Being a single mother will have its challenges, beginning with a long nine months of being pregnant. If you are facing the prospect of having a child by yourself, you have many things to take care of as well as look forward to. Enjoy this time as much as you can, by using it to take care of the both of you and prepare for your future together. The following tips will help.
- Organize your support network early. Friends, family, churches and neighbors can all offer you much-needed help during pregnancy. If you need rides to appointments or a helping hand around the house, don’t be afraid to ask! Use these occasions as an opportunity to grow closer to those trusted figures already in your life; you and your baby will need them as pals, advisers and just good company. Reach out and bond with others as you begin bonding with your baby.
- Know what your rights are. Depending on circumstances with the biological father, you need to know about filling out the birth certificate and seeking child support. Reach decisions on these important issues early and don’t let the stress of them wear you out during pregnancy; you need to stay healthy, energetic and strong for your baby.
- Get great prenatal care. Even if you don’t have insurance, you should have no problem getting quality health care. Call on as many resources as necessary to find a doctor you are comfortable with and a clinic that provides you with top of the line advice and treatments. It may take some digging or self-advocating on your part, but there is too much at stake not to fight for the best. Knowing you’ve got a great medical team behind you will reduce a lot of stress during your nine months too.
- Sign-up for a parenting class. Not only will you learn a great deal in such a class, you will be surrounded by other expectant moms who are going through the same things you are. It’s a wonderful way to get great information to start your baby off right in life and make connections with other like-minded women. Take notes, ask questions and don’t miss a minute of class! Ask the instructor to recommend a good parenting book for you as well, and keep it handy at home.
- Prep your home. One of the most enjoyable aspects of pregnancy is preparing the nursery! Even if you are shopping at consignment or second-hand stores, go all out in creating a beautiful and loving environment for your little one. Make your home a special place and give it your unique sense of style. If it’s going to be just the two of you, there is no sense holding back on creativity or personality. Use bold colors and vibrant patterns that will grab your baby’s attention and liven up the place.
- Respect your decisions and stand your ground. You might catch some flack for the choices you make, find yourself feeling lonely and second-guess the course you are on; this is totally normal. You’ve got to be super strong for you and your baby and be ready for anything!
Nothing compares to bringing a child into this world, even if you’re going it alone. Be an inspiration to yourself and take comfort in your strength. Get as much help from as many sources as you can and take extra good care of yourself; you’re going to need all the energy you can get in the coming months and years!