Sunday, October 30, 2016

Did Sidekick Get Gypped?

I have realized that as Sidekick gets older and we are out and about doing a lot of fun things, I find myself being more aware of everyone/everything around us.  I realize that I am very much on my own island with my boy.  I can't seem to explain what exactly I mean by all of this, but perhaps my fellow SMC pals will understand...

I get really sad around the holidays (I always kind of have), so we have to get through Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.  I just wish that I can go to sleep for two months and wake up when it's all over.  When Sidekick and I are out doing fun "family" things, I am so aware that our family is "different". Sometimes I think it's even silly to use the word "family" describing us since it's just me and Sidekick. Can two people be considered a "family"?  I consider us a "duo" more than a family because family just doesn't seem to fit they type (or is it size?) of family we are.  In fact, our return address labels refer to us as "last name Duo".  We are total out casters.

I (we) are bombarded with traditional families everywhere we turn.  I know (and I tell Sidekick all the time) that there are a lot of different families, but we are surrounded by the ones that have a Mom, Dad, and kids, so unless we are with our local SMC group, he doesn't see those "different" families. We don't even have divorced friends with kids.  I've written about this before, but it's hard to do things with other families when the Dad is the odd man out and families want to spend their weekends together as a family.  I get together regularly with my local SMC group, but I don't seem to have a close bond with any of them. It's nice to be around people with whom I can relate, but that true friendship just isn't there.  I really thought friendships would be easier once I had a child, and in some ways it is, but the deep friendships with people to whom I am connected through Sidekick just aren't there.  They are great people and have helped when I've been in a bind with picking up Sidekick from school if I have a late presentation, but I don't consider myself close to them.  Would they do anything for us?  Absolutely!  Would I cry on their sofa?  Probably not.

Yesterday we went to a fun Halloween evening event.  I invited some friends because quite frankly, I find it very lonely and depressing to do special things with just me and Sidekick. We got there and had to take a tram to the actual location.  "Party of Two" here, and we sat in our own row that holds four.  Why the hell does this upset me so much????  I felt like everyone was looking at us and feeling sorry for us.  I know that wasn't the case, but it seriously tugged at my heart strings, and it got me really thinking...

... is Sidekick getting gypped in life because I chose to have a baby on my own?  He has no siblings. His cousins, aunt, and uncle are an 8 1/2 hour drive away and his grandma is a five hour drive away. That's it! We aren't in physical contact with my aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Is the way he is growing up fair to him?  Did my desire to be a mom override what is best for him?  Surely it doesn't, right?  But while I try so hard to give him a great, loving, fulfilling, happy life, I wonder if it's enough. If I'm enough.  He didn't have a choice in the matter.  He got stuck with me. (Although, he does tell me often that God let him choose me to be his Momma, so maybe in fact he did choose his life.  Who the heck knows, and I am not a religious person to try and figure that out.)

We were supposed to go to our friends' house for our annual Halloween festivities, and their youngest has a fever, so they don't want to share their germs. Totally understandable.  I immediately wanted to cry because I felt bad for Sidekick that trick or treating is now going to be alone unless I can figure out another plan quickly.  It's no fun to trick or treat alone!  I'm crushed.  He seems much better about it than I, but the thought of him running from house to house with no one next to him just breaks my heart.  And me standing there alone while watching him have fun is very, well, lonely.  Is he as lonely as I am?

Maybe I'm the only SMC who feels this way.  Maybe I am the only SMC who yearns for so much more than I have.  I didn't think that a baby would make my world perfect, but I also didn't think it would make me feel the way I have been feeling... lonely and selfish for having a child alone. Maybe I am overthinking things, and the way things are are totally okay for Sidekick. After all, right now he doesn't know what's out there in this big world in which we live, but I fear that as he becomes a bigger, more important member of society as he gets older, he will soon realize that yes, he did in fact totally get gypped. 


  1. I feel this way very often. My little man is as social as they come, and he thrives on the chaos of a busy home environment. And yet, I've given him this tiny little family. I have a friend who has a little introvert who get's overwhelmed easily. We joke that our boys should have been born into each other's families.

    I don't have any trouble thinking of us as a family, however. I've kind of leaned into that. It's likely going to be just the two of us for the long haul, so this is the family we get. My mother recently passed, and my dad and sister live 1100 miles a way. But I've built our own extended family where we live. I live a block from my best friend and her kids (who hate my son and treat him like a pariah little brother. That's family of a sort.) and my son calls all of my closest friends Auntie or Uncle. I also have begun chatting with the parents of my guy's donor sibs. Eventually, I think I will feel much better about the kind of family I've given him, when he can have his own relationship with his siblings. That will be his other side of the family.

    I wonder if the guilt of making this HUGE decision for another human being ever goes away, and if that's just a slightly different version of the guilt that parents saddle themselves with all the time. I mean, if we'd just gotten accidentally knocked up, we wouldn't feel this way, but I'd better there would be a different variety of guilt to take it's place.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and insight! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels guilt every once in a while. I am not in contact with Sidekick's donor siblings (I have no desire to be), but perhaps when he is older, this is something he and I will decide to explore together.

  2. I'm sorry this response is so late. I too struggle with guilt because I want Miss Fuss to have a much better childhood than I did. I do worry because even so many of the people who said they were so excited and eager to be a part of our lives (before the adoption, etc.) disappeared or never really showed up.

    I work on building a village of sorts for Miss Fuss and me. It seems like it's one step forward and three steps back most days. People ask me crap like "so, are you going to look at the lights?" I want to say something like, "is that an invitation?" I am an introverted single mom with a two-year-old. Those kinds of things are a hell of a lot more fun with other people.

    1. Thank you for your response (not sure why I never replied sooner... my apologies). It's nice to know that others "get" it without really having to explain.

  3. If your struggle wasn't this it would be something else. Everybody has SOMETHING. Many of the "real" (not my opinion, just a word) families you see now, the ones with mom, dad, and kid(s) will be broken up in the future ... You are not selfish to CHOOSE to be a single mom. I think having "guilt" is just part of being a mom (or a woman). You sound like you are doing a GREAT job. Your child won't miss what he doesn't know. When I was a kid I was jealous of all of the divorced families. Haha They were probably jealous of me. I know of one man that was raised by a single mom (she gave birth when she was 16 and he has always been an only child)and he turned out GREAT. Life is life. Just make the best of it and try not to waste your time thinking "if only ... and shoulda, coulda, woulda. Put your energy into something else. One last thing. There is something great in being able to be ALONE and not have to be social and with others ALL the time. It took me half my life to learn to like my own company and now I prefer it. It's grand! :)