Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

It’s OK to Be Single!

It’s OK to Be Single!

By Julie

Pregnancy can be a very vulnerable and emotionally trying time, and grappling with the possibility of being a single mother can make it even more so. After my son’s father decided he did not want anything to do with me or his unborn son, I spent a lot of time crying and trying to figure out what my fatal flaw was, why I had been ditched by a guy who was supposed to love me, when other girls got to make happy families with their babies’ fathers. I tried everything I could to win his affections, and every time it didn’t work, I thought it was because there was something wrong with me, rather than something wrong with him. I would stare at my belly and feel rejected, like he had marked and then discarded me. I felt pathetic and sinful and like I had failed my child before he was even born because I couldn’t make his father love us.

But when I stopped obsessing about it, stopped trying whatever I could to make my ex feel something, I found that it stopped mattering so much… I focused on my baby, and as my pregnancy progressed, he became more and more MINE and no one else’s. After he was born, it was him and I against the evil forces at work in the world, and we had a bond and powers stronger than any disinterested father or mean boyfriend. I found there were benefits to being single too. I loved not having to consult anyone else about the way I wanted to parent. I loved knowing that all of his little baby love was coming to me. I didn’t have to deal with fighting or worrying or taking care of anyone. I didn’t have to have sex until I was truly ready and wanting to. I learned my own strength and power and was able to discover myself as not just a mother, but also as a woman who didn’t need a man to succeed or feel whole. I figured out what I wanted and would accept in a relationship, and learned that I would never tolerate the ways I had been treated before. Pregnancy and motherhood change us SO MUCH that I was glad not to have to deal with someone who hadn’t had this incredible experience, who was still the same person as before, and expected me to be as well.

Listen to this, and know it well: There is nothing wrong with being a single mom. People will want you to feel guilty; they will want you to apologize and to settle for whatever guy glances your way. They will try to say you are depriving your child or shaping him/her in certain directions. But you must remember that it is better for a child to see a happy single mother who follows her heart and her dreams than a not so happy mama in a loveless relationship with dad. You have the right to choose what is in your best interests. Being a mother does not mean you have to sacrifice yourself.

So dry your tears girl, and know that he’s not worth it. If he’s a decent guy, he’ll come around in the end, and if he’s not, trying to make him love you or your child is an impossible waste of time. You are capable of so many things, but it is not within your abilities to change someone else. Remember that it’s his loss.

It’s also perfectly fine to choose not to be with your baby’s father. He doesn’t have to hit you or yell at you for it to be “okay” for you to break up with him. You have a right to make your own choices about your relationships, and if your baby’s father isn’t the person you want to be with, that’s your decision to make. If babydaddy says he won’t be around for the kid if you aren’t sleeping with him, or you fear he won’t, ask yourself if he’s a worthy boyfriend OR father. Anyone who cares about their child will be there, regardless of their relationship with you.