You have NO idea how much work this is going to be. You will be happy for every second you can have on your own. Gosh, when I think back to the difficulties of combining work and having a daughter as a couple, I can’t even imagine how you’re going to manage all this alone.
Do any of these sentences sound familiar?
They sure do to me. In the last five months, I’ve heard these concerns a billion times.
I know they come from a caring place, but still, they always sting.
After all, there are so many fears you already harbor as a single-mom-to-be.
You have the financial worries, the time management scares, the thoughts and fears of whether you’re going to be good enough for the child or if your child is going to miss something or someone, just to name a few. You don’t need someone else harping on about the challenges of motherhood in order for you to be aware of all the challenges ahead of you.
But people do it anyway and they do it with gusto and fun. It’s easy to let these comments get to you and cause you sleepless nights, but there are better ways to deal with them.
Here are my favorite tips.
1. Realize your child won’t know the difference
One of my biggest fears is the thought that my child will miss something, that he or she will be unhappy because the baby daddy isn’t around. This is a thought that used to paralyze me and made me doubt my capabilities, my worth and value as a person and the future I’ll have with my child.
Then, one day, a good friend of mine told me this: “Your baby will not know the difference. He or she will know YOU, be familiar with your unique family situation and that’s that. Yes, later, there might be some questions coming up, but if you’re a loving, caring parent, you’re all your baby truly needs.”
Yup, that does sound true to me.
2. Start a journaling ritual
One of the best ways to deal with your fears is to write about them – being brutally honest and outspoken.
Creating a regular journaling ritual will give you the mental space to purge all your worries on a piece of paper. Believe me, after writing down what bothers you, what scares the shit out of you and what paralyzes you, you will feel relieved and ready to live your life confidently and upbeat again.
3. Create your tribe
Having a tribe of supportive and loving people who get you and know what you’re going through is irreplaceable. So, if you are not already surrounded by people who uplift you and care for you, go out and find them. Spend time with the ones that make you laugh, dry your tears and just listen to your fears. Get rid of the naysayers, the worriers and the fear-enablers.
Even if you feel like isolating yourself, don’t. Be proactive and meet a friend for a cup of coffee, a glass of water, a stroll in the park. It makes all the difference, I promise.
4. Embrace your emotions
We are taught that having emotions is bad, that crying is weak, that sadness is a fault. Well, it’s not.
We are blessed with our emotions for a reason, so allow yourself to embrace them, feel them and don’t push them aside.
However, it’s also important that you don’t indulge in them for days, weeks or even months. Instead, bookmark your times of sadness and fear. Break down for an hour or two and then get back up, meet a friend or simply go on a shopping spree. You can cry again in the morning.
5. Create your own mantra
When I found out that I was pregnant – mere two days after I separated from my husband, I was, well, scared shitless.
What would I do?
How would I manage?
How would all of this work out?
After the initial bout of desperation, I created a mantra that has helped me through the last five months.
“It’ll all work out”.
Whenever I’m scared, I say these words over and over and over again. They feel healing, comforting and true.
It will all work out. I will be able to raise the baby. I am strong enough and capable.
Another mantra that I love to use is: “I am safe”. I am safe, no matter what happens, no matter what’s ahead of me. I am safe.
What words speak to your heart? Find them and create your own single-mom-to-be mantra.
6. Give yourself the space to dream
This is my favorite practice and definitely the one I use the most. When I’m scared or I hear words of advice that are anything but helpful, I begin to dream of the life I get to create with my little bug.
I get to shape the early years of a human being – what a privilege. I get to create my own kind of family – what a blessing.
I dream of the things I’ll teach the little one, the fun we’ll have together, the stories I’ll tell and the rituals we’ll create.
No matter what negative thought I’ve had, this always brings me back to the joys of motherhood.
Here’s the thing: being a single mom might seem harder than having a partner that’s with you every step of the way.
Yes, it’ll be stressful.
Yes, it’ll be scary.
Yes, there’ll be moments where you don’t know what to do, BUT every parent experiences these moments; single or not.
So, don’t worry too much about the future and instead focus on the present: you are growing a human being inside of you and you’ll soon get to know him or her.
Isn’t that a gift worth celebrating?
You and your little bug will soon be a team and you will be a great mom. Just have a tiny bit of faith in yourself.