While single parenthood was unheard of in the 1950s, it’s common in 2019 for a new parent to raise their child independently. Although being a single mother is a daunting prospect, you’re not alone. 1 in 4 children in the US are raised in a single parent household. 80% of those households are headed by a mother. Millions of women before you shared your anxiety and concerns about raising your child alone..
It might be the case that the baby’s father is still in your life, but they are unable to bring up the baby with you. They may be in the armed forces, work far away, or be in a residential facility to treat addiction and other illnesses. Even if you are still in a relationship with the father, that doesn’t make the notion of bringing up a child alone is any less daunting.
This article will provide you with some practical tips and strategies to help you manage in these first formative few months.
Keep to a Schedule
Have a schedule for the day for feedings, chores and errands, and additional care. As a new mum, you’ll feel much more on top of your responsibilities with an organised routine.
- Divide tasks into small, manageable chunks.
- Write a plan on a piece of paper and tick off to-do items as you go.
- Use phone reminders to remind yourself to complete specific tasks.
Leave yourself some buffer room though. Life with a newborn can be unpredictable, and it is good to account for things that pop up unexpectedly!
Visit a Support Group
Life as a single mother can be isolating, but most community centres have support groups.
This is where single mothers can meet, share stories/advice and even get started on those playdates early!
There are also online and physical support groups for other issues you might face, such as coping with an absent father.
New Life House offers bi-weekly family meetings and several family events to help support the loved ones of people dealing with addiction and substance abuse.
Use Your Support Network
As you fall in love with your little one, it can be tempting to do everything yourself and shut away the rest of the world. You might also be afraid to ask for help or think that you’ll be judged. But that really shouldn’t be the case. When you ask for and accept help from your support network, you’ll realise you don’t have to do everything all on your own.
Asking for help doesn’t make you any less independent, it just makes you human. It can be helpful to have someone help you out with the baby, or do some of the other tasks you haven’t got around to. You’ll no doubt be very busy, so an extra pair of hands can really help.
Friends, family and loved ones will all be on hand to help. They will no doubt relish at the chance to form a relationship with your baby!
Also, your midwife should make home visits in the first few weeks following the birth. The reason they do this is to check you over and to be on hand for any questions or other concerns you may have – so make sure you utilise that support!
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to look after yourself once your baby is born, so don’t feel guilty to have someone taking care of your baby. Use this as an opportunity for a moment to yourself.
You can use the time to have a nap, get a bite to eat, shower or doing other activities you might enjoy!
Your physical and mental health is just as important as your child’s, and it is important to have a support network around you to ensure your own needs aren’t neglected.
Disclosure: collaborative post