When I’m lamenting my ex and the time we were together lots of people say ‘but you wouldn’t be without Charlotte, would you?’ This is the phrase that has come to piss me off most since becoming a single parent and after catching up with another single mum it’s not just me it would seem.
Of course, I love my daughter with all my heart and now she’s in my life I can’t bear to think of her not being in it but…I never wanted her to grow up in this family set up. I never wanted her to only see her dad every other weekend. I never wanted to make decisions based around money and surviving rather than what is in her best interest. I never wanted to think about how on earth I’d introduce her to someone new in my life and I never wanted to have a different surname to her.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but if I knew (which, truthfully, looking back, I probably should have had some inkling) that my ex and I would split when our baby was two, I’m not sure I would have chosen to have a child at that particular moment.
No, I don’t think the split has scarred her for life and I think she’s adjusted amazingly well to the life of a child from a broken home, but it saddens me greatly that the first two years of her life were filled with depression, tears, anger, frustration and guilt. Guilt being the only emotion I felt at her because I didn’t feel like I was being the best mother I could be, or the mother I wanted to be at that time and the person I expected to support me couldn’t or wouldn’t either. I just hope I’m now making up for lost time.
I always wanted children. When I was younger I never remember being excessively career focused because I wanted to be a mummy. Because of this, I know it’s probably my fault for pushing for a baby when my ex wasn’t ready (if he ever would have been). But in fairy tales once you get married you have a baby and I was living in a land of fiction thinking everything would be ok. If I’d stopped to look then I’d have realised we were not emotionally strong enough as a couple for it even before she came along.
So no, I don’t regret having my daughter because I get to watch her grow up and become an amazing girl and woman and some of my best memories with her probably wouldn’t have happened if things had been different. And no, I wouldn’t be without her. If somebody tried to take her away from me I’d unleash all hell but, would I choose to put a child, as well as myself through the past 18 pretty shitty months and all the time before the split? Would I choose to put a child through going back and forth from mummy’s to daddy’s house, having to hear conversations between mummy and daddy when they’re desperately trying to not shout at each other and having to listen to mummy cry because she just can’t hold it in anymore. Nope, I’m not sure I would.