Okay, so technically I really want her to learn loads from me, but as I was changing her diaper tonight, I really got to thinking about it. And the most heartbreaking lesson I have learned. Don’t have kids until you are married. And I’m not talking about getting married when you’re already five months pregnant (unless of course you were already engaged for at least six months.)
I know someone out there somewhere will read that first part and scream women’s rights and feminism and all that crap. And you know what? I really don’t give a damn. ESPECIALLY if they are not a single parent themselves. My daughter is two and is more precious to me than the air I breathe. Most parents feel that way. And out of everything that I’ve learned in my life, out of everything that I hope she learns, this is a very important one to me. And I have a list as to why.
1. It really sucks knowing that I will never have the same last name as my daughter UNLESS she changes it herself when she is legally allowed to do so.
2. She will never have a full sibling. She already has two half sisters and one half brother and I know a lot of children only have half siblings that they are very close to, but there’s something special about having a sibling that shares the same parents as you.
3. I feel like a failure. Never once in my teenage dreams did I want to be a single parent. Not once did I say to myself, ‘I really hope I’m an uneducated single parent who still needs to rely on her parents at times when I’m 24 years old.’ I dropped out of college because I couldn’t stand going into debt to the state anymore when I didn’t even know what I wanted to study. Failure. I was in a relationship with a man who was not even close to being anyone’s prince charming for almost four years. Failure. I then ended up pregnant with a man who could hold no decent future for me or our child. Failure. (Note: the entire relationship was a failure, having my daughter was not then and it never will be so don’t get your panties in a bunch). Moving back in with my parents 3,000 miles away from my home state and all my friends because I can’t support myself. Failure. Becoming a single parent of my own choice (but due to relationship issues I could no longer afford to overlook). Mostly a failure. (Another note: I did not ever want to be a single parent and I know that if we even had gotten married, we most likely would’ve gotten divorced. Different kind of failure than the other ones.) Please don’t misconstrue my ‘failures’ from anything you may have or currently going through. I have labeled these as failures because they make me feel like one. I am smarter than all of these failures and I should have known better. Failure.
4. People look down on me. I know that this won’t bother some people, but it bothers me. I’m pretty sure it’s a self esteem issue.
5. It’s completely heartbreaking to hear her ask me ‘Where’s Daddy?’ or ‘I want to see Daddy’… and I don’t have an answer to those questions. Right now, because she is only two, I can easily say he’s at work. But I have no flipping clue what to say to her when she’s older and I’m not the kind of parent to say bad things about him because of how I feel. He’s still her Dad.
6. Because I have respect for my daughter, I don’t tell most people the details of our breakup or the reasons or any of that. So now I look like the bad guy because my ex likes to post his status about he misses his daughter and that he wishes he could see her and other sly things that make me sound like I won’t let him near her, which is not true. He can have her every weekend and call her every single day if he wants, he just doesn’t. Which brings me to my last reason, and the most heart wrenching one I have,
7. He does not give a damn. He makes very little attempt to see her. He never calls, not even on her birthday when he said he was going to (the only time he has said that). And he tries to blame it on me even though I have never told him that he couldn’t see or talk to her.
So I have to go through her questions almost daily, look at her pretty face every second, and know that there is nothing I can ever do that will erase the pain she will go through for the rest of her life. Because of me. I’m sorry if I plucked some feminism nerves (not really), but this is how I feel, and I really hope my daughter learns from my experience and does not have children before she’s married. But if she does, I’ll still love her the same and love any child she will have.