Parenting is hard work whether you are single and parenting or parenting with a partner, and whether it is your first child or another child in the family. A child requires nonstop care, and having a partner or other family member to share the work of parenting can make the job much easier.
New parents, whether they are single or in a couple, need support from lots of places. Worries about money and time are common for parents, and every family needs support now and then. Sometimes that might be grocery shopping, hand-me-down clothes, babysitting time, or just someone to talk with.
Many people find themselves single parenting, or choose to become single parents. Single parenting can be very challenging, but it's certainly not impossible.
If you're thinking of single parenting, talk with family and friends about the help you will need. Find out how much time, energy, and money the people in your life are willing to give to you and your baby. If you will need money, be realistic about how much your friends and family can give. Some people will be able to help a lot, while others will be only able to help a little. If you need government support, keep in mind that it will only cover part of what you will need.
But being a single parent has its advantages, too. Because you will not have to make compromises with a partner, you can raise the child as you wish with your values, principles, and beliefs.
Parenting With a Partner
A partnership can provide parents with much-needed support. Many couples find great satisfaction in sharing the responsibility of raising a child. They find their love and commitment to each other is made deeper by their shared love for their child.
However, parenting can also put stress on relationships. Parents may disagree about what is best for a child. If you have a baby, your relationship with your partner will change. Joint parenting takes good communication and a solid commitment in hard times.
When Extra Support Is Needed
Women often have a wide range of emotions after giving birth. The joy of a new baby can be mixed with feelings of sadness and anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Childbirth causes sudden shifts in hormones that can cause these feelings. You may need some extra support if you suffer from the "baby blues" during your baby's first few days or weeks.
Long-term depression is more common if a woman has a history of emotional problems or if she does not have supportive people in her life. Women should seek help from a health care provider or counselor if depression lasts more than two weeks or keeps them from doing what they need to do each day.
Overall, having lots of support from other people will be a big help to you if you decide to become a parent. Thinking about how much support you can expect from other people can be very important as you decide what to do about an unplanned pregnancy.