Going Solo: Single Parenthood

Is ANYONE ready to be a parent?

“My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called “love”
When I look into my nephew’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from some terrible nights”

~Fun.

It’s been a year since I saw Bella’s father. It’s been a year since I found out I was going to be a single mother. Sure, I have hoped and prayed that he would “come around” in that time or at least by now, but I think I knew that last time we saw each other that I would be doing this alone. I think I have known all along, but was too afraid to actually admit it to myself. Recent conversations with him have solidified the idea for me. I don’t think he will ever come around and I think I really will be doing this on my own for good. He uses the excuse that he just isn’t ready and that his life is too busy to be a father. Lately, I have thought about it a lot and thought about that night we got together to talk about what we were going to do.

A year ago we met in a parking lot and sat in his car. He made it very clear that night that he did not want to be a father, at least not to this baby, and that if I chose to keep the baby, I would be doing it alone. After several hours of talking in circles, where very painful things were said by both of us, I got out of the car and cried all the way home. We spent the next week back and forth about adoption. I think it was my way of keeping the conversation going and hoping he would change his mind, but I knew in my heart that this little girl was meant to be and I was going to keep her.

I will admit that my initial reaction was that I wasn’t ready either. You’d think at 34, I should be ready, but I was still undecided about children, grieving the death of my father, and had recently ended the only meaningful long term relationship I had ever had. I had just started a new job that was full of possibilities and was perfect for a young single woman with nothing to tie her down; a job that came with a huge pay cut, but that made me much happier. I was going out every night, often with my roommate and his boyfriend, both in their 20’s and probably not expecting a baby to enter the picture. My house looked more like a bachelor pad than that of a 30-something professional woman.

I didn’t sleep during that week a year ago. Instead, I took a look at my life and wondered if I was ready to bring a child into it. This was something I wrote:

“My house is a mix match of furniture.

Old toys and books fill up my shelves.

There is dust on my ceiling fan and piles of laundry strewn throughout my room.

Stained wine glasses left over from last night are scattered across my coffee table.

A box full of old love letters and pictures has been pulled out of the closet and is spread across the floor.

Paintings with no particular theme are leaning against the wall, purchased because I liked the way they made me feel not because they matched my décor.  None of them are on the wall.

Old wooden floor boards crack and creek when I walk across my attic apartment room.

My spare bedroom is full of dust and boxes of “stuff. “ I don’t even know what’s in them. I’m pretty sure they have been there since I moved in two years ago.

A closet stuffed full of shoes and clothing in three different sizes attests to my roller coaster relationship with weight.

Shelves full of books that I haven’t even read yet line my walls.

Empty canvases and tubes full of paint sit in piles on my floor.

My bathroom used to be a small closet and has a shower with no tub.

The master of my apartment is not me or my roommate, but a crazy spoiled dog who has been my only child for the last 6 years.

Paint, sand, seashells, and dirt cover the backseat of my car. Coffee stains decorate the front.

I have no husband, no boyfriend, no help.

How can I bring a baby into this mess?

Maybe he’s right….”

But he wasn’t right. A year later, the spare bedroom is a baby room/guest room, the walls are full of eclectic art, my roommate and his boyfriend adore my daughter, there is new furniture in every room, I cleaned my car and my closets, my job is still working out and Bella even comes with me to work. There are still piles of laundry and dust on my ceiling fan, but some things will get done in their time. I don’t have a husband or boyfriend or even an ounce of help from Bella’s father, but I’m not alone. Family and friends help when they can and my daughter is surrounded by love from a crazy and wonderful array of people.

Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe no one really is.  Maybe he never will be.

I remember looking at my friend, Diana as she was rubbing my belly months ago and asking her, “How did I get myself into this mess?” She simply looked at me, put her hand on my belly and said, “THIS is not a mess. THIS is a blessing no matter what. Don’t forget that!”  The fact of the matter is that when you have enough love and the will to survive a situation like mine, it is no longer “a situation” or a mess, but a life changing blessing.  I am stronger, wiser, and happier than I was a year ago today and I have this chunky little wonder to thank for it.

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