If you’re single and pregnant, you probably realize that you’re not in an easy situation. However, there are steps you can take to make the joyous time of pregnancy one of the best experiences of your life. Here are some recommended resources for single parents.
1) Relatives & Friends
Most people rely on a support network of friends, relatives, neighbors, church or synagogue members, or workmates. When you’re single and expecting, this resource is especially important. You’ll need emotional support, someone to accompany you to the hospital when you go into labor, and some help when you bring your little bundle of joy home.
Think about your potential crew of helpers and map out a plan while you’re on your nine-month journey to motherhood. Preparation is key, and if you can appoint members of your support network to various responsibilities ahead of time, you’ll not only be prepared but also have the peace of mind you need to sail through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and coming home with your new little bundle in fine fashion.
If you’re feeling a little apprehensive about asking members of “team baby” to help, you need to just get over it. Most people are absolutely more than willing to help, and they will actually be flattered that you asked. You can make a list of the various tasks and keep notes about who will help with what, and when the baby decides to come, you can execute your well-thought-out plan.
Not only will you need help when you go into labor, but you'll also be busy getting the baby’s room prepared and having the right supplies on hand ahead of time. Seek out assistance from “team baby” members to stock your nursery with things like a rocking chair, a baby monitor, a changing table, a bassinet, a baby swing, a crib, a mobile, and countless other baby supplies. Having a nursery that’s set up and ready to go will ensure a less stressful return to your residence once you’re released from the hospital.
2) Financial Advice and Support
You’re already aware that raising a child is an expensive endeavor. Will your current income take care of both you and your newborn? What about returning to work and needing daycare? Do you have any family members who could help out? Is there a grandparent or neighbor who could come into your home to care for your new baby? Setting up a daycare provider ahead of time is a wise move. Some daycares won’t take newborns, so exploring options near your work or home is advisable.
Budgeting for any daycare expense, formula, diapers, and eventually baby food is critical. You may wish to seek out the advice of a financial advisor. You will have lots of obligations when your child enters the world, and it’s wise to begin saving for the child’s education even when they’re a newborn. Not everyone can sock away money to help with education costs, but if it is an option, single parents who have managed to do so are much more at ease when junior grows into adulthood.
3) Single Parent Support Networks
Resources for single parents are available through a variety of nonprofit organizations. Parents can connect with such groups in person or online to share parenting experiences and ask questions. While there are more single-parent households in America than anywhere else on earth, these resource groups help single parents overcome their feelings of guilt or self-doubt caused by others' views of them. Joining a meet-up group, or similar environment, will allow you to share experiences with others. You can share your tips and successes, as well as learn from others with similar experiences. Take advantage of these connections as they are proven to be powerful.
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