In 2010, having a child alone is not something that is typically gawked at. We no longer ship single, pregnant mothers off to secret destinations where they can deliver in private, escaping the scarlet letter of scorn. Still, even with all the advances in the women’s movement – there is a stigma associated with a pregnant woman who is not married or pregnant. Rule number one – is to get over it. If you are pregnant, and for whatever personal reasons you are not involved with the baby’s father – you are NOT predestined to a life of shame. In fact, there are thousands of good if not great reasons to rebuke an unhealthy relationship in the face of pregnancy and it takes strength to push aside societal expectations in order to give birth and raise your child alone.
It is appropriate to begin with the fact that many outsiders visualize your choice to have a child alone as a sign of promiscuity. In many, if not millions of cases, this cannot be further from the truth. Even married couples and long time daters find themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy. In fact, every 2 out of 3 pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. It doesn’t matter if you are 17 or 37 – if you are having sex, it can happen to you. Secondly, even with great judgment in birth control – pregnancy defies common logic and can happen anyways. Condoms break, birth control doesn’t always work and many women are faced with the responsibility of pregnancy without having chosen the perfect parental partner. This unplanned pregnancy can leave a perfectly harmoniously couple split down the middle and the man running and hiding for cover. The woman on the other hand has nowhere to run and can be faced with having a child alone as a result of her partner’s choice.
Aside from how it happens and why it happens – there is nothing wrong with having a child. Plenty of kids in this world are born into happy, loving, supportive, and completely close-knit families that are non-traditional. The truth is that the definition of a family has changed over the years. What makes your family complete – may not be the same thing it was in the 1950’a, however it is complete nonetheless. When you think about having a child alone, you may be worried that without mom and dad, living in the traditional home together – your child will be missing out. With diligence on your part and a positive attitude, your child will have just as much opportunity as another – possibly even more so.
Single mothers are everywhere. Some are in their situation by choice, while others end up there because of unimaginable destiny. Even so, women have an amazing tolerance for breaking new ground and for making the best of their lives no matter what deck they are handed. If you are having a child alone – then start by having the courage to think outside outdated ‘rules’ and begin seeing the future as one full of opportunity and love. The next step is to realize that while you may think you are alone – the reality is you aren’t! If you begin to look at your life in a new way, you will see that you have close friends, family members and an amazing network of assistance right at your fingertips. Your own parents can serve as loving corner stones to your new family and female and male friends who support and love you can also add balance and flavor to your child’s life. In addition to that, there are millions of support groups and other women in the same shoes as you – who cannot wait to meet you and wrap their circle of knowledge around you and your child. These comrades can offer assistance, ideas, help in ways you may never imagine, as well as help you to build a strong familial wall that is strong as steel – even without another ‘parent’ involved.
It’s easy to discuss having a child alone as though it is a consequence in life. However, keep in mind that many women are turning to non-traditional ways to become mothers – making the certain choice to have their child on their own. They feel strongly that just because they aren’t in a “perfect” relationship, that they crave the love and bonds of having a child of their own. Each year – the number of women choosing to have a child alone is rising and these women are in no way a group to feel sorry for. In fact, they should be admired for their courage to take control of their destiny rather than be stick longing and waiting for the perfect situation to arise. It is this type of thinking that speaks loudly about what kind of mom they will be and the lessons that they have to offer their children.
Having a child alone is not always a preferable choice. Yet – maturing is much about making the best of the life that you have and not feeling confined as a victim of circumstance. Whether your decision to have a child alone is one you made in consciousness or not, you have the duty to yourself, your baby, and your new idea of family to make every stride possible to ensure success. No family – no couple and no one person can completely understand, predict, or plan for the future. But what you can do is embrace it! Looking for resources that will help you, enlisting the help of the family that you already have and remaining open to optimism and positivity will give your child one of the very best lives possible. A life filled with love and resiliency.