I'm a young professional single mom to a 4 week old. The baby's father left me midway through the pregnancy, he has had no involvement with the baby so far, this is not by my choice. He has also provided zero financial support, something that I'm trying to fix asap.
I'm really enjoying motherhood but being alone with a newborn has been difficult. It will only get more difficult when I return to work full time. I'm afraid of the challenges both emotional and financial that lie ahead. I'm afraid of what my son's life will be like without a father figure.
I know there are other new mom groups out there, but the "single" part feels like something that other new moms might not understand. While pregnant, I attended a prenatal yoga class. It was a good experience, but I was the only single person. Hearing other women talk about the help their husbands gave them was difficult. Even being a single mom in the hospital was hard. Nurses would ask why I was alone and where my husband was. It was both embarrassing and painful to correct them.
Do you know of any support groups for single new moms?
I have confidence in my ability to be a mom, I don't have a lot of new mom anxieties that I hear many women talk about, probably because I've just done it all by myself from day one. The problem is I need support for all the baggage associated with the being single part. Advice on career/mom balance, how to fulfill the roles of both "mom" and "dad", dealing with legal matters, staying sane, and how to approach dating again someday (I doubt this will be anytime soon).
Any advice would be great. Thank you.
From: Single New Mom, Boston
Dear Single New Mom,
Single parenting raises its own unique set of challenges, for sure. Check out the "Meet Up" groups for single parents. If there isn't one near you (and sorry to say, best as I can tell, the nearest one is in Woburn), there's all kinds of info about how to start an on-line group.
Next, let me introduce you to your new BFF, Leah Klungness. Leah is co-author, with Andrea Engber, of "The Complete Single Mother, third edition," and the founder of SingleMommyhood.com (dads, don't be put off by the name, it's for you as well). Almost all the issues you raise in your email are addressed on the site and Leah answers questions, too.
By the way, 26% of children in the US today are being raised by single moms. You are not alone, even if it feels that way.