Will I Make It As a Solo Parent?

Solo Parent, Single Parenting, Mom and baby

Being a single parent brings parenting challenges to the next level. If you’re pregnant or just had a baby, you understand the pressure it puts on you as a single person. 

There’s no way around it. It’s hard. 

But, it’s not a bad thing. It’s important to remember that you are the best parent for your baby. 

You’re going to have a sweet, precious baby that looks to you for love, support, and guidance. 

Have compassion for and speak kindly to yourself. You can’t give from an empty cup.

Having a baby is beautiful and exciting. No matter if you’re doing it alone or with a partner. 

Remember to give yourself grace and time to reflect on that. You deserve to enjoy this. While it does come with challenges, it comes with a lot of good too. 

You can thrive as a single parent through pregnancy and the postpartum phase. 

Find Your People: Learn From Tracy, a Single Mama of Two

Recently, I spoke with Tracy, a single mama of two. I asked her all about her experience raising two girls from birth to adulthood without a partner. 

Here’s what she said: 

It’s impossible to do it all. 

You can’t carry the single parenting weight by yourself. You can try… but sooner or later, you’ll find yourself drowning. 

Whether you are planning single parenthood or have arrived at it by other means, you have to… 

Find your people. 

Who are your people? 

Those who are on the same wavelength as you. 

Parents who have a partner to help them are operating on a different frequency than you.

Yes, they are still parents and you will be able to connect with them on that level. They still share your challenges. Your kids can play together and you’ll connect by simply having children. 

But, they will not understand you as much as another single parent. 

Finding another single parent to connect with will allow you to share common struggles as well as your joys. You’ll go through the unique hilltops and valleys together. 

Give yourself more than just a cheerleader on the sidelines. Find yourself people to be on the front lines with you. 

Here’s Tracy’s advice:

Find a core group of one to two other single parents and get together regularly.

Reciprocate watching kids and offer support and advice to each other. 

Allowing this support into your life will be more than a sigh of relief. It’ll be a complete game-changer. 

Here’s the truth: it’s going to be much more difficult to connect with other moms on a different path than you. 

When you’re a single parent, you don’t have anyone to solve problems with. The physical duties of raising children– are all on you

It’s reality. That’s why it will be imperative for you to find your people. 

Here are a few ways to do that: 

And of course, don’t be shy in reaching out to your current community of support. You may find an important piece of your support puzzle within this group: 

  • Your parents or grandparents
  • Other family members (sister, aunt) 
  • A trusted neighbor
  • A close friend
  • A postpartum doula 
  • Babysitter or nanny 

Also, keep this in mind: 

Children of single parents will thrive… when they have access to caring, committed relationships with loved ones. 

What matters most is that they feel loved, safe, and stable. Creating these relationships will take intention and care.

Start while your children are young and allow them to blossom into whoever they will be.

Finding support early on will create a cocoon of love and safety for them! 

Self-Care For Solo Parenting

Prioritize self-care during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. 

This means scheduling time for you to… 

  • Get sleep 
  • Eat healthy food 
  • Do light exercise 
  • Do something you enjoy

This can be difficult when you’re solo parenting. But, making these self-care routines a priority will serve you well. Not only will you be able to show up for your children, but you’ll also show up for yourself. 

Providing this as an example to your child will help their development. As you put this into practice, you will be able to mentally and physically show up for them. They need to see you fill your own cup. 

When you make time for self-care…

You’ll treasure the newborn snuggles more. 

Playing with your toddler will be something you look forward to.

You’ll enjoy spending quality time with your older children. 

Keep a Family Routine

Routines greatly affect children. They deeply crave structure.

This goes for babies too. Children of all ages catch on to a routine faster than you’d think. 

It helps them to know when they… 

  • get fed
  • go to sleep 
  • wake up
  • have playtime 
  • have quality time with a parent

Children thrive on predictability!

Yes, you are a single parent. But you can also create solid routines for your new baby and other children. Having routines greatly helps two-parent families, but they can help yours even more

Studies reveal children with an established routine show better adjustment levels. Infants and young children especially will thrive under the routines you set.

Here are a few ideas for routines: 

  • Eat dinner together each night 
  • Have at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted connection with your child daily
  • Plan a weekly outing with your child 
  • Read a book with them each day 
  • Create a specific night time routine 

All of these routines will allow you to make clear to your child they are a priority. 

Making time or mustering up the energy can be difficult after a long day. Playtime doesn’t seem too inviting when all you want to do is rest. You may indeed have more challenges as a single parent than in a two-parent family. 

Start small.

Pick one family routine to do each day or week. Little by little, it will make a difference. Commit to it, don’t deviate.

The fruits of your effort will be the connection your kids deeply need.

A Childcare Solution: Babysitting Co-Ops

There are many ways to get creative about childcare while single parenting. Finding or creating a babysitting co-op is one of them. 

A babysitting co-op is simply a group of parents working together to exchange babysitting time. Essentially, it’s a barter system where you are “paying” other parents in childcare.

There are some great benefits of exchanging babysitting with other parents. You can build a tight-knit community of parents who support each other. Your kids will interact socially with others, and this can become a new routine that your child adapts to. 

Connect with your local community to find or create a babysitting co-op. It may be the perfect fit for you.

Find Extra Support: Hire a Doula

You don’t have to face the postpartum period alone. 

Sometimes, you don’t have a plethora of people to reach out to for support during this time. 

Not to worry. 

Hiring a postpartum doula is always an option, too.  

Postpartum doulas at Buddha Belly Doulas provide daytime and overnight care as well as short term live-in care. They are by your side taking care of you and your baby physically and emotionally. 

As a single parent, you will have all the support you need during the postpartum period. 

You won’t be alone. 

You’ll have a chance to sleep. 

You won’t have to worry about your other children. 

Our doulas will have you thinking… 

Is this real life?

Yes, it is! 

Check out our postpartum doula services here. 

Remember, we’re always here for you. You don’t have to do it alone. 

Also check out: “Do I Hate Being a Parent?” 3 Helpful Ways to Shift Your Mindset

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading