Mommy To Be - Help?!
Hey everybody, hope you guys are all doing wonderful. I know we have all been busy, some of you just got wrapped up with sending your kids back to school. I personally started back in school myself two weeks ago- but more on that later.
This week we will be doing something a little different on the blog, I'm asking all of you readers to help out. I received an e-mail from a young lady preferring to remain anonymous, who asked me for some advice and help. Although I advised her as best I could, still being a struggling mother myself , I thought what a wonderful idea to have all of you mommas here pitch in your thoughts!
This was what she had to say:
Hello there, I am expecting my first child at 23 years old. I currently live on my own in Florida and do not really have family to help me after I have my baby. The father is not really in the picture and I am scared that I won't be able to do it on my own. I am great with money but my financial situation is getting worse because I'm spending money on food everyday because of the things I crave. I also attend college for my bachelors degree. Do you have any helpful tips on being a single mother like ways to save and manage everyday life after birth?
Do you live on your own or with a roommate? I've heard there's a program to reduce your rent payment but I haven't found the website yet. I'm honestly terrified about everything and feel lost. The only support I have is emotional support from friends. I try not to feel hopeless about everything but with these mood swings I have it gets really hard at time. What was the hardest part about having your baby girl when she was a newborn? How soon after were u able to work?
I literally don't have anybody to look out for me after labor. I just hope god blesses me with something! I need to confirm with my job if they do pregnancy leave but I doubt it.
This was initially heavy on my heart because I feel for this woman in so many different ways, I myself having been in some of the places she is currently at. Furthermore, I still am in some of those spaces and don't have the answers. That's why I decided to bring this to all of you. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, women, anyone really, what would you say to this young woman?
My response was as follows:
For starters, I'm sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time on your own right now. It sounds like for the most part you are keeping yourself afloat but are nervous about things to come and that is completely understandable.
If I am being honest, I am not doing much better than you. I don't think most of us are, even when we appear to be. I am making it work though. The main way I am doing this is by cutting costs where I can and utilizing any and every resource possible.
Single motherhood on a low-income or even regular salary is exhausting, lonely and never feels stable. The best thing you can do is take things one day at a time. Use who and what you can, and ask everyone about programs and facilities that will help you. That alone has opened up so many doors for me. I've even written into blogs I follow like this when feeling low and alone.
Finding Facebook groups in your city that you can post in to meet other single mothers could be beneficial. They might be able to help you out or guide you in the direction of more help.
My living situation is still far from ideal, I have lived in uncomfortable situations with friends and family members, and even lived in someones living room for reduced rent with my daughter. It gets ROUGH, but I PROMISE you will get through it and I PROMISE your new baby will give you more strength than you knew existed inside of you. I live in LA, it is nearly impossible to live on your own or even get INTO low income housing so you should most definitely look into what is available in your city. I'm in the process of working on getting into low income housing for myself and my daughter is almost 3 and half years old. It takes time.
The hardest part with a newborn is how often they need help. Every two hours it felt like she was awake wanting to be fed for nearly 2 months straight. It's very exhausting. Any time someone wants to come over or visit LET THEM so you can rest. You will be fine. All of your motherly instincts will kick in. YOU ARE BUILT FOR THIS I PROMISE. Its going to be hard, and you're going to cry often, sometimes at the same time that the baby does.
I would also look into seeking therapy. There are even apps where there are other people you can talk to, I had the What To Expect app and I joined a board called "May 2014" . That was my due date month and year and it was there that I had the support of thousands of mamas who were all going and GROWING literally through the same things. Even ones who were in better situations were there for comfort and conversation. I highly recommend a board like that to get you through some of your lonelier times.
I went to work about 4 months after my daughter was born. I would have went sooner but I had a c-section and the recovery was much longer. Everyone has a different experience, try not to wrap yourself to much up in trying to confirm exactly what it will be like.
I'm always here to talk., or even just to listen.
So after reading what she had to say, if you had a chance to sit down wth this young woman what would you say to her? Any people in Florida that have information on housing costs? Etc? Feel free to comment below here, on Instagram, or send in an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Maybe you don't necessarily have any tips, but just some words of encouragement for her. We all need that sometimes. I will be sending everything over to her and keeping you all updated.
Thanks again, enjoy the rest of your week.