staying with her.”
“Under the second definition she is the head of the family and is married but her husband is not able to work because of his poor health condition and there are unmarried children in the family.
“Thirdly, she is the head of the family and has never been married. She has adopted children or children of unconfirmed status,” she said.- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/three-definitions-for-single-mother-now-recognised-by-government-says-minis#sthash.mO90mNQX.dpuf
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So, apparently I have been a single mother for a combination of many years and not realize my true status. Learning about this did something to my mind, somehow. Clarity. It explains why I think the way I do; plan ahead the way I do; all in the name of providing the best I can for my family. Survival. That's it. Responsibility.
When you have children, it calls for a lifetime commitment. Options that are available for others are not something you would consider for yourself when you are the sole breadwinner. Freedom is something you sacrifice without a bat of an eyelash. It has not been a joyride. But I look forward to reaping of the harvest.
It is walking a tightrope of balance between independence and honoring your husband. May Allah bless me with the strength to perservere and not fail His test on me. Ameen.