More and more individuals are parenting solo, either by choice or by circumstance. The role of a primary solo parent can bring a sense of overwhelm, accomplishment, self-doubt, and confidence. These ever-changing emotions are valid, expected, and normal. Parenting comes like a wrecking ball with a baby to any new parent. Solo parenting is a way of life for many new parents in today’s culture. Navigating this new role may come with more “roll with the punches” than that of a “traditional” family structure.
Why Support Matters When Parenting Solo
Parental support is highly vital when solo parenting. The saying we all know is, “it takes a village to raise a child”; and what happens when your village is null and/or nonexistent? Riding the parenthood roller coaster solo isn’t for the faint of heart, and solo parents have the biggest hearts of perseverance. Because of this, surrounding oneself with support by any means necessary can make a difference in one’s parenting journey. Putting on your own oxygen mask before putting on your baby’s is one way to do just that. You know how much sleep you need to function, figure out how to obtain that. You know your normal life routines and habits, plan to have some flexibility. How will you keep your health and nutrition at the forefront, to provide for the day-to-day needs of your baby? The world will feel like heavier weights on your shoulders during the early postpartum time, and YOU deserve love and support so that this time is a cherished bonding time for you and your baby.
Reaching Out For Support
I want to express that support is out there! Becoming a solo parent may have come as an easy choice for parenthood for you. It may have come as the choice to become a parent. Maybe have came as a complete blindside. No matter the reason or way, you are in a club of other strong independent successful albeit tired parents. Support is out there, and there are people, professionals, and organizations that are designed to support you in your path. Joining groups online and in person is a way to connect with other solo parenting and gain tips for navigating life. Hiring the support of a doula is a surefire way to gain traction in setting up a firm foundation of success throughout the different stages of newborn and baby nuances. Your family and friends were most likely your support system throughout the pregnancy/surrogacy/adoption/separation journey. Let them continue their love and support through these next phases. When someone offers a hand, take it. Let your expectations be known while keeping your boundaries, and accept the hand of support.
Finding Balance When Solo Parenting
Remember who you were before you welcomed your sweet bundle of a baby. Remember who you are now that your sweet babe is here. These are keeping your sanity in your new role as “mommy”, “mama”, “mom”, “papa”, “dad”, “dada”, etc… Finding a balance in the tediousness of doing all the things yourself day-in-and-day-out can break one down, and quickly. It’s okay not to love every moment, to feel touched out, to step back, step away and assess the situation. No one is getting all of the steps right.
What do you do to make yourself feel like a human? The basics like a shower, a nap, food, etc don’t count. The 4 basics of life should be a given. Think about what really makes you feel like you. Is it exercising, enjoying the company of others, knocking out a to-do list, making phone calls and answering emails, having lazy Saturdays, etc? Do just that! Seriously, do it. You need it so much more than you will let on. A reprieve, a breather, a recharge…all of it. Make it a point to love yourself because self-care is self-love.
You Got This!
Repeat it because really you do! Life will continue to throw curveballs, strike-outs, and even homeruns. These ups and downs of life’s occurrences happen to any new parent. Put on your knee-high boots and be ready to wade into the deep trenches of figuring it all out with confidence and your supporters by your side.