It’s unfortunate but true: some men just leave the scene when they find that there’s a baby on the way. Others stick around longer, but then leave after the first month or year, or when another child comes into the picture. Of course, there are times when it’s better if that man isn’t around: if he’s abusive, dangerous, irresponsible, or otherwise not suited to being a parent. In the end, however, many women are faced with the fact that – whether they planned it this way or not – they’re going to be left on their own to raise a child. If they’re also young, or without family support, and don’t know anything about having babies or taking care of them, those women are also probably pretty nervous.
Are you in this category? If so, find someone who can give you help and advice. Check your local health centers to see if they have a nurse or midwife help line – quite a few community clinics offer free counseling and parenting advice. If you’re involved in a church, they may know of counseling and support organizations that you can contact. Family, friends, and neighbors with kids can all be great sources of information, too. And you can always use the internet and your local library to find books about pregnancy and birth, taking care of babies, and raising healthy, happy, children. To get you started, here’s a list of articles, books, and blogs that are full of useful information.
Finances: If you’re facing the prospect of being a single mom, money is something you’re going to have to think about, even if you’ve never really worried about it before. There are a lot of expenses connected to children, starting with hospital bills and going through clothes, food, school costs, and more. Take some time to review your current budget, and see where you might be able to save more money. This article has some budget guidelines.
Child Support: Whether you and your child’s father were married or not, there is a good chance that you are owed child support to help take care of the child. This is especially important if you are unable to work, or if you need to look for another job after having your baby. Every state has different regulations that apply to single parents and child support, and you need to be familiar with them. Even if the father doesn’t want any part of parenting, he still has an obligation to provide for his child, and state law can help you get that support. Here’s an article that gives you some of the basic information.
New Job: Even if you didn’t have a job before, it’s a good idea to get one now, if you can. While child support is mandatory in many states and in many situations, you shouldn’t depend entirely on someone else. However, you’ll need to find a job that fits around your new schedule as a single mom, and know how to adjust that schedule to be flexible enough to get work. For more advice on getting a good job, read our 11 best jobs for single mothers article.
And I do recommend you look at our How to Make $1000 a month as a Freelancer article on how to set up a part time income for yourself by freelancing online by writing articles.
Legal Problems: Child support isn’t the only legal issue you may face – custody is also something that often causes problems. Even if your ex wasn’t interested in being a parent at first, he may change his mind after a while, and ask to spend time with your child. You need to know what the state rules are that apply to custody, and what your rights are. Every state has organizations that provide free legal advice on family law issues like child support, domestic violence, bankruptcy, and custody. For a list of these organizations, read our Legal Help for Single Mothers by state page.
Help and Advice: You might be feeling lost and alone, but there are places and people who will give you the support that you need. Your family, close friends, church groups, community centers, and health clinics can each give you help and advice on a range of parenting issues. Instead of waiting until you need help, why not set up your support network right now? You’ll get a wider circle of friends that you can have fun with as well as turn to when you need them. Get a list of recommendations for developing this parenting support network in this article.
Books On Parenting
Listed below are just a few of the books that can be good places to look for answers to your questions about parenting, about being a single mother, and about raising children with and without a father. You can also ask your family and friends if they have books that they bought and used as references – even older books will have good advice. Remember to keep the books and pass them on to the next person you meet in your situation, and you can become part of someone else’s support network!
Good Enough Parenting
Subtitled “An In-Depth Perspective on Meeting Core Emotional Needs and Avoiding Exasperation,” this book by John and Karen Louis is a good thing to read if you’re worried about being a mom. While a lot of the book deals with how to handle teenagers, it’s useful information even for first-time mothers with new babies. After all, those babies will eventually grow up to be teenagers, and it’s best to be prepared!
Kids and the Single Mom: Real-Word Guide to Effective Parenting
Author Jennifer Maggio talks about her own real-life experience as a single mother, and this book is full of honest stories about what it’s really like. Maggio is a devout Christian, and the book also includes many references to Bible-based parenting as well as practical information on handling daily parenting issues.
Accidentally on Purpose
While many single mothers are parenting alone because they have gotten divorced, been abandoned, or otherwise lost the father of their child, some women choose to have and raise a child on their own. Mary Pols is one of those women, and while her story might not be the same as yours, it’s a humorous and honest look at what it’s like to be a single mother.
Blogs By Single Mothers for Single Mothers
Simply doing a Google search for “single mom blog” will probably get you a list of more mommy blogs than you’d ever have time to read! Because there are so many people out there with blogs, there’s a very good chance that you’ll find one or more women who are in a similar situation, and whose story you can relate to. Skim through the list of blogs on the internet and see whose writing appeals to you, who has the same number of kids, or who offers the advice you’re looking for. If you have time, you might even think about starting your own blog. After all, the stories and advice that you’re able to share might be exactly what some other single mother somewhere is looking for.
Even if you don’t find a blog you like that’s focused on being a single parent, there are many other blogs that talk about parenting in general. Here are some of the most popular blogs by moms, single and otherwise:
- SingleMoms.org (= US of course 🙂 =)
- The Pioneer Woman (http://thepioneerwoman.com/)
- She Wears Many Hats (http://shewearsmanyhats.com/)
- The Successful Single Mom (http://thesuccessfulsinglemom.blogspot.co.uk/)
- Ann’s Rants (http://annsrants.com/)
- Scary Mommy (http://www.scarymommy.com/)
- The Single Mommy Blog (www.thesinglemommyblog.com/)
- Epic Mommy Adventures (http://epicmommyadventures.com/)