There are a variety of circumstances under which women become single moms in pregnancy. For some, it's by choice but for many others, it is completely unintended - whether it's through a tragedy, a failed relationship or failed contraception (or a lack thereof!). No matter how a woman finds herself a single pregnant mom there will be moments of doubt and, most certainly, moments of loneliness.
I went through pregnancy as a single woman and it was definitely the hardest emotional journey I've ever gone through. I know that the number of women that face pregnancy without a partner is pretty low but I want to write about it for that exact reason. When you are staring down the face of motherhood knowing you will be doing it "alone", it's easy to feel like no one understands, like no one gets it. All of the baby books are written to moms with partners, as are all of the blog posts and most any other advice you will read. So, please, if you are not in the situation but know someone who is, pass this on so that she knows she is not alone.
Do a maternity photo shoot.
This is a piece of advice that I did not listen to. A friend of mine had told me to get professional pictures done but I didn't do it because of the fact that I was single. It made me too sad to think about taking pictures all by myself. In fact, I steered clear of anything "maternity photo shoot" related on Pinterest because I just knew they would be full of those belly pictures with the dad's hands over the mom's in a shape of a heart. And my heart just couldn't take it. But, now, I really wish I had done it. My son loves hearing about when he was in my tummy and I just know he would love to see beautiful pictures of me while I was pregnant.
Make public announcements when you feel comfortable.
Whether it's announcing your pregnancy or a change in your relationship status, do so in your own timing. The people that truly love and care about you will understand or at least they will respect your privacy. If you need time, take your time. If you want to go the Kylie Jenner route and keep your pregnancy private for only those closest to you, then do it. I didn't publicly announce that I was pregnant until I was in my third trimester. And I can honestly say that I don't regret it. My circumstances were complicated and highly emotional, I didn't need to add the stress of people's questions or unintentional insensitive comments. Make your announcement when you feel comfortable and if that's right from the start, then do it. Don't let anyone else tell you what is right for you.
Be intentional about bonding with your baby.
It took me a while to feel connected to my baby but one thing I was dead set on was taking care of him to the best of my ability and doing all the "right" things, according to my seven baby apps on my phone, anyway. So, even though I didn't quite feel it yet I started being intentional about bonding with my baby. I talked to him, picked out a special song to sing to him and I prayed for him. These are all very typical things for expectant mothers to do but when you are stressed or sad or carrying the load of baby prep on your own, it can be easy to overlook it. If you're not in a place to do all the things, then don't but find something that you can do to bond with your baby and be intentional about doing it every day - whether it's singing a special song, saying a prayer or reading out loud.
Be honest about your feelings.
Taking a hospital tour, knowing you will give birth without a partner stinks. Constantly being asked questions about "dad" also stinks. I think that no matter what your situation is, there are moments that will remind you that this isn't normal and by that I mean it's not the "norm", not that is' wrong or bad, it's just different. It's ok to feel sad or a little out of place at the birthing classes. It's ok to feel your feelings and be honest about them. It doesn't make you a bad mom and it doesn't mean you aren't enjoying your pregnancy, it just means that you are human.
Take any help that is offered to you.
Accepting help from others has always been a challenge for me and while I was pregnant, it was something I had to eventually get over. While I did not have a partner, I had many loving people around me that were eager to shower me with love and care. I hope with all my heart that if you are pregnant and do not have a partner, you are surrounded by loving people that want to help you - accept their help now in any form that it comes in. It will make your load lighter and the journey more enjoyable.
Hold your head up high.
No matter what brought you to where you are - whether it was a conscious decision to parent solo or not - you are making the choice to raise and parent your child as a single mom and that's not an easy feat. You should be proud of your decision, don't ever feel ashamed or less than anyone else!
About the Author
Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.