You can’t always get what you want

2 Jun

My beautiful daughter turned three this weekend! In a couple of weeks it’ll have been a year since we first met!

It’s a cliche but I remember meeting her as if it happened just a moment ago. I walked down the hallway of the house and on the left hand side, through a child gate, I saw her! ‘Mummy!’ and a beaming grin was how she greeted me! Amazing. I later texted friends and family saying, ‘I am already in love’.

Lots of people told me, warned me even, that life as a single parent of an adopted child was going to be difficult. I haven’t experienced this…but that’s not to say the future won’t present its problems! Yes there have been challenges! Squidge picking up a bug every three weeks from October – March was tough; me returning to work and then being off ill for two months wasn’t great! The tiredness was bloody awful, not to mention the being ill bit and worrying when Squidge was ill. But otherwise, this has been the best, the happiest time of my life.

I wonder whether Social Services have got it wrong? I mean, I often think it must be easier to be a single parent rather than having to share the responsibility with a partner. Yet BAAF [British Association for Adption and Fostering] once told me at a training event that Singletons were last in the list to be placed with a child after young heterosexual couples then gay couples. Why? Because Social Services feel children should have two parents with preferably one staying at home to care for the child[ren]. You know, that 1950s vision? I can see the benefits of this – sharing responsibility so you can have time to yourself, time to catch up on sleep; sharing the finances so taking away some of the strain of extortionate child care costs; sharing the joy your child’s everyday miracles or your child’s everyday tantrums…It’s what I had hoped for my children when aged 18 and thinking about the future. But you can’t always get what you want. And since I was brought up with my brother and sister by a single mum I knew it could be done and done extremely well.

Which brings me back to the point I was making earlier. I wonder if it is easier to be a single parent in some respects? Your child won’t play one parent against the other; your routine is yours and it’s pretty easy to stick to as you don’t have to compromise with somebody else; resentment doesn’t fester as you play the ‘I’m-more-tired-than-you-are’ card or argue over how much easier it is for whomever is staying at home to be full time parent. Selfishly, it means you don’t have to share your little one with anyone else!

But therein lies the rub.

Perhaps I have been selfish? Isn’t Parenthood selfish in itself? Why do people want to BE parents? You get asked this when being assessed to adopt. My answer was that I wanted to be someone’s mummy. I wanted to help a little one grow and develop in a loving home. I didn’t want to get the end of my life and not have been somebody’s mum. But you can’t always get what you want can you? Is it selfish to want to parent a child? Is Parenthood a need? Have I been selfish in depriving Squidger of a two parent family? Or is having one-to-one attention from me just what she needed/needs? Time will tell I guess.

I hope I can do what my mam did for me – instill within her the confidence to become an independent woman who knows she can do whatever she sets her mind to; to be able to look after herself, her relationships, her finances, her career and her home [I do wonder that there are still women out there who don’t know how to insure their car or undertake basic household maintenance!] to know her mum will love her and support her no matter what she decides to do.

I know you can’t always get what you want but you want the world for your children don’t you? And I got Squidger! So you definitely get what you need…


5 Responses to “You can’t always get what you want”

  1. purplepersuasion June 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Lovely piece 🙂

  2. Yvonne Johnston (@Whyjay99) June 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Well, I’m one half of a couple and have had my share of arranging car insurance (for my son)and doing plenty of DIY. I think one loving parent like you will give your daughter all she needs to become a great person. It’s not quantity but quality that counts when it comes to parents. But there have been times when you clearly would have found things easier if there had been two of you. But you are strong and you will get through.

  3. Carole Ann June 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I have always thought one adult who really cares and loves and provides for a child/ children is as good as any care provided by a couple/family/homosexual/ homosexual couple. What/ who the carer is doesn’t matter, what matters is that children need to be loved, wanted, secure, safe and have all their needs met. Squidge is soooo lucky you chose her and as she grows up she will feel soooo lucky that you did.
    Bests Me x

  4. Tots100 June 3, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    We really loved your post this week and featured it in out Ten at Ten

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