It would've helped to have a large extended family. I've been a single parent most of my son's 19 years and with no family nearby and hardly anyone for support but lots of people at the schools etc to criticize me. And some wonderful people at the schools too, but not nearly as many.
My son had ADHD but the schools called it "poor parenting." I was ordered to take a lot of parenting classes. It was at one of the parenting classes when he was just past 2 that they had us bring our kids one day. The teacher said "my goodness, he really doesn't sit down, does he? None of us can get his attention to slow him down even a little bit, don't feel bad that you can't. He needs to see a child behavior counselor to be diagnosed as hyperactive but really, none of us has any doubt."
Along the way I found support in a group of adult ADHD people online. And one of those people recently led me to gather. If you don't know Angela B you're missing a really good person. I've known her since 1995 and only met her once. There just couldn't be a nicer smarter funnier more creative person. Technically I suppose there could, but you know what I mean. :) From her I learned the most important thing is to love your child and make sure they know it. Well, I had the loving part down already by then. :)
I was 41 when my baby was born. I was told that this was where I had "gone wrong," and that I should NEVER have had a child at that age. And here I thought it was a wonderful miracle that I was finally able to have a baby of my own, not something I'd done wrong. I know that he is the best thing that ever happened in my life. I've had a lot of work fighting with school systems to get him what he deserved and I haven't been as successful as I'd have liked, but I did it alone most of the time. And friends my age either had had their kids long ago or just weren't going to have any.
I had help from a group named CHADD until we moved to California just before 3rd grade. I thought I'd find a CHADD group here but the one in San Diego is so far from where we live that it would have cost $30 each way for cabfare. It would have been smarter to get a driver's license before becoming a parent, but I didn't know that. And I found out that besides ADHD we also both had depression, although my son's didn't appear until he started to go to school.
I was lucky, his dad is not a deadbeat dad. He sends support, and he calls and talks with my son at least half an hour every Sunday and has him visit twice a year or more. And he's supportive by email, but it's not like having someone here when you get the flu and just can't cook anything.
I'd never want to have lived without being a parent, but I wouldn't have chosen to be a single parent if I'd had any other options. Life just pulled us apart and I was glad I got my baby first.