Whether you planned to be a single parent or have found yourself without a partner to support you, it is understandable that you will have concerns about the future. It doesn’t help that you are tired and your hormones are all over the place! Thinking about what lies ahead can feel overwhelming. You might wonder how you will manage to cope raising a child alone or worry about the costs that come with bringing up a baby. However tempting it might be to bury your head in the sand, don’t. There is a wealth of support out there to help you and your baby.
Single Doesn’t Mean Alone
One of the main worries for those who are pregnant without a partner on the scene is how they will manage day to day. There is lots to consider, including whether a return to work will be practical after maternity leave and if your living space is suitable for raising a child. It is important to remember that being a single parent doesn’t have to mean going it alone. Friends and family are often willing to help where they can so take them up on any offers – they wouldn’t be putting themselves forward if they didn’t want to help.
You may also find support in groups, either online or in person. If you are wanting to connect with other single parents in your area, try contacting Gingerbread – a long-established charity specifically for single parents. Depending on your circumstances, talking therapy might be beneficial. This form of counselling can help you process the situation so you can move forwards with positivity.
Look After Yourself
Expecting a baby is both an exciting and stressful time. Your body is working hard as your baby grows and it is normal to feel tired and emotional. You may also be struggling physically, for example, with sciatica or back pain. There is an expectation in modern society to keep going as normal throughout pregnancy but listen to your body. If you need to rest, do. If you are in pain, it is not normal – speak to your midwife or GP for advice. There is no reason to feel guilty for falling asleep on the settee or spending two hours soaking in the bath – growing a baby is a strenuous business! Take time to enjoy the miracle of pregnancy and know you are looking after not just yourself, but also your baby.
Practical Help and Advice
It can be difficult to know exactly what help and benefits you are entitled to as a single parent. A visit to your local Citizens Advice Bureau can be time well spent to find out what state benefits you are eligible for. You should also calculate maintenance payments to find out how much you are entitled to, with Cordell Cordell’s website being a great place to start. As specialists in family law, Cordell Cordell also offers family law podcasts and a step-by-step divorce guide if you are separating from a partner. Getting financial advice can be reassuring and allows you to budget appropriately.
Think About Your Baby
Pregnancy can be strange – at times it feels like the baby inside you is an abstract concept. Focus on the little person you will soon be welcoming into your life and enjoy preparing for their arrival, knowing that everything you are doing now will benefit them once they arrive.
Hopefully this article has helped you. Remember, you can and will get through this and when you are holding your baby in your arms, it will all be worth it.