Thoughts on Single Adoptive Parenting

I've been a bit quiet on the blog lately. My usual one-a-week rate has lapsed to more like one-a-month. It's the least I've written for years.

There's a very good reason for it. As a family, we've embarked on a new experience: having a man about the place.

Yes folks, after years of singleness, followed by years of single parenting, I've embarked on another great adventure. I'm not going to get into the details here (maybe another time!) but, after weeks, yes literally weeks, of agonising over whether it was a good idea or not, I eventually said "Yes" to the possibilities and braved the deep waters of a first date, and then a few more dates and then . . . well, as I said, let's not go into details.

It's been an interesting but lovely journey adjusting our tight-knit routines to accommodate a new relationship, and it's all going remarkably well so far, but it has got me thinking again about what it really means to be a single adoptive parent.

A lot of the time, it is still just the four of us, with me juggling all the balls. But sometimes now, I have an extra pair of hands, and it's been a revelation.

It's a revelation when I've forgotten something vital in the weekly shop that I have someone else who can call in at the store late at night to pick it up.

It's a revelation to know how it feels to look forward to somebody else coming to the house sometimes at the end of a long day to reset the mood and change things up a bit.

It's a revelation to have an extra pair of hands at the park for toddler wrangling and general fun management.

It's a revelation to sit down sometimes with the kids after our evening meal and just be with them while somebody else clears away the post-food carnage.

It's a revelation just to be able to talk, to chew over the day, to think out loud about decisions, plans of action and ideas with another real live human person.

Every so often I'll see someone on social media or somewhere mention that their other half works such long hours, or is away so often or whatever, that "it's like being a single parent." I've always had the sneaking suspicion that nothing compares to being a single adoptive parent. Now I know it for sure.

In single adoptive parenting, nobody is ever coming to help. Nobody is ever going to pick up the slack if you let things slide. Nobody else is going to make any decisions, or take any responsibility or even see what happened. There isn't an ex-partner that my kids go to stay with for the day or even the occasional weekend. I have lovely family and friends but at the end of the day, the buck always, always stops with me and me alone.

I'm not complaining about that (the disclaimer is necessary). I did choose single parenting, although I won't say I knew what I was getting into because I defy any first time parent to really have any idea what they are getting into before it happens. But I did choose it, that's true.

And yet, this past few weeks, they have been a revelation. Hats off to single adoptive parents everywhere. We really are made of stern stuff.


  1. As a single adopter just starting out on this whole journey, I'm looking forward to catching up with your earlier posts


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