Are you thinking about taking on the very important and challenging role of becoming a single parent? In addition to having a monopoly on giggles, sticky hugs, lullabies, and kisses, single parents are often charged with full-time sick duty, late-night struggles with sleep, tantrum control, and time-outs. Are you up to the challenge?
Being a Teenage Mom
Danielle is the single parent of an 11-year-old boy and lives in Toronto, Ontario. She was 19 when she became pregnant. "Being a teenager when I got pregnant and deciding to keep [the baby] instead of giving him up was what saved my life. It made me grow up fast and take control of things that had been out of control. I took a good look at the people and places that had consumed my life and they were all the wrong things," says Danielle, now 30 years old.
"My son has lived with me and tolerated my mistakes as I learned how to be a good parent. He is my best friend and the best thing to come from his father and me," says Danielle, shedding a positive light on a situation that could have been much different.
Maintaining health and happiness as a single woman about to give birth can be daunting. Are there specific challenges for young, single moms during pregnancy?
Laurie Horricks-Volpini works with pregnant teens and teenage mothers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. Horricks-Volpini says that, "Getting to medical appointments, taking care of finances, eating healthfully, and taking prenatal vitamins ... will help to keep all pregnant women stress-free." She adds that, "parenting alone can be more stressful than in a dual-parent role, and increased stress in pregnancy can have some negative effects."
Pregnancy and Parenting after Separation
Traci, a 40-year-old single woman living in Calgary, Alberta, understands this stress. As someone who loves children, Traci always pictured herself as the mommy of at least one child. "I decided [that I wanted to have children] when I was about 25," she says. "With a baby, there would be someone whom I could love and teach things."