I am a single parent by choice..kind of. I broke up with my child’s father when I was 8 weeks pregnant. The situation was …for lack of a better word, toxic. The pregnancy was planned but after realizing that he wasn’t the right person to raise a child with, I broke things off and decided to do this motherhood thing alone.
So I did. I spent the next 7 months of the pregnancy alone. I leaned on my Aunt (miss you!) to help me with planning and for emotional support. She is an absolute fabulous woman who basically gave me this advice: “You can either spend the next 20 years with a miserable man and pop out several more of his children, or you can leave and never look back.” I will always remember that and appreciate her advice.
Throughout the pregnancy I decided what I wanted to do, how I wanted to spend my time and what to do with the baby’s room (more like area, I was in a 1 bedroom apartment). Despite the loneliness, I enjoyed the pregnancy.
After having Penelope, I was the sole guardian. I got to immediately make the decisions about her life and our family.
Here are my top 3 “pros” to single parenthood:
- YOU get to make majority of the decisions.
Not saying I am a control freak but c’mon..this is my kid. I don’t need anyone else telling me how to raise her. I am pretty sure I know it all anyway.. JK. Because her father is not involved in her life, I get to decide what schools she attends, what she eats, what I named her, how we live, etc. It is very refreshing to be in charge.
- YOU get to spend the most time with your child and make the biggest impact.
Yes, it is sad that my child’s father isn’t around. However, I get to spend a lot of time with her and I may find it challenging to share her if I had to. I also think it is special that I get to talk to her about what single parenthood means. I get to shape that narrative.
“Mommy, I don’t have a daddy” – My daughter
Well, you do have a daddy. Everyone has a Daddy. You have a biological dad that lives in a different state. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to be apart of our lives. Let’s think of everything you do have. You have a mom, you have Kate, you have many grandparents and a lot of friends. You have a lot of things that other people might not have and that is okay too.
- YOU get to hustle.
This might seem like a con but it isn’t. It is privilege to have a natural instinct to provide and motivation to keep going (even on the days when you’re exhausted, broke and struggling with depression). You get to be resilient. You get to be everything for your child. Before having Penelope, I knew I would be a one parent income. After having Penelope, I realized what that really meant. If I didn’t work, we didn’t eat (and to be honest, I like eating well). When Penelope was 5 months old, I moved back in with my dad in Raleigh, NC. I took a job as Health Unit Clerk at a hospital. Over the next 3 1/2 years I was promoted 3 times. I hustled. I created solutions. I worked as hard as I could and as much as I could so that eventually I wouldn’t have to work so much. I want Penelope to see my work and be proud.
Most people only see the downsides of single parenthood like financial issues, fighting with their ex, not having emotional support through a significant other, exhaustion and having to watch Paw Patrol on repeat. I hope that single parents can unite in creating a conversation that is just a bit more positive.
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