Choosing to be a single mom or not

by Denise
(San Jose, CA)

I'm not a mom yet but I am 3 months pregnant. The father left me and decided to not be a part of the baby's life. I'm 21 years old. I'm just scared to raise the baby on my own due to the emotional damage that my son/daughter will have.

I want to keep my baby. Especially because it's not his/her fault for coming into this world. I know that I could be a great mom but I don't know how I would handle the father not being in his/her life when he/she gets to that age and asks me about him. I don't want to abort my baby but yet I also have a lot to accomplish career wise.

My family is my other concern because they expected more from me. I even promised my mom I would not have kids until I got married. I feel horrible for breaking the promise. I'm also worried about finding someone that will love both my child and me. Am I right to feel this way? What is some advice you can give me?

Sara says:

God bless you!!! Congratulations on that little bundle of joy!

Denise, I am so very glad you took the time to write. Your story is exactly like mine, except that I was 22. My son is now 22, and Denise, he is just fine!

I know there are some scary statistics out there. Ignore them and write your own story. What happened in the lives of others has no bearing on what happens in your life.

I want you to start breathing, because I am sure that you have not been doing this. If you have not yet been to a doctor I want you to make an appointment right now.

I am going to address your questions here, but I want you to email me at whenever you need me.

Having a baby is an exciting and scary time no matter what your circumstances are. Wondering if you will be a good parent, how you will manage kids and work, etc., is all part of the process. So know that you have these questions because you are going to be a parent, not because you are single.

My family was so upset that I had sex and wasn't married that it took quite a while before we actually got to the baby part. My emotional support came from friends and Sr. Marilyn, the counselor at college. I am forever grateful. Find your support system, and hang on tight.

After much deliberation I decided to pursue child support. It was very little money, but it was something. I told my son this, "Your father doesn't feel he can be a good father so he doesn't visit, but he does send money to help take care of you." It was the best I could come up with and it seemed to meet the need. My son's father showed up when he was 10, and I was glad I had taken this approach.

I built a career with my son in tow. I finished my degree, chose positions that did not have travel, and had "regular" hours, but it is quite manageable. You will be tired, but no more so than any other working parent.

I married when my son was in kindergarden. Even though it didn't last, the man remained a father figure in my son's life and still loves him very much. I am again, very grateful.

Your ride will be bumpy, Denise, but you can be successful and raise a fabulous child! I wish you the absolute best!!

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proud to be a single mom
by: Bekka

Hi Denise,

I was 27 when I found out I was going to become a mom. My fiance decided that he was not interested in sticking around to help raise our daughter. So in the run of a week I found out I was pregnant, My fiance left me, I got into a car accident and lost my job. Six weeks later I moved half way across the country from TX to AZ.

In September I lost my mom to cancer and I thought my life was over. I was a mess, I was excited that I was going to be a mom but was afraid that I would not be able to raise my daughter on my own. My dad is a truck driver so he is not home very much. My daughter was born on December 30th of 2011, and I must say I have accomplished a few things in my life but nothing made me more happy or proud then the day I became a mom.

It can be a challenge, but seeing my daughter has made me a stronger more independent woman. My daughter will be four months old on Monday and we are doing great!

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