During my pregnancy, I was so terrified to become a single mother. I didn’t want to burden my mom, I didn’t want to burden anybody. I thought that this is my responsibility so I have to do what’s best and bring up my son the way I would like him to be brought up, I would want to do this by myself because I was the one who got pregnant and it is my responsibility.
I knew when I found out I was pregnant when me and the father had different views on abortion and keeping the child that I would be a single parent. Not just by that, it’s like I knew deep down and I accepted it and come to terms with it. I was okay with it some days, some days I just wasn’t okay because it’s a huge life change in your life. But I made sure that I was prepared every way possible when he arrived.
Having said that, my mom does offer her support when I need it. If she can see I’m tired she will take him shopping with her for half an hour, she will bath him for me while I have a nap. The little but helpful things really do help a lot when you are a single mother. It’s okay to take support when it’s offered, and it’s also okay to ask for support by others that are happy to help out. When you’re a single parent a good support system is needed whether this will be authorities such as your health visitor or family nurse, your family members, friends.. Anybody that are genuinely happy to help.
It is hard sometimes because I’m very protective and picky when it comes to people looking after my son and he’s never been out of my sight yet because I feel that he’s too young and I wouldn’t be comfortable with it – I mean this as an over night thing – of course my mom taking him out for the day is the only thing I’m comfortable with, but the first few times I was erratic. Which was pathetic, since she’s had 3 children herself. I know nothing would happen to him, but it’s just an urge to hear that he’s okay and happy.
It’s also important to know that things will work out and things will be okay. No matter how hard you think it is at the time, in a few months time will that problem still matter?
If the problem is to do with the child’s father it’s good to know where you stand legally, such as putting him on the birth certificate, what rights they’re entitled to which you can read about here. Also, if he isn’t paying a penny towards your child and who you can contact and get involved which I will link information about that here. If he isn’t seeing the child as much as he should be for example if he’s drifting in and out of your child’s life, offer a contact centre legally so it’s logged down that at least you have tried.
At a contact centre the parent has to visit there once a week sometimes more depending on what is discussed. If they’re not going to listen to you and cooperate then definetely go down the legal route in case they choose to get authority involved claiming you’ve stopped them seeing their child. It’s best to have it logged down that at least YOU have tried.
If it’s a situation where you’ve had no choice but to become a single parent due to circumstances e.g. Domestic violence, counselling and help from authorities will be amazing. Organisations such as women’s aid are fantastic. Even going to visit your doctor and explaining to them the situation, they are able to refer you to different services and it’s all confidential.
There is no point necessary to shout at your child if he’s screaming, if he’s not going to sleep, if he’s not cooperating. It’s not their fault. They’re getting used to this crazy big world they’re not doing these things on purpose and they want to be close to you. Just offer support and understand that they will never always stick to the same routines due to growth spurts, teething and other factors.
Being a single parent at 19 going on 20 is completely different to what I expected in a positive way. I would of thought it would be harder than what it is but saying this I’m only 4 months in. I’m happy with the way I’m doing things, I’m happy my son is a healthy happy bundle of joy and I’m so in love and embracing motherhood. There’s no point crying and running from the situation, you have to make the best of things not make it your excuse to let them down.
Everything happens for a reason, and my angel was a gift from God and I will do him proud no matter how tough things get.