When my fiancé had initially learned of me being a solo parent, I admit, it had been a hard pill for him to swallow. Meeting him for the first time was a set up by his mother whom I worked for, and who had told her other children – my future siblings in law that she had found her son a wife, and my fiancé’s boss (who had just wanted to find his employee a lay). It was supposed to be a secret, but the both of us knew of their cunning little plan when his mother coerced him to pick me up on a Sunday so that I could “work alone” with him, ripping up lino on his mother’s new property. I was a novice labourer for her landscaping company, whilst my fiancé to be was a builder; I knew nothing of renovating a house, so it was blatantly obvious the reasons why we had been placed together on that fine morning.
“Nice house”, he had texted arriving outside my front door. Slightly nervous I opened the door before he had the chance to knock, well I had figured he would stay in his vehicle seeing as he had already let me know of his arrival, however standing right on my door step we had both been caught guard. He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen – my type most definitely. This was a movie moment; you know, the male lead gawking at the female lead as she gracefully struts down the street in slow motion, hair blowing in the wind like she’s trying to sell a Loreal product. The world just seemed to grind to a halt in that very moment.
“I’ll be right with you, I just need to pee first”, I broke the serene stillness in that manner, sheesh (I wonder if it will be him or I reciting this as a wedding speech). He waited ‘till I did my deed, then we headed back to his van. In the 20 minutes it had taken to drive to his mother’s house a lot was surprisingly spoken. Usually I’m brutally shy during a first meeting, but for some reason I felt strangely comfortable in his company. I spoke of my life; my interests, passions, family and my two year old daughter whose father shares custody with me.
I hadn’t realised, which I was made aware of further into our relationship that once he had learned that I had a kid, he crossed me off his list. He was 24 trying to break the music industry, of course he was not ready to have anything, or anyone “hold him back”. Over the period of the day however, he saw certain aspects of me which to him proved irresistible, and I had felt the same. It was if we had known each other before, and for a very long time; there was no one else walking this planet which I could honestly say could click in the same demeanor we did that day, and the sexual tension. Damn, nothing beats “working” alongside a sexy builder, with long locks of a golden sunrise, non-hipster like facial hair, and a belt of tools. Through my idealistic image, he was Thor with his hammer.
In the afternoon, he had a kid’s birthday party to attend, so sadly he had to drop me off (I definitely wouldn’t have minded spending the rest of the day with him). After approaching my stop, his ice-blue eyes held my gaze – I could tell he wanted to seize the moment before we had to part ways just as much as I did. It was actually slightly awkward. I wanted to kiss him. Before I took a breath and forced my hand to open the van door, still holding his spellbinding gaze, he stole from me that flaunting need I had so badly wanted to express to him. I don’t want to seem cheesie or too out of the box, but it was though a pyromancer on methamphetamine had risen in the both of us, creating colossal fire spells, with no particular purpose or direction. ‘Fireworks’ could just not cut the cake with this one.
Once again his mother, as much of a successful person that she is, succeeded once more. Over the next several months we would move in together, and he would ask me to be his wife. Don’t get me wrong, there have been challenges; to all of you who struggle with the idea of dating a single parent, yup, this aspect had proven to challenge him too. For him to accept her, to accept that I had a child to another male almost disgusted him. It did disgust him. He struggled with accepting her for this reason, because she shared half of her father’s DNA. He hated her father, he hated that my daughter wasn’t his. Every time he would look at my daughter she would remind him of this raw and unpleasant image.
I empathised with him however. I reassured him that his feelings were OK, and that he was allowed to take his time with her, because I was also aware that it was hard for my daughter to accept her mom having another male in her life that wasn’t her own father. Both my fiancé and daughter would slowly grow to accept, and eventually love one another. I was grateful that my fiancé could express and communicate these, in the image of our society, unspoken and unaddressed feelings with me. It is as though potential step parents would be shamed for having such selfish ideals, but there was no inch of me that would resent his honesty. He was not selfish, he was real, and I respected that.
The point I am attempting to make is that while being with a person who has a child would seem like one was “continuing some other father’s (or mother’s) saved game”, once you really do fall in love, none of that shit really matters. So long as the parent is aware and respects your feelings, time is what would hold the both of your hands. I know that this challenge is not for everyone, but I want to take this moment to empathise with you too. I could only imagine what my fiancé had felt trying to wrap his head around, and accept this side of me, and like the love of my own step father, I knew that him and I were going to be OK. Despite this, what a lot of you would like to label as “baggage”, my fiancé has reassured me, time and time again, that he has never been so in love before. He tells me every day how he is looking forward to growing old with me, having children of his own with me.
We are best friends. We are patient with one another, we communicate, we share with passion our individual lives and everything that makes them up. We are perfect for each other in the element of imperfection. We are soul mates, and even though we will continue to have ups and downs, just like everyone else (children and no children), we remain in love.
Say what you like about solo parents, but remember that it is only what stems from your own insecurities which have you making derogatory comments about us, because I am due to spend the rest of my life with a beautiful man who loves and cherishes me, despite the prejudice labels.