Moms who aren’t married and are choosing to fly solo already know that they’re going to have a bit of a rollercoaster ride, especially when their little one gets older and starts asking questions about their biological father.
There are also plenty of other hardships that they will have to face and that many doctors hesitate to discuss with their patients, lest they add to their stress and fretting during pregnancy and beyond.
For example, Patch writes that many unmarried moms often have a difficult time purchasing healthy food for their children either because they live in a food desert or they simply can’t afford to include said items in their budget.
That being said, unmarried moms can get plenty of helpful tips in the following list.
20 Their Child Might Be Teased When They Are Older About Only Having One Parent
Let’s face it, some children can be bullies towards their peers, especially if they perceive them as “other” or “different” from the rest of their class. Depending on the location and if solo parents are a common phenomenon or not, some kids could wind up getting teased by their peers because they only have their mom in their life.
Parents writes that it is important for solo moms to do the best they can to prepare their child and stay on top of the situation.
19 The Lack Of A Steady Father Figure Around Can Contribute To Behavioral Issues In The Future
According to Mom Junction, it can be very difficult for a solo mom to raise a child without the help of a partner and this could lead to behavioral issues popping up down the line when the little one is a bit older.
Now, that’s not to say that every solo mother will have to deal with their child developing some sort of behavioral issues because of course everyone’s different, but it’s something to keep in mind.
18 Many Moms Wind Up Feeling Lonely And Isolated
PopSugar notes that one emotion that seems to plague many solo mothers is the feeling of almost near-constant loneliness.
Many such moms struggle to regain some semblance of a social life but that can be extremely difficult if almost all of their friends have a significant other or children of their own. To combat such emotions, solo moms can find solace in joining support groups or even a fun activity such as book club, which can help them make new friends.
17 Most Childbirth Classes Are Geared Towards Married Couples
According to What To Expect, one downside of being pregnant and a solo mother is that most of the childbirth preparation classes are usually geared towards parents.
Many mothers parenting without partners can feel slightly embarrassed when the nurse running the class mentions that the father of the child should be taking action during labor or if they are the only one in the room without a significant other standing by their side attentively.
16 You're More Prone To Going Over Your Tolerance Threshold Because It's Only You
Psychology Today points out that another downside to being a solo parent is that it is very easy for moms to go over their tolerance threshold because they have to do double duty as both a mother and a father.
One way moms parenting on their own can reorient themselves during a bad parenting day is to retreat to a quiet corner and take a few deep breaths with their eyes closed before letting the little one play in their bedroom so that you can take a few moments for yourself and decompress.
15 You Can Feel More Extreme Levels Of Stress
Psychology Today adds that solo mothers are also more prone to being stressed out due to the fact that they don’t have a partner to help them raise the children plus trying to juggle work, finances, etc.
Another side effect of being constantly stressed out is that such mothers can also start to doubt themselves and that can lead to a downward spiral in their mood. That’s why it is a good idea to join meetups for solo mothers so you can surround yourself with others who are in a similar situation.
14 Healthy Food Might Be Harder To Come By Due To Being On A Budget
Patch points out that there are many solo moms out there that are forced to go grocery shopping on a budget and that leaves them with little money to purchase healthy items for meals.
This situation is often exacerbated if they are also live in areas known as “food deserts,” where they often have to drive or otherwise travel a considerable distance just to find a store that even sells healthy food items on the regular and without a very high mark up the way the small local stores do, adds New Jersey.com.
13 Not Enough Time To Work Out
Psychology Today writes that mothers parenting on their own usually don’t have time to do anything for themselves, such as working out.
It is important to not get consumed in being a mom all day, every day and that’s why soo moms should try to do everything in their power to take up to an hour a day to work out so they can de-stress, unwind and take part in an activity that they used to enjoy before they became a parent.
12 Constantly Struggling With Fatigue
The Washington Post points out that being a mother is usually pretty tiring even if you are lucky enough to have a traditional nuclear family, but when you take away that aspect and have to parent as a solo mom, the fatigue level goes way, way up. Since moms in this situation don’t have a partner at home they can rely on to share the burden, they can get worn out even faster than mothers that are married because they have so many responsibilities on top of raising a child.
11 There Might Be More Labor Pains If They Can't Get A Relative To Massage Their Back
One benefit of having a significant other stay with a mom-to-be when she is in labor is that they can help ease the pain from the contractions by giving the mother a back massage to loosen up the muscles.
For Your Birth recommends that solo mothers hire a doula to help them when they are in labor. Not only will the doula be able to give the mom-to-be a back massage if she so needs, but she’ll also be able to coach her through the pain and help adjust her posture to ease the pain from labor.
10 Waterworks Could Start If There Isn't A Friend Or Relative To Distract You From Contractions
Traditionally, it is the mom’s significant other that stays by her side during labor and cheers her up when the waterworks start due to the pain of the contractions, but solo mothers don’t have that luxury.
What To Expect recommends picking two or three people to be your “wingman” during labor. Whether it is your parents or your best friend, having someone be by your side to cheer you up during this experience will help keep your mind off of all the aches and pains.
9 It Will Be More Difficult To Come Up With A Plan To Transport Yourself To The Hospital
Decoded Pregnancy points out that since most mothers often rely on their significant others to drive them to the hospital once their labor has progressed to the point where they can be admitted into the delivery room.
It is important for a mother sans partner to figure out a plan on how to get to the hospital once labor kicks into high gear and also come up with a backup plan or two just in case the person that volunteered to drive can't make it for one reason or another.
8 Struggling To Get The Right Support During Pregnancy And Labor
Decoded Pregnancy writes that many moms often feel fretful about the fact that they are about to have a baby and they don’t have the usual support system in the form of a father.
Despite the fact that the pregnancy process might not be traditional, doctors will be able to give their patients a list of local family services centers that will be able to provide support during this trying time.
7 Doulas Make Life A Lot Easier
Pregnancy is a long and difficult process even when there’s a significant other in the picture, but when moms go at it alone, it is even more nerve-wracking and stressful to deal with.
According to For Your Birth, ask the ob-gyn if they can recommend a good doula, especially if he or she has had experience in dealing with solo moms before. Doulas will be able to give moms-to-be great advice, provide plenty of support and will even join them for a handful of pre-natal appointments too.
6 There Will Be More Stress If There Are Any Breastfeeding Issues
Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding does not always come naturally to both mother and baby. There are plenty of moms that struggle to teach their infant how to breastfeed, and as Medela points out, this can be stressful for solo moms since they don’t have anyone around as a second pair of eyes to see if they are making any mistakes.
One way to combat any issues with breastfeeding is to hire a lactation consultant, since they are trained to help new moms and will be able to help you overcome any feeding hurdles with the infant.
5 Trying To Play The Roles Of Two Parents Can Cause Moms To Have A Nervy Spazz
Many solo mothers often feel pressured into stepping into the roles of both mom and dad, which can increase their stress levels because there is no way that they can keep this up without crashing at some point.
What To Expect writes that these moms benefit by creating their own “village” of fellow moms in the same situation, friends, and relatives even before their bundle of joy is born and remembering to call on their little community when the going gets tough.
4 Dealing With Morning Sickness Will Be Extra Annoying Without Someone To Help
American Pregnancy adds that many mothers often experience bouts of morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy thanks to their hormones fluctuating, but it can be tough to battle the constant nausea and vomiting without a partner.
Many significant others try to hold the mom’s hair back when she’s curled up near the toilet or will bring her anti-nausea meds, but solo mothers have to rely on a roommate (if they have one) or having a friend or relative stop by a few times a week instead.
3 It Is More Difficult To Juggle Chores, Work, And Pregnancy
Being a pregnant working mother is difficult even when there is a significant other to help out by doing most of the heavy duty chores around the house so they can relax when they get home, but solo moms don’t have that luxury.
What To Expect writes that instead of trying to do everything by yourself, make a note if any friends or relatives are very tidy and see if they can swing by to help with the chores or if they can recommend an inexpensive cleaning lady.
2 Going Through The Labor Process On Your Own Can Be Nerve-Wracking
Going through labor even with a significant other by your side can be nerve-wracking for many moms-to-be, but those nerves can be even more frazzled when mom is flying solo and is hearing some hair-raising stories online or from co-workers.
Parents writes that solo moms should sign up for a few prenatal courses and seriously considering having an epidural if they concerned about the pain during labor. Hiring a doula or having a close relative accompany you during the big day can also provide plenty of emotional support too.
1 It Might Be Harder To Time Contractions Without A Partner Helping You
Timing contractions can be tricky, especially if the mom-to-be’s strong suit is definitely not math. While many expectant mothers can rely on their significant others to help, solo moms don’t have that luxury.
Parents recommends using the timer on a smartphone to time from the start of one contraction to the start of the second contraction. In the beginning, they’ll last anywhere from 20-30 seconds but once they start lasting closer to a minute and are consistently spaced out at every four minutes is when you know labor has truly started.
Sources: Parents, Mom Junction, Patch, New Jersey.com, The Washington Post, PopSugar, Decoded Pregnancy, For Your Birth, Medela.