Growing up I never imagined myself as a single parent. As a small child, I thought that I would marry a wonderful man, and we would have a few children. Around high school the idea of children was no longer appealing. Then I found myself pregnant at 19 years old and in my second year of college. Looking back, it is a bit ironic that I suggested to my boyfriend that we place the baby for adoption. He would not even entertain the idea. In the end, we decided to raise our son together. When that decision was made, I thought that he and I would eventually marry, and we would raise our son together as a team.
Well, that did not happen either! We now have two boys together and are no longer a couple. When Edward and Matthias were babies (they are 17 ½ months apart), the full responsibility fell on me. There was no financial support until after Matthias was about two years old. I had to use all my vacation time to take care of them when they were sick and could not go to daycare. All of my vacation time was spent at doctors’ offices and taking care of sick babies. My mother helped me quite a bit with picking them up from daycare. For a while, I was going to school full time and working full time. There was literally no respite. No breaks. No down time. No time to decompress. No time to take care of myself.
Being a single parent is no joke.
The stress of knowing that if you call in just one more time you will lose your job, and along with that health insurance for yourself and your children, it is enormous pressure. It is a terrible feeling to even think about not being able to care for your children.
When Matthias was about one year old, I finally had a mental breakdown. My mind just could not handle being superwoman! At that time I told the boys’ dad that he was going to start helping. And he did! He took them when I needed him to. He became more involved over time. Today, we have a great arrangement where we switch custody every week. He gets them for a week; I get them for a week. It is great! Things are great now, and sure, the struggles are all worth it. I love my boys, all my boys, more than anything.
Knowing all that, however, was a huge part of the reason I placed Matthew for adoption. I know what it is to be a single parent to a baby. I know that babies require more than what I was able to provide. Finances alone would have been a nightmare. Add to that the emotional and mental toll of the situation in general-having Matthew’s father potentially a part of our lives…
Adoption was the best choice for both Matthew and me.