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Single Moms

Please send us your short story about being a single parent! There are many issues which you could write about. Don't worry about correct spelling or punctuation. We will help you with that aspect. Just send your story (could be just a paragraph or two) in email to [email protected] and we will consider publishing it here.  Thank you!


God always makes a way

My name is Alycia and I am a single mother of two year. My son was born a month early on December 26th. My son's father denied being my child's father after I telling him that I did not get an abortion. He called ever now and then but it wasn't for good reasons. 

I was totally stressed worrying about how I was going to care for my child without his father and still trying to stay in school. I worked five days a week and went to school six days a week. It took a toll on my body and caused my have complications throughout my pregnancy and during the delivery of my son.

 Now that my son is here his father has been ordered to pay child support but he does not help with anything else. He lives Memphis, TN and has only seen his child twice out of my son's two years on this earth.

 
It is very hard. I am always tired. It is frustrating sometimes but I would not change a thing about my life. I love my little angel dearly and I thank God that I did not have that abortion. I struggle with taking care of my son but God always makes a way.

 

Drained

my name's christina and im 18yrs old. I am a single mother of a 7 month old baby boy. 

I think i'm to the point to where I can say I've struggled. not financially because of the help of my family but physically, mentally and emotionally. my babies father left me when I was 2 months pregnant.  he told me he didnít want anything to do with me or our baby. naturally I was crushed. but for the sake of my baby I kept myself busy and tried not think about him so there would be no stress on my baby.  

I had family and friends but still felt very alone. thoughts constantly ran through my head like how am I going to do this without him?, how am I going to explain to my son the reasons why he doesnít have a father?  during my 8th month of pregnancy my sons father called me and was telling me he wanted to be able to see my baby. I told him "no way... you should have been there from the beginning instead of running away like a little boy" he got mad and hung up on me. he wasn't there for my sons birth but found out about it from somebody and tried to call me and tell me to let him see his son. I still refused. he was telling me over the phone he was going to kill me and take my baby if I refused again. I kept my word and got a restraining order on him. he left me alone for about 6 months and started right back up again. till this day he continues. my body is exhausted. my heart hurts with guilt. 

I feel so bad for my son. its not his fault we cant get along. I am drained emotionally, mentally, and physically.


 

be thankful

I am a single mother of my 4 year old daughter Delanie. 

 I work two jobs and often feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with her.  I recently bought my own home eight months ago and every day is a different struggle.  She is what gets me through each of them.  I would rather have this hectic life than not have her. 

 I used to cry at night because I felt bad for her having to grow up without a "normal" family. I finally realized its not abnormal to her, she loves her life because she is loved.  She is so young that the simple things in life are all she cares about so i decided to quit my crying and be thankful for what we have. 


 
So many promises, so many heart aches

am a single mother of 4 children. 11,10,8 an 2. I am only 29yrs old.

 When my first baby was born in 94 I really thought I found a  

place in this world. My parents were horrible but I went the different route. The school I had gone to would not allow pregnant girls in school so I ran to the nearest library and got started on my GED. 

I have raised my children on nothing but love, GOD, encouragement, sacrifices on my part. And here I am writing? I always thought to be a good single mother I always tried my hardest at everything. I graduated the year after I was to graduate with two children and divorced. Yes two! And Yes I was to graduate in May of 94 but Nov. of 95 is my graduation year.

 I was on the front page of the news paper with my daughter, which was my second born in my arms with my son at my leg. I felt so proud of my self for accomplishing that. No one gave me a pat on the back. But those smiling faces made up for it.  I manage to fight off three husbands who were abusive and cheaters. To where I ended up in a old station wagon breastfeeding one while the other ate bologna that I stole from the grocery store. So many sacrifices, 

So many promises, so many heart aches. And yet every counselor I meet always ask "why haven't you just quit?" Well the words I LOVE YOU MOM is the only reason I'm still fighting. I know I have a long way to go still. But three boys and one girl deserve so much to have a father but here I am alone! Everyday I am fighting a battle with someone. Right now I am fighting to keep my third child who is 8 an no one to hear me cry or to support me but the Lord an my older two. I have a family! It might be without a father but I made what I have now, unfortunitely one father wants to tear that down like he did our hearts when he left. I never thought I would ever end up like this. 

Now Sept. will only tell how long I get to keep my family I built with no Man beside me. An the last of my fighting strength I shall not give up still!!! I feel children should have everything to keep their love tanks filled even without a father! Although it would be nice to at least have a male role modle around. But then maybe I have raised or raising the new generation of fathers and a generation of a woman who will not turn to any undesirable men just to feel loved. Being beat hurts but when your children see the after affects that kills an never does those lil faces ever look at me wrong but only with love an loyalty, an guidance. My last husband is in jail for almost killing me. I look at my 2yr old an wonder why? why? He would have been a good father. But then I hear the Lord say "No one can raise them like you can with the love you have for them". So again I go on. My son may not have his father nor my other three but they have me which the Lord kept alive to be their mother and to finish guiding them an takeing care of them........ 


Still believes in love

It is now 36 years since I embarked on being a single mother, with all the hope I have read about in previous stories.  

I felt my love for my son would make up for the lack of money, the lack of time.  I am still waiting for that to prove out.  My son and I are somewhat estranged now.  He is struggling through a life without a father.  He didn't find out what that was like, to bond with a daddy and God knows I tried to find one for him.  

As in the animal kingdom, male animals do not want another males offspring.  So my son was fatherless, grasping on  a flimsy memory of a dead beat father who had a violent and criminal background.  A father who didn't get to know my son, who really didn't want to know him. I wish I could have at least provided a better caliber" missing dad " for him. 

One day he went on the internet looking for his "dad" and found out he was dead.  "It is funny how I had always hoped that one day he would come back and want to know about me" my son said. 

My son led an unusual life, he worked as a bartender in San Francisco, used some drugs and drank al ot.  He was interested in many things,, Art, Music, Architecture, Acting.......but so far he hasn't really focused on anything.  I have been a rather controlling person in his life, trying to fix every mistake he has made and it isn't working.   He asked me to let him fall down and try to get back up on his own and I am doing that. It is hard.
He is off drugs and alcohol.  I am still hopeful.  I still believe in love.  

keeping my hopes alive

I am a single mother my daughter was born last year. but sadly was not even around to see the birth he doesn't even know if she is a girl or boy or if she is alive, but I tried to keep my head up until i got my self caught into a situation and abusive situation.

It started off with her dad who I thought we were in love and wanted to marry me until i got pregnant which was our idea in the first place then he suggested and abortion, so he left when i was five months pregnant.
After that depression got the best of me and I made a stupid decision. I place her in the hands of a angry man with lots of issues and  I regretted even since.
but thankful I am in college and I am keeping my hopes alive. we are struggling never knowing when a meal will come along or where we will live the next day but we make it some how some way. I love her and i never allow her to end up like me.
And i am so glad I cam upon this website I thought i was alone until i read all these testimonies from all ages thank you all.
 
Love a single mom in pain too.


My heart was broken

Hi I'm 24 and have a 3 and a half year old daughter Lauren, I met her father when I was 16 I first fell pregnant 6 months later but didn't keep the baby, I loved him more than anything but je treated me very badly 

I was never allowed out If I had a day sick or holiday from work he's have to be off as well. I lost all my friends and nearly my family he used to push me about and get abusive towards me and I couldn't take it anymore we stayed together for 4 years and I finally made him leave when our daughter was 6 weeks old. He harassed me for months after wanting me back calling me constantly we tried again when Lauren was 2 but he wasn't any different so he left again.

I now have counseling every week just because my heart was so broken we were so happy for the first year then he turned into an animal and took my life from me.
 
Emma
 
Oxfordshire

single mum from Coventry in England

I am a single mum from Coventry in England, which is in the middle of England.  On reading all these letters from U.S.A., I am thinking how lucky I am to be in England!!!  I have three boys ages 6, 8 and 9.  My middle son is Autistic and attends a mainstream school.  He has one to one support at this school, which is no extra cost to me.

I am saddened by your country's system as we get a huge amount of help here.  The benefits I claim include child support from my ex-husband, income support, disability benefit for my son, carers allowance for me and child benefit, which every parent receives.  Also the DSS (Department for Social Security) pays the interest on my mortgage.  This enables me to be able to support the family whilst studying for my degree.  Although I have worked before having the children, at the moment, I cannot support the children and pay the bills with a job and pay child care.  The benefit system has enabled to stay where I am, so not to disrupt the children's lives.  Also when I have my degree, I am more likely to get a job that is highly paid and is worth doing (fingers crossed).  By this time, the children will be older and more independent.

It may seem an unfair system, because it is not keeping families together and in this country there are so many 'spongers' who have excuses not to work and claim as much as £40,000 in benefits, which is wrong.  In my respect, im so thankful that I have this opportunity to better myself and to have family and eventually career fulfillment.

Tracy Malone


MY LIFE WILL NEVER GET ANY BETTER

I  am 24 yrs of age and i would like to tell you a little story about myself.

I met my husband when i was 16 yr. of age. we got engaged on my 17 Th. birthday. I fell pregnant at 17 but we didn't seem to think it would be a great problem as we were in love. We therefore bought a 2 bedroom house. We had a beautiful boy and then we decided to try for another baby 3 month after my little boy and had a girl. Our troubles started.

he go out to work all day 7 days  never use to and if not working at weekend he would go out with friends instead of having time for me and his family. I basically was a single mum even when i had a husband.

i felt like i was staring at 4 walls got short temper i felt i was tearing apart.

We separated when my little boy was 3 and my little girl was 2. My head felt like it was gone explode because i pick up a little part time job which my parents were baby-sitting while i went out to work behind a bar and getting in at around 12.30ish at night.
"you wont be able"
"you will find it very hard"
Was all everybody kept saying to me. It was hard i would cry to sleep no time for my self and it got worse before it got better
My health visitor helped me get a lot of help whet on courses to deal with toddlers behaviour. Been a single mum 4 yrs ago tore me apart and my children and it is hard at first but now i am a expurt to been a single mum. I meet blokes but that's it they don't meet my kids. i think if i have been in a serious relationship with somebody for 4 months then i would introduce them slowly but not at the moment.

i could tell you more but i would be typing for hrs but all i can say is their is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you

P.S. I am now training to help single mums financial and to talk


Dependency Issues

One thing I am struggling with and is deeply hurting my heart is that I am a single mother, so far dependent on my mother, and I need to find work soon to get my 13.5 month old daughter Meghan Jolie and I out on our own, so I am self sufficient. 

I have always struggled with dependency issues...dependency on my mother...dependency on ex boyfriends...well now here I am and I am not willing to be with any man just to have my "physical"/financial needs met (and then be expected to meet theirs-which seem to have different meanings! I'm talkin' roof over our heads, food on table, transportation...etc.), and I seem to keep winding up with men who want a family (round 2 or 3 or whatever...), or who want childcare for their daughter, or whatever...

Anyway, I am dreading working because I am a very private kinda to myself woman to begin with, and I love living out in rural Oregon because of that.  I also nurse my daughter on demand as she and I both need it (I look at it as a 2 way street...), and I could not bear to leave my baby alone with someone else.  People say oh!  Just leave her with a bottle of your milk...oh ok, that will solve it.  Jeesh, they don't get it.  It isn't just about milk!  It doesn't feel right and so I am bound and determined to make it work somehow, someway. 

The bio father isn't in the picture...he isn't on the birth certificate...anyway, being a single parent so far isn't too much of a financial challenge.  I am on food assistance and live with my mom and she carries the weight money-wise.  But I really don't like that she supports us...so I guess this is a share and also a cry out for help cuz I don't know what kind of work to do being that I'm kind of a hermit type woman, who struggles with sensitivity to the way the world is now and social anxst...depression...probably because of how it is out there, and how I am.  Hope I make sense. 

I have everything I have always dreamed of, my daughter...so now I just need to figure out how to provide for us and be satisified while doing it, WITH baby on hip!  My baby is healthy, beautiful and oh so smart.  She amazes me moment to moment.  Any ideas, support, advice...feel free to email me at [email protected] 

Thank you.  I am so thankful for like-minded mama's out there...  -Lisbeth

UPDATE from Lisbeth 5/4/05


i have come so far since that initial posting, and i still continue to get emails from other moms about it...my daughter is now 2.5 years old and i have been working from home and have been self sufficient for a while now.  

I am a state registered child care provider and have child care and preschool in my home!  i can do what i love to do which is be a mama to my baby girl and be with kids...she loves it too.  

i highly recommend doing in home childcare for moms who can't bear to be away from their little ones and who love kids and supporting families who work.  i am so thrilled, i just traded in my '91 ford escort wagon today that my mom bought me in sept or so for a '95 isuzu trooper...its bigger and i feel more secure with my daughter riding inside that tha n that small little car we had...and she doesn't have to watch out so she doesn't hit her head anymore...its so spacious and high up...love it!  beautiful shade of dark blue...love it!  and...i did this on my own! i'm sure i'll hear criticism from my mom as she worries i am overboard but i needed to do this for ourselves.  

Our car payment is $200. a month starting in a month and that is decent to me for what i got...wow what a pretty suv!  also i have rented a very cute 3 br/2 ba 15 yr old home since july and i love it, has an apple tree in back yard...we are moving out into a larger home 4 br/2 ba 5 yr old home on 3 acres on a very well traveled road between 2 major towns and it will be so good for us both professionally and personally cuz we can now separate our biz from our home as the other 3 bedrooms and bathroom are on the other half of the house...there are 2 big living room areas so we can really keep our 'home' separate now, where in this house we are still at until we move, our space is infringed upon by the daycare.  sooo we are 'movin on up' and doing great, being self sufficient...

i dont' need my mom nor any man to rely on for money...i CAN do this, i AM doing this and i will continue to do this for my baby and i.  we co sleep and nurse still and we love it.  she is the love of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

lisbeth 


21 yr old mother

Well, just to start I am a single 21 yr old mother of on beautiful little girl. I was so scared and afraid but I was lucky to have a great deal of help from family and some really close friends, most of all emotionally. My daughter is now 15 months old her father has yet to pay for his child support, and no they haven't even met... I get sad for her. 
My Daughter Lila has a half brother 16 days younger than her, not from me. Me and my ex- boyfriend, my daughters father moved to Alaska, crazy I know. Well in short no family no friends makes life a little dull, by the way the -40 weather... I moved back home to find that I was 2 months pregnant, at nineteen not fun. I made the best of all the things that happen to me and my daughter, I would never had been able to finish or complete myself, not to mentions repairing my life style. I can now say I am feeling pretty good, even though I drive a old 88 licolon, I can't just take Lila out to do things when ever because we don't have that kind of money. One thing I do have is that I get to see my daughter all the time and that is great in its own. M. Whetstone Texas 

Battered woman speaks

My name is Christina I'm 19yrs. old with a boy that's about to be 1 & a half. His father and me meet in high school in the beginning everything started off well he's was charming, will get calls every 10 minutes from him and everything. Time went by and I got pregnant I was so terrified of being a mother I was only 17yrs.old but with my boyfriend by my side I thought everything would be fine I would care I didn't know how to tell my parents but he would always tell me don't worry about it I'll always be here for you we'll pull through this together he went around bragging about how he was going to be a father his parents thought we wouldn't be ready to raise a child so they suggested that I have an abortion I don't believe in it at all my boyfriend refused before them even finishing their sentence about it he would argue with the whole family that our child will be born. 

A month passed it was Valentine's Day we got our first sonogram of our child we were so excited then so time went by things started changing soon enough I was attending all the appointments on my own turned out he was cheating on me not with one girl with several of them and then would try to deny them I wasn't stupid I knew what was going on but I still should by his side

 I Loved him and I thought maybe he would change summer came we were you can say living together an argument came up it was about some girl he was trying to get with and I guess he got upset that I had found out we was arguing I went upstairs to get my stuff when he locked in the room and just started hitting me and hitting me until I just fell to the floor I was eight months pregnant I don't remember anything all I remember was waking up him crying saying his sorry I look at myself in the mirror to see my face all with bruises once again I was stupid and forgive him.

 September 11 came and our son was born everything was going perfectly I was living at home he was living at his house he would come everyday to see the baby all was well. so I thought then I found out that every time he was using his father car he would use the excuse that he needed to see his son but what is really was, was to see some other girl before he swung by for an hour time went by we were still together there was actually 3 months I can say he actually went without cheating on me until one day 

I don't know what happened we broke up and next day he started seeing one of his ex's then that's when he forgot he had a child he wouldn't call or even look for him my son adored him 6 months went by out of those 6 months he probably saw my son the most 8 times he would only call when he needed something but wouldn't even bother to ask for his son then I started seeing someone else that's when he came back into our lives crying and begging for forgiveness saying he loves us misses us and everything I was naive I believed him once again everything was well for 2 months until he started with his games again he started seeing other girls and once again he forgot he has a child what hurts the most about isn't that we aren't together but the fact that one son adores him he actually sits in the staircase in my house it's in front of the door crying out DA DA. 

I can't believe how guys so quickly over a girl financially he doesn't help out either when I call him for diapers or something he comes up with excuses that he's broke but then again he has money to go hang out he hasn't seen his son for a month & it's like it doesn't bother him he doesn't call to ask for him or anything so I refuse to ever ask him for anything and if he does call ever I refuse to answer the phone. How do I explain to a 1 1/2 yr.old that he's father doesn't want to see him when he's crying out for him?? What explanation I'm I going to give him when he grows up why his father isn't around????


 

Everything is going to be alright

I am 23 years old with a 4 year old son, that I love very much and am very proud to be his mother. I can not thank God enough for blessing me, with such a handsome son. There are so many things that I could be mad about, but I have learned within the past 4 years, that I have to stop taking the little things for granted and start spending time doing what needs to be done to make life better for me and my son.
 
I can honestly say, that the relationship with my son's father was not the best, better yet it wasn't even a relationship. It was just something that happened. So I don't know why I expected anything from him. People tell me all the time that he should be taking care of his son, and I agree with them, but I am not going to force a grown man to do anything that he does not want to do. I was raised to believe that we all reap what we sow, and guess what he is no exception to the rule!
 
There were times that I didn't know where I was going to get money to buy formula, or pampers, because when I called him, he had twenty million excuses, ("oh, I don't have any money", "I'm on my way" and never shows up). Believe me when I say I heard it all. I had to struggle to make ends meet. That's why I thank the Lord everyday, for blessing me with wonderful family that wanted nothing but the best for me and my son, and made sure we had enough. If I didn't have my mother and sister, I don't know where I would be right now.
 
While I was pregnant with my son, I was enrolled in college, and thought that I would be able to finish, but I decided to take some time off so that I would be able to better support us (my son and myself). I worked plenty of dead end jobs, and I've also had times when I wasn't employed at all, and his father was on know help to me. Until last year, when I decided to enroll in trade school. That happened to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. After I finished school, I quickly found employment, in the field that I studied in, and the pay is good.
 
I can honestly say that 2005 is going to be a good year for me and my son. I am glad that I have had family and friends that have never turned their backs on me. There are so many things that I am grateful for, and being a single mother (oddly) is one of them. I say this, because when my son grows up, he will be able to respect and understand a womans worth. Also because, I have learned how to be stronger. I used to believe that a woman could not raise a boy into a man, but I think that it is worth trying, because if his father doesn't want to be a daddy, I have no other choice than to be a mother and father to the love of my life.
 
A good friend told me that anything worth living for was worth dying for, and I believe it now, be-cause my son has brought nothing but joy to my life and I love him more than words can say, and I will go to the ends of the world for him.
 
And as for his father, he's not even worth the stress, I don't talk bad about him around my son, and never will. I will let my son make his mind up about his father and if he wants to continue a relationship with him more power to him.
 
                                        THE SUN WILL COME AFTER THE RAIN!!!!!!!!1

 


It's your time to shine!

I am a 29 year old single mom of two boys age 6 and 5.  We have been on our own for two years now, and it has been the most tiresome and difficult experience that I have ever had to deal with. Yet, it was the best decision I have ever made. I was with the father of my children for ten years, never married..high school sweethearts. Over time love faded into hatred as he was never able to keep a job or be a responsible father. Seeing him as a poor role model to my boys, he was ordered to leave. To this day, I have not had a cent given to me. He is no longer a part of our lives, my boys miss him and think the world of him, but will grow into strong successful men knowing the hand that has fed them.

Dealing with a very stressful career, and making ends meet, and suffering with diabetes, my days starts at 5:30 everyday and ends around 11:00p.m with me passing out on my bed fully dressed.

I have many roles in my life in raising these boys, I am a janitor, a cook, a teacher, a doctor, and nutritionalist, a laundrymat, a sole provider, a hockey coach and a role model. It is almost suffocating. My needs are put last, I work in a career that is emotionally and mentally exhausting, and still walk around with two cents in my pocket once the bills, field trips, pizza days and activities have been paid.

But we have to do what we have to do. I love being an independent woman, and I know where I am going in life, and will never let a useless man bring me down again. They are not needed, and when someone tells you...That you can make all your dreams come true...Listen...and follow...every single word is true.

My dream is to be a pediatric nurse, this is a four year University course of intense studying, studying like I have never done before. When fall arrives that is what I will be doing. I am quitting my career, and I am going to be graduated by the time I am 34, with a job that I will love, and will pay very nicely..so I can put my boys through college, and give them everything they need to be successful in this difficult world.

I wish the best for all of you...women have come along way in this world over time..it is now your time to shine!!!!

Good Luck
xoxoxo


My Single Parent - My Savior

A Child's Thank You Note to a Single Parent

Memories abound and happiness ignites as I recount my
early childhood experiences being surrounded by my
mother's love. She had done a lot for us with just a
little. With three children to feed, educate, and
cloth it was a struggle beyond any. She persisted,
kept faith, and did her share. Now years later, a mom
myself and married to a supportive spouse, I find it
difficult not to compare my life to that of my single
parent mom. How lost she must of felt with no spouse
to share parental responsibility. How anxious she must
have been as we cried and struggled to stay with her
at daycare drop-off. I find it hard to comprehend the
complexities of emotions she must have experienced.
This is my tribute, a short note of thanks, to a
special person who has helped mold me into the secure
adult I am today.


Thank you mummy for being there,

Your love and devotion show you care.

Your own approach and take on life,

Treasured by us who've seen your strife.

You've given us the only security we know,

And cared for us despite a low cash flow.

Our heart leaps as we think of you,

And our hope in life become anew.


by Nicole Brekelbaum


Hold your head high

I am a 24 yr old single Mom of soon to be 3. My story is one of ups and downs you would not believe. I meet my ex husband when I was 15. He was everything I dreamed of and more. At least that is what I thought at the time. 3 yrs later he was using drugs and I was pregnant with our first son. He spent most of my pregnancy in jail while I picked up the pieces and got everything ready for the baby to be born. He was released 3 weeks before DJ was born. He swore up and down that he would never use again and that he would take care of us no matter what. We bought ourselves a condo just over a year later and finally moved in together. It was going to be so nice to finally be a normal family. 2 mos after we moved into the condo he was using again (I am sure he had been using for a while before that but it became apparent at that point) He just left one day I had no Idea where is was but I knew that he was using. I changed all the locks pulled all the money out of my bank accounts so that he couldn't get to it. He finally called a week later to come pick up some clothes. He lived on the streets for 5 months. I did everything on my own I took care of my son worked 2 jobs and just moved on with my life. (or at least tried to) After 5 months of him living on the streets my ex-husband had warrants out for his arrest. There were articles in the newspaper calling him a fugitive and I had police officers knocking on my door all the time asking about him. He called all the time and I just told him he would need to turn him self in. Finally one night he called me and told me he had had enough and that he wanted to turn himself in. I picked him up and took him to the police station. He was released 2 weeks later and came to live with us until he had to go back to court. During that time I became pregnant again. So the story continues. Again he spent most of my pregnancy in jail. This time we both found God through the traumatic experience. He got out and about 3 months later our 2nd son Logen was born. He pushed to get marred but I was not ready yet. Finally I gave in and we got married just after Logen's 1st birthday. Little did I know that he had been slipping for months before that. 6 weeks after the wedding I found out that he was using again. I tried to make things right. I tried to get him help but it just got worse and worse until I had to tell him to leave. I filed for divorce and custody of my boys and started to move on with my life. He ended up in jail again. Of corse in his mind none of it  is his fault.

A few months after we split up I had a short fling with this guy. I am pregnant yet again and he would rather have me have an abortion than have the baby. I do not believe in abortion and told him that I have decided to keep the baby. At this point he has turned on me telling me that having this baby will ruin his life.

I am fully prepared for being a single mom for the rest of my life. I love my children more than anything on this earth. I know that God will see me through the hard times in my life and help to make them right. But that I need to believe in myself and not let the bad things that have happened in my life get me down.

For all you single moms out there. Life is a battle. Hold your head high and remember that you can do anything that you put your mind to. If you get knocked down pick your self up and keep moving. Not only will this attitude make you feel better but you will also see it reflected in you children they will grow up to be stronger people because they have you as a role model.

For all of you with stories like mine. I wish you all the best of luck.

Proud Single Mom

 


Sad Single Mom

hi there, my name is Sue  I'm a 21yr old single mom. 

My daughter turned 1 in September, her dad didn't even send a card. i've been on my own since i found out i was pregnant. my ex was and still is a drug user and i was an alcoholic. I was living in a bed sit when i feel pregnant, my ex said he would help me with a place and he would always be there for me, 6 months down the line i had to move town to a mother and baby hostel, when i was at the hostel the staff help me over come my drinking problem and help me get into a training group, working with computers. 

When my little girl turned 9 months i got offered a flat, i was over the moon, a fresh start. to this day, i haven't drunk, i'm still on my course and I'm starting a new course in march! i've had to really sort myself out for the sake of my little girl, being a single parent isn't the end of the world, if anything it was a new leaf for me and if my ex and i had stayed together i wouldn't be where i am today!! good luck to all single parents, if your feel down just think, you've got someone there with you who's gonna love you, need you and want you for the rest of their lives, what man can promise you that!!!

 
Angry Mother

I'm 20 years old and I have an almost 7 month old son. My boyfriend is a wonderful father even though my son is not biologically his. He was there for me throughout my pregnancy. When we first started sleeping together we were not exactly in a relationship. I ended up getting pregnant right away. I was not sure who the father of my son was. 

I had a one night stand with a guy I briefly knew . According to the dates the doctor had given me my son should have been my boyfriends but he was not. We had a DNA test done soon after he was born. My boyfriend is still here and I'm sure that he will always be in my son's life. When I found out that the other guy was the father I had a hard time locating him b/c I only knew his nickname. I went to one of his old jobs and a women there told me she lived near him and would give him my #. Unfortunately she died before she could.  I went back another time and another girl that he worked with gave me his cell phone #. I called him. I don't think he knew who I was b/c he agreed to meet me without even asking me my name. I think he was expecting a call from someone else.

Well I had my son with me( ofcourse since I'm breastfeeding and he refuses a bottle, he's always with me) so when he saw me all he said was "he looks just like my other son" then he said he had to go. He wouldn't answer any questions that I had. I called him later and he told me he wanted to come see my son. He never showed up, not that time or any other time he promised to come. 

I don't want anything from him. My son has a dad. I had just hoped that when my son is older and asks about him real father I'd be able to say more than I had a one night stand with a man and don't even know his real name. His father has refused to tell me his real name or any info that I might be able to use for child support. I don't even want child support. I want my son to know where he came from. I asked him if he would sign away his rights to my son so that my bf could adopt him and he told me to give him my son. So I asked him what my son's name was ( this was like our 3rd time talking) and he didn't even know my son's name. I hung up and haven't talked to him since. I've never hated anyone as much in my life.  I just hope my son won't hate me.  

From an  Angry Mother

 



I am a eighteen year old single mother of a beautiful 4 month old baby girl and this is my story. I met my ex-boyfriend my junior year in high school. He started off to be the sweetest guy you could ever imagine. I was so happy but of course with time that all changed around Christmas that year he started to change. He isolated me from my friends, I wasn't even allowed to have them or talk to anyone except him and my family.  He started to become very abusive even in public places. I would always forgive him because he made me believe that it was always me that caused, so i begged for forgiveness. 

It started out mildly but the next thing I know I am wearing clothing make up my hair down and everything else to cover it up. I even made up excuses to how my bruises appeared. i protected him to the end.  I never told anyone what was really happening. I got where at school I would stare at the floor and go straight to my classes and not look or talk to anyone. Finally he tried to commit suicide which luckily the cops stopped him. After that he started seeing a shrink but that didn't help because he would blame everything on me but believe me i tried to do everything for him. He never paid for anything during our relationship. He didn't even have a job- I did. 

We went through several more abusive times mentally and physically. If i told this story detailed it would take forever. Finally in may 2003 i got pregnant.  boy was that a mistake but he knew i wasn't on anything but forced me to sleep with him without protection.  He made me keep it a secret until I was five months. He even made me go to an abortion clinic and set me up an appointment to have it done.  

Finally the truth came out but the appt. was still set until he realized our baby had its own heartbeat. I had some complications during my pregnancy and I decided no matter how miserable I was I was going to stick it out for my daughter so she can have a family, but when the abuse kept up during my pregnancy for her and my health I left him in January and that has been the best decision of my life. During my labor which lasted from 6:00 am to 6:37 pm. We fought and it threw me into an anxiety attack and i was not able to deliver without the help of a suction cup which has done mild damage to my daughter. He didn't even come to see us at the hospital and began to fill out the papers, but now we hardly talk and he'll come see her every once in awhile. He gives me a little bit of money but we struggle everyday and now i just graduated and I had to miss half of my senior year.  I am planning on going to college but I know if I can't find financial aid that there is no way. I barely meet ends now and i am in a desperate need of help.  Well that is my story made short. All I know is that the real me has been long gone and I never got to enjoy life as a kid. 


Hopeful

i am a single mother born to a single welfare mother and raised by my grandmother.

Well now I have 2 children of my own i recently moved to Florida because i found i had no place to live and could not keep living in my car with two kids

i found a job but it takes more than half my paycheck to pay for daycare although my second child's farther who lives in New York help me with half the rent I am finding it very hard.

I have no friends or family to help me but I am in school and in my third year of earning a bachelor of science my dream is to go to medical school and become a doctor.

i try to look to god for faith, hope, love and wisdom but my children still need a roof over their heads and food to live.

well that's my story.............

 

Abusive relationship

I am a divorced 33 yr. old mother of three children ages 10-14. I am in my 30 week of pregnancy and am alone now. I have been divorced for almost 2 yrs. now and made the mistake of starting a relationship right after my divorce.

This relationship started out good but would soon turn bad. There was drinking involved and this made things worse and resulted in me being physically abused more than once. The forgiving heart I have I forgave my abuser/boyfriend and tried working things out several times. I had some problems and had to change my method of birth control and ended up getting pregnant. I did want another child but, not with my boyfriend due to the problems we had already experienced.

Well, we were still trying up until about a few weeks ago. He can't quit drinking so I told him that I would rather be alone. He can't see that drinking can hurt us and our baby. I shouldn't have EVER felt afraid of him and shouldn't have to in this condition but, he can't stop so I had to make the choice to be alone and be a single parent. It's funny how we get the blame for not wanting to cooperate with the father. We can't see the stress they are going through. Please, I told him. I am the one who is stressing. I am the one who is hurting yet, You have stress?

I had to make the choice to be alone and be safe for me and my unborn child. I shouldn't have to worry am I going to be okay with him? is he going to come home drunk? or get angry at me and hurt me? I have been on my knees a lot here lately, and I know God will let me be comforted in time knowing I made the right choice.

My mother made the following statement to me and made my eyes open wide, she said, " I hope that you and the baby can be safe with him, you know he has a history.  I hope you make the right decision and aren't sorry later."

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like "She's right, you know!" If he truly loved me he would make the effort to quit drinking and take care of me. It's going to be hard but, my three children and family and friends will help me.

I plan on going back to work after the baby comes too. I plan on going on with my life, completing college, I only lack a year for my bachelors degree and making a home for My children and our newest member to be born June 29th, we don't want to know if it's a boy/girl we want to be surprised.

Thanks for all your stories, it helps to know I am not the only one going through hard times right now. I will keep you all in my prayers and thoughts.  If you would like to email me please do. 

~Wendy

 


I will make it!

I am a single mother of two boys (6 1/2 and a 2 1/2) and I am expecting what I think is my first arrival of my baby girl. I am divorced from my oldest son's father and I  was still involved with my youngest son's father when I had found out I was pregnant. With our first child he begged me for months to abort him but of course the answer was NO! Now that I am pregnant AGAIN due to neither one of us using protection AGAIN and both of us knowing what could happen AGAIN, he asked me again with this one to abort AGAIN. The answer was and still is NO!!! I don't want him, his money or his drama. I can do bad all by myself and can do much better without him. 

His excuse was he has one already on the way due in June 04 from his supposedly ex-fiancee' and me delivering mine 4-5 months after hers would be too much of a financial strain on him. It's funny he wasn't think much when we were in the mix. He, of course, blamed me solely for purposely getting pregnant. It's funny, we weren't using anything and he knew I wasn't on anything and I thought God has that ability and choice to create life regardless of me and him having sex.

He stated I wanted him for his money, which he barely has due to this being his fifth child by 4 moms. But he names, claims and takes care of 1 child that is not at all his. Which would total to six kids. I have his two (one here and the other on the way) and the other 3 has his one.

To make a long drawn out 6 1/2 year mess shorter, I told him to LEAVE US ALONE and go about his business. I told him to take care of the kids he feels that are not burdens. I have not had so much peace since I gave his voicemail a mouth full of how I felt. At the time I needed him most, he wasn't there but God is always there. I always say Baby Faith (my name for her if she's a girl) has a reason to be here. Even though me and her father had sex, God created her and I chose to keep her.

I have supportive family and friends and I will continue to lean on God. I don't know how I will make it but I know I will. I have my own apartment, my own car, my own job, and a peace of mind. Life is what happens when you least expect it. My kids and my baby are a another reason why I live. I got blessed thru my mess and as far as I am concerned my burden is far gone. Thanks for reading!

 
Tiese

 


 

Back to School!

I am soon to be 25 years old and now have a very beautiful 9 month old daughter.  Her father was not in her life since the day that I told him that I was expecting her.  I found out that I was pregnant when I was 14 and a half weeks along.  I have had many complications along the way with her till I had her and have struggled at the same time. 

After I had her I was still struggling but had come to a conclusion in my life.  As a single parent in the world today, everything is so expensive when you have to get everything because the father is a dead beat.  I have gone back to school, and am going to be a Law Clerk when I am done.  You can't raise a child on min. wage now a days.  I have not been on welfare since June of 2003 and am happy about that.  You learn that you don't need a man in your life to be happy and it is the fathers loss for not being in the child's life.  If I can go back to school and better myself for my child while she is young anyone can.  It is hard but when you think about it and look in your child's eyes you know it will all be worth it in the long run. 

If you ever want to chat email me at [email protected] . There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  You can do anything if you put your heart and mind into it.

~ Denise



I am 21 years old and 14 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Although people like to think of me as a soon to be single parent I consider myself a parent now. Being a parent starts long before the baby gets here, but some people donít understand. I have known that I have been pregnant since the very beginning. I let the guy know whom I had been in a so called relationship with that I was late. Like most useless guys he says oh boy it canít get any worse.

 

Well for him I guess it did. A couple of days later I found out for sure indeed I was. We had only been talking for about 3months before I found out I was pregnant. I am a very understanding person so I knew he was scared and didnít know what to say and what he wanted to do. But being understanding has to come to and end. I asked him if he wanted to be with me and all he could say was I like the fact that we just chill. Of course who wouldnít like eating, sleeping, bathing, and fu#king. He wanted everything from a relationship but the commitment.

 

Well I canít settle for that anymore I have a baby on the way. He never asked when my doctors appointments are or how they been, he donít even have a clue when the baby is due. But I donít if he cares. Well someone should care, RIGHTÖ Yeah only God in these situations and a hell of a good family and friends.

 

But sometimes it feels like I need more I feel that he should care that soon there will be a little boy/girl coming into this world with half his genes. Of course I know I donít need anyone like him who only calls when he wants something and pays the role like I'm not even carrying his child but thatís easier said then done. I want to be able to share the sound of my babyís heartbeat with the father and have him be by my side when the baby starts moving but instead I experience all of these things alone. I know I said I have my family which I really do but with me being in another state since I am in my 3rd year of college its hard for them to know I am lonely. I always put on a role so my mom wonít worry about me and ask me to move back there. Deep down inside I know that I probably  could do this with out a father but it will nice to know if there is a guy out there like my step dad who will find me someday and sweep me off my feet.


Feel free to keep in touch I could always use a friend especially someone who understands what I have to go through. Good luck all u single parents and remember everything happens for a reason.

 

Sincerely

Najma Wilkerson and baby boy/girl June 5, 2004
 


I am a single 21 year old who is 4 months pregnant with my first child. The baby's father was very abusive, controlling and cheated all the time. At first he kept telling me that he wanted a child and how much he wanted one with me. Well, right after moving into our new apartment I got pregnant. I was still on the pill but had been on antibiotics because of my being sick. I just found out about the pregnancy July 30, 2003. I left my ex-boyfriend before I knew I was pregnant. When he found out about it, he said that he could care less and that the baby's not his. Well, I am very lucky to have my mama and daddy hear to help me. I have since moved out of my own apartment and moved back in with my parents. I am having some complications with this pregnancy but my mama is has been by my side from day one. My ex also gave me an infection because of his cheating on me. I know that it is better for myself and this baby not to have this father in our lives. I have enough support from my family and my friends that I do not need him. This pregnancy was very unplanned but I love this child more than anything in this world. I am due February 21, 2004 and can't wait until I can finally see this child's face. I know that one day I will meet someone who will love me and will love this child and will want to raise this child as his own. I'm not worried about any of that right now. All I am worried about is my child being happy and healthy.  


I met my husband while we were in H. S. It all felt like a sweet dream. High school sweethearts, getting married. I married him when I turned 18-two years after we met. I wanted a child so badly, it hurt.

My husband, at first, was a sweet, romantic and loving man. I never thought that I could live without him. Never thought our marriage was going to end. About a year and a half into our marriage, we finally conceived. Was great-everything I have ever thought it would be. At the time, we thought it would be a good idea to move in with his mother.

During my pregnancy, I realized the man I had loved for all these years, was revealing his true colors. His mother and him would make comments such as, "It better be a boy, or we'll give her up for adoption." Being pregnant, and not knowing the sex of my child, this would often get me upset. My supportive husband was no longer there. Instead, a man stood before me with an evil grin. Call this mental abuse, psychological abuse, whatever. I knew one thing. I was no longer happy with him.

Once my son was born (oh, they were happy about that!) things got even worse. He would criticize every aspect of motherhood, starting with breastfeeding, CO-sleeping, and every other decision I made concerning my newborn son. On the other hand, he would never spend any time alone with our boy, and when he did, it would be for 10 minutes-not even long enough for me to shower without worrying. When my son turned 9 months, my mother-in-law wanted to take my son on a "vacation" to another country, but said I could not join then (my husband was also going). When I refused-fearing I would never see my child again-they made threats at me saying they would get custody of my son.

At this point I knew that if I wanted my son to be happy and safe, I had to leave. Ten months later, and here I am. Motherhood has blessed me. I am stronger than I ever thought I would be, happier than ever before, and safer. I often felt guilty for my son is going to grow up without a father. His father has lost his supervised visitation rights, has not paid any of the court-ordered child support, and has been trying to play games with me ever since we separated.

When my son turned a year, I was sad. I kept thinking to myself- "This isn't the way it's supposed to be. This celebration is supposed to be mommy, daddy, baby, and other members of our family and friends. I know my son is too young to understand that our family is different from two-parent families, but I can see now, how much he needs male role model in his life. Unfortunately, I do not have a dad, brother, or other good male friends that are around for him. On play dates, he sees his friends climbing up to daddy's lap, and he gets sad... jealous...confused.... I see that, although my son is only 19 months. He is very bright, and he understands more than I think sometimes.

When I left his father, and went to court to get custody for my son, the judge asked me what do I do. It felt like the whole scene has frozen and I was thinking, "What do you mean what do I do? I am a Mom! believe it or not, that's more than any full time position. You don't even get a lunch break," then I hear her ask, "do you work? do you go to school?" And I sadly thought, "no. I do not go to school, although I wish that I had." But I heard myself say "yes.I'm starting school this September," and my head was yelling at me "what are you doing? you don't go to school," but I answered right back, "I guess now I am!" so before I knew it, September came around and I was indeed enrolled into school. My first semester had just ended. I am majoring in paralegal (always good to know the laws!) and have been loving it. I am getting excellent grades, and it is comforting to know that my son is close by- on campus day care. I know that he is safe, happy, and interacting with other children.

I am left with one wish-that my son continues to grow to become a happy, healthy, and good person.

I want to wish all of you single mommies out there-be good to yourselves and your children. You have one another, and that's the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for. Don't be too hard on yourselves and love yourselves. Love your little ones endlessly. I found my son to be an amazing source of strength. Good luck to you.

 

Everything you need for a happy baby!

Poem of Love and Rage

Hugs, Smiles, Happiness
My Lifeís Melody
Those are my Children
My Son, my Daughter
They fill me with Love
They are the Sun
The Sun that Shines from Within
The same Sun Shines Outwards
But now it shines like fire
good-byes, tears, sadness

the chorus of my life
that is THE System
The system is like a MACHETE
That attacks from the outside
the same Sun that Shines from within
is the fire burning on the surface

Poema de Amor Y Ravia
por, L. C. Olaniyi


Abrazos, Sonrisas, Felicidad
La melodia de mi vida
Esos son mis hijos
mi Hijo, mi Hija
Me llenan con Amor
Ellos son como el Sol
El sol que Brilla por dentro
Ese mismo Sol Brilla hacia fuera
Pero ahora brilla como un fuego
despedidas, lagrimas, tristeza

el coro de mi vida
eso es EL Sistema
EL sistema es como un MACHETE
Que nos ataca por fuera
EL mismo sol que Brilla por dentro,
es el fuego encendido por fuera


I write this poem in honor of my children and protest of the legal system that has not taken their total joy and well-being into consideration. I am a mother who loves her children.  I am a mother who has invested time, energy and resources into creating two joyful and loving children .  I am a mother who did it without the help of their father for far too long.

Finally, sense and savings went hand in hand I filed for divorce.  That is when my nightmare
began.  The system took over.  The system granted equal rights for the man who had wiped me of my savings, robbed me of trust practically abandoned all the needs of our two beautiful children.  In less than fifteen minutes of discourse between two lawyers and a few hours of review, the system stole my childrenís security ...legally!

As advocates for children, we must demand that judges wear the glasses and hearts of the children first and foremost.  No child should be stripped of the only security known to them without  due cause.  In my case, the system granted equal rights to a father who had abandoned his daughter and cared for his son when it proved convenient.  While living in Iowa with our two children the system granted temporary shared custody until matters could be further resolved.  The father has made certain that matters do not resolve themselves quickly.

For my daughter, this meant going to a father she barely recognized .  For my daughter, this meant being stripped away from the only lifestyle, security and love she ever knew.  For both children this meant traveling 16 hours in a car every two weeks and viewing unhealthy and derogatory behavior towards others , especially women. While I reduced the burden somewhat by moving nearer to my childrenís father and nearer to my most amazingly supportive and loving extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and grandmother, temporary shared custody has meant months of worry and insecurities for everyone who knows our children.

I understand that the system wants to be fair to both parents.  Yet, had the parents been fair to one another it would not have needed the systemís involvement.  It is unacceptable to reach for equality at the expense of the childrenís best interest and needs.  Rhetoric must be matched by action.

As a mother, I thought my case was cut and dry since I had undeniably been both childrenís
primary provider since birth.  Furthermore, their father moved two states away with no reliable transportation of his own just one month after his daughter was born. Their father undeniably prioritized his own personal interests above those of his childrenís. Despite his recorded threats towards myself and others, the system was willing to chance the well-being of the children.  It is not uncommon for children to be required to go with a parent with established cases of abuse.  Many judges still feel that abusing the mother is no indicator towards violence on the part of the children.  While violent parents may retain custody rights of their children, perfectly wonderful undocumented parents have been stripped of their rights due to their status alone.  Many other loving and capable parents have had the same rights stripped away when a biological parent decides they are ready to parent their child despite the fact that their child was given up for adoption via proper procedure. 

Unfortunately politics, money and the aforementioned reasons continue to take priority over the best interest of our children in family courts throughout this nation.For this reason a recent  documentary entitled Small Justice by Ms. Garland Waller has won many awards  including the NY International Independent film and video award and has been hailed by advocates throughout our nation.  State senator of Michigan, John Hansen has written in support of this documentary which depicts actual accounts and horrifying statistics showing extreme cases of gender bias, denial of due process, incompetence, corruption and fraud.  The video shows how unfairly the family court system works on behalf of women and children time after time.

In one case, a girl now in college details how the system enabled her fatherís extreme abuse by appointing her fatherís lover to be her supposed protector. She withstood years of abuse at the hands of the system.  No child should be used as pawns in the game of life.  If you wish to learn more or advocate on behalf of children to make our family courts system stronger, please contact L. C. Olaniyi at El Nuevo

Opinion.  The following resources may be helpful if you or someone you know has suffered at the hands of  the family court system : http://www.smalljustice.com ; http://www.rightsforchildren.org ; http://www.familylawcourts.com .

Love your children. Love all children.  I still hold hope that love will mold the machete into a more acceptable form.  Let the metal transform into the hourglass figure that nurtures rather than destroys.

~Kogiqueen

I am a divorced single parent.  My ex was verbally and mentally abusive.
I am glad he is no longer with me. I recently met a man who I had been seeing for a while, and I became pregnant.  I am very happy that I am pregnant once again, although the friends that I had are not.  None of them have called me ever again since I told them that I got pregnant, all but one girl who I've know for far less time than the other friends.

I have decided to keep the baby, come hell or high water.  Friends or no friends, job or no job, relatives involved or not, I don't care. I have also decided that I am going to have a homebirth. Last time I had my baby and I was in labor, I kept thinking to myself, why the hell am I leaving my home to drive to a hospital to get help with my giving birth?

I don't need anyone's help, this is a natural occurrence of the body?  I felt kind of silly even going to another place to have strangers help me deliver my baby. I am going it alone this time.  Husband or no husband, the one I had before didn't even help me with anything, when my water broke he said he had to go to work. I even had to order groceries to be delivered.  All this from a man I thought I knew after many years together. I did everything by myself always, so I am used to it. I think it is very very rare when you find good friends that are genuine.  I have yet to find those.

hi
 
my husband was  a very abusive man he beat me and when i got pregnant it got worse. my pregnancy included broken fingers, dislocated jaw, numerous bruises, a hernia, muscle damage to my leg as well as hyperemesis, and kidney stones and a venereal disease because he cheated on me. finally i had a beautiful baby girl and he promised to quit hurting me.  he didn't so i left him. 

at first i left so my daughter would be safe but after several victims counseling sessions i decided it was for me too.   my child, lily, is the light of my life and i want her to have a good life and i would like for us to have a place to live.  I am raising her by myself.  we lived in a shelter for battered women until things cooled off a lot and then we moved in with my mom.  i love my mom and am grateful for her help but i know we have  been a tremendous burden on her.  i have a good job and work six days a week but i also have a mountain of debt due entirely to medical bills and student loans. 

we have been completely healthy and happy this last year away from him and the divorce will be final january 28th 2003. apparently not soon enough for him because he has gotten two more women pregnant since i left.  he was ordered to pay child support by the judge during the restraining order but it has been a year and he has not paid a cent and the child support enforcement agency won't go after him until the divorce is final.  it  has been a messy divorce with him making false allegations and trying for custody but court ordered psychological evaluations have shown me to be completely sane with stress coming only from him and his shows that he is bipolar and has so much hostility they do not   recommend visitation with any children.   god saved our lives and has gotten us this far i have faith he will see us through but if anyone can help that to happen sooner i would be eternally grateful.


Also if anyone can help me to get published i have written a book about what happened to me from a religious point of view as well as one straightforward and nondenominational.  Staying in the shelter has also influenced me to write books for the children of domestic violence homes.  If you can help or know someone who can, please get in touch with me.
 
thank you and god bless you!
kimberly van scoit

This fall, my daughters and I both start school- I in
college and my twin five year old daughters in
kindergarten. I had my daughters when I was sixteen.
At the time, I decided to graduate early and start
classes to attain a job so that I could support my
girls. It was extremely important to me that the
people around me pay as little as possible for my
irresponsible actions, and that I be as responsible as
I could for the decisions I had made. My daughters are
the most wonderful things that have ever happened to
me. They are my inspiration.

After graduating from high school I finished a year of
classes towards a computer programming degree, and was
lucky enough to land a job as a programmer. I have
been working in that capacity ever since. I continued
going to classes with the intention of getting a
computer information systems degree until last spring
when my boss asked me why that was still my goal. He
pointed out to me that I have already learned
everything I need to know, and can pretty much pick up
any computer language or skill needed, as I have
already demonstrated through my work.

It was through that realization that I decided to
change my focus and go for a bachelor of arts degree.
I haven't quite decided what my major will be. I think
it will be English.

Most of my spare time is spent with my daughters, or
in reading, writing, or keeping up my website
(http://www.upsoclose.com). I also enjoy making or
fixing things, an evening spent with friends or
family, and a good dose of humor.

I am a firm believer that you are in charge of your
own life, and it's quality. I've used that saying to
get myself through all of the ups and downs of single
parenting, and it's kept me striving for more for my
children and myself.

Single parenting is frustrating, because outsiders
just don't understand the pressure of being a single
parent. I've received many a scornful look for having
to ask a second time, say if my daughter has to return
school library books on Tuesday or Thursday since the
twins are in different classes. I have to stifle my
indignation at being misunderstood and stereotyped. If
parenting itself is a thankless job, single parenting
is doubly so. In my mind, I am proud of what I have
achieved, and the happiness I've so far been able to
create in my home for my girls.

Carina Silfverduk


I am a single mother, of 2 boys ages 5 and 10.  My husband left me for the first time when I was 7 months pregnant with my youngest child.  Needless to say I was devastated.  He did however, come back and leave again 5 more times.  Boy those were hard times.  I never thought I'd live through it, but here I am. Feeling more self sufficient, beautiful, and powerful than ever.  I have a job as a nanny which allows me much time with my children, and have plans (god willing) to attend nursing school In March of 2003.  I just cant seem to find financial aid information on the internet.  There are lots of sites most of which want you to buy a subscription to get info.  Can anyone help me find a site in which I can apply on line for grant money for school???  Your help will be greatly appreciated.  Oh, and by the way, school would never have been an option if that he was still in my life.  Making it on my own is the most wonderful gift I have ever been blessed with.  Hold your head high and love your kids.  Your pride and strength cannot be taken.  If you no longer possess them, you have given them away.  Put on your boots, go kick somebody in the ass and take them back 

Lori Miller


 

I am single mum to 2 lovely lads now age 11 and 17, and am planning to have another baby very soon, the only problem being that although not lesbian i do not want a partner. I enjoy being a mum, i have my own life , and i unschool , and work from home. I don't consider childcare 2work" as in hard work and a chore although i do consider it the most important "job" int he world!

I live in the N.E of England, and am a member of NNN, and the local natural parenting radical unschooling network which a few like minded families set up because EO was not for us!
I am always happy to "chat" to or even meet other like minded attached mums and unschooler families.
If you want info about baby slings (new ones from Beginnings,made in Holland, mail order, or second hand barter or exchange) or velcro fastening cotton nappies, breastfeeeding products etc get in touch at [email protected]
Lots of love to everyone you do a great job and remember your kids are all wonderful!
Cal cassidy


 

I got a divorce when my first born turned 3 months old.  We had a terrible abusive marriage and I knew it.  But I had already invested 7 years into it and well time is valuable damn it!  I was just sitting outside between midnight feedings, thinking about what I really wanted for my daughter.  I wanted her to love her extended family, to have a few real life long friends, and to know and love God.  Hum . . . 3 things I sure didn't have.  How could I give her these gifts if I didn't have them myself to give?
 

So I believe that my daughter saved my life.  What I couldn't do for myself I could most certainly do for my baby.  Leaving my abusive marriage has allowed me to grow and flourish into the person I was meant to be. 
 
There was only one problem.  I really wanted to have a bigger family.  Only without the man in the house part.  I guess it was going to take a few extra years to shake off that miserable experience, and to trust myself again in making wise decisions with my choice in male companions.  I mean hell!  I'll take the blame!  Obviously there must have been something fiercely wrong with me to live like that for so long!
 
Now this dream of wanting another child was for the long term goal of having the dynamics of that 3rd relationship for my daughter's sake as well as my own.  And I felt like I was doing a great job in the motherhood department, even if I do say so myself.  Of course, I had an exceptional child to start with.  She was a cake walk! (And still is) Finally someone I could love unconditionally without any resentments attached.
 
So here I was 34 and thinking how am I ever going to get over loving my freedom enough, drop down into feeling desperately lonely enough, that I would be even "willing" to give up my time to get to know some guy long enough, that I trust he would be worth compromising all this for???  Seemed too clear the odds were high. But I became obsessed.
 
So obsessed that I kept every outfit my daughter outgrew, giant zipper bags of toddler toys, the infant seat, the toddler seat, the booster seat, the toilet training seat, the baby swing, the  . . . well you get the picture.  And I would still buy things at garage sales and second hand shops for the someday-baby.  I just couldn't bear the thought that my family life would be limited to just my daughter and I. 
 
So I saved up some $ again and went in for intro uterus inseminations (IUIs).  And did you know the chances are actually slimmer when you use frozen sperm even when it's placed right on you cervix, because they don't live as long?  I didn't know that!  And $2800 and 5 lost nests later I was devastated.  Do I keep going??  Are they even doing what they are being paid to do down there??? It had taken me 2 years to conceive my daughter.  I was hoping this would take by the 2nd or 3rd try. It was miserable.  I was buying maternity clothes and crying in the parking lots whenever a pregnant woman floated by.
 
But an odd thing happened.  As I was fairly confident in my decision to raise a child single handedly, I began to more and more feel confronted with the fact that I didn't want the child to feel that he may be one of many more born from the same donor sperm.  For me that issue was prevailing.  He/she also could never confront the father and that "permanent fact" was so conclusive.  So I opted to call a halt on the whole thing and try to carry on with the dream unanswered.  It was still painful but I felt I made the right decision.
 
The next thing I knew I was having sex.  Wow!  Hadn't done that with a new partner for the past 9 years!!  He was just a sexy friend.  Kind of a friend - more of an acquaintance I had known for several years on and off through my work.  I called him up one day and told him my whole story and just came right out and asked him if he would like to help me get pregnant.  He said "sure,  why not".  Okay.  Good enough.
So a week later I was ovulating (by this point I had peed on many an ovulation and pregnancy stick)  It was my life.  It was what I did!
 
Guess what!?  About 12 days later my stick had a line!!!  And at 36 I gave birth to a baby boy, only 4 years after my daughter.  We are all so happy.  My friend is not in my son's life. I am the sole provider of both of my children, and I like it this way.  I hope some day they develop a relationship, but that is between them.  Meanwhile I know that I am giving my son (and daughter) a good loving, healthy home life.

 

 

 

Email List Letters
(responses to Monzo's questions about finances)

I have three children 15, 13, 3, and one on the way.   Fortunately, I have the full support of my family and friends.  This is important.  As a single mom, your job is tougher.  By continuing your education you will not only be putting yourself in a position to financially provide for your family but you will also be setting an example to them about the importance of college and careers.  Explain this to them.  Tell them that there will be some sacrifices now but that will change in the future (as opposed to doing without for the rest of their lives because you're stuck in a "would you
like fries with that job" because you have no degree).

My kids think it's funny that Mom has homework, tests, etc and we do our homework together.  Even the little one has her "workbooks" that she does
at the table.

I do a Tu-W-Th school schedule and a M/F work schedule.  I have my pell grant which pays tuition and books ($3700/yr) with about $1200/yr left over, gotten in the work study program at school ($3000/yr) as well as a disadvantaged student scholarship (there are SOME benefits to not having alot of $$--$2400/yr).  I work p/t on the weekends which brings in another $3600/yr.

In your situation as a single mom, I would suggest checking into any available federal programs AFDC, FITAPA, food stamps, section 8, etc.  Even if you only were to qualify for food stamps, that's about $300/mo that you don't need to worry about coming out of your pocket.  And as a CNM, you'll put it all back into the system in taxes.   You are exactly the type of person the system was originally designed to help -- take advantage of it.

As for time, there are several possibilities.  The children are certainly old enough to help with household chores.  Get them to help with the little
stuff -- folding towels, clearing their places at the table, maybe even rinsing their dishes, raking leaves, running a vacuum and dusting are within their physical capabilities.  Make sure that they know that their
participation means that you will have more free time to spend with them.

Make dates and keep them!  For example, "Sunday morning belongs to us"   We will go to church, come home and make a big breakfast then go to the park
for an hour.  Or, "Tuesday night is movie night"  I will rent a video and we will eat frozen pizza in front of the TV and I will microwave popcorn and we will all cuddle on the couch.

These types of things only take time in small manageable sections and you need them as much as they do.  Don't get me wrong, there will be times when you are peeking at your notes during the movie because you have an exam the next day, but it is important to only "bend" the promise, not "break" it.

Donna-Lynne


Subject: Re: juggling

Monzo;
    I am a single mother of three boys, and I asm also attempting to get a nursing degree.  It seems that sometimes I am carrying the burden of the world on my shoulders.  I have to juggle both home and school and I have a son who has a psychiatric condition that takes even more time and energy to deal with.  I get help from social security, section 8, and welfare.  I also get full tuition to go to school, which is a God send because New York University's tuition is $11,500 per semester.
    My oldest son helps me with the laundry and the dishes.  My two youngest sons have chores to do that helps keep the house clean.  My sons, especiall the oldest one, understand when mom can't do something because money is tight or because I have to study.  We all make sacrifices now  because we know that soon (I get my degree in May 2000), we won't have to.
    Monzo, it won't be easy.  But if I can do it with my complex life (did I mention that I am the PTA president of my children's school?),  then you can too!!!  If you believe as I do, that this is a calling from God, then He will give you the strength to do what you have to do.  After all, remember, God don't give usnothing we can't handle. Love and Joy
Juanita


After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up
and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult,
not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain,
After a while, you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much.
So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong...
And that you really do have worth!

by Veronica A Shoffstall


"Mom, I feel snacky-I want a snack. Sit down, I need milk...."
-Nathanial age 3.9 yrs.

I absolutely refuse to bow to our foolish society that demands me to train my children to be silent. I am supposed to teach them to accept being alone from the moment they are born and the nurse tries to take the baby to the nursery. I am told that I need to surgically change them so they look like everyone else. I am urged to feed them food created in a lab vial, and encouraged to think that my own body isn't capable of provide the sustenance they need to grow healthy and strong. I am told that if they aren't raised by strangers alongside of 25 other children, they will grow up unsocialized and won't be able to function in society. I am assured that if I continue to allow them to sleep with me, they will never learn to sleep alone . Picking them up when they cry, is thought to create a child who is controlling and spoiled even if it seems to make them happier.

I am so thankful that I am a stubborn,  outspoken, opinionated woman. I am thankful that my children come first in my life, that nothing is as important to me as their well being. I am so thankful that I do not crumble under the constant criticism that tells me I have to go to work 40 hours a week because I am a single parent and I won't be able to support them through my writing. I do not listen to the remarks that I am creating MaMa's boys because they are allowed to show emotions and not made to blindly follow direction.

I am the most powerful, the luckiest, and most blessed mother in the world and no one realizes that all the negative words, looks, comments only feed my strength. I not only can do this, but I am doing it with all my heart and soul AND loving every minute of it.

amy and the boys
Amy,Nathanial,Gabriel Rawson


See "The Adventures of Swami-Mommy" in the ARCHIVE.jpg (2602 bytes)

 

What do they have against us?

by Aliss Terpstra

Last year around my birthday I was semi-famous for an hour when a few sentences of mine were published as "Letter of the Day" in the Toronto Star (Canada's largest daily newspaper). I was replying to a rant by Dr. Garnet Maley, who had decided ten years ago to stop attending pregnant patients because they were too demanding. Apparently, consumer choice, special interest groups and nosy government officials were trying to tell him how to conduct and manage childbirth, and he was sick of it. Now there was an inquiry into the injuries and deaths of several babies that was making a certain obstetrician look incompetent, and Dr. Maley was shouting, all across the top of the Letters page, that it is the fault of women themselves, who expect too much and then blame the doctor. We were supposed to realize, he wrote, that obstetrics carries huge risks, and that without skilled, concerned, dedicated obstetricians, those women would have died.

It's my birthday again. I dug out the yellowed clipping, the letter with my picture above it. I still look the same, but the client's baby I'm holding is now walking and talking. The client has become a friend, fellow Alternamom and normal birth advocate, planning to have her next baby at home. My letter to the editor was positive and direct: childbirth is very safe, neurosurgery, not obstetrics, is the risky medical specialty and Dr. Maley ought to find a neurosurgeon to remove his arrogance. Cute and harmless. Not at all what I wanted to say. The Toronto Star won't publish a direct attack on doctors, no matter how accurate the facts. But they will publish 500 words of invective by a doctor, against pregnant women that blames us, individually and collectively, for the damage and death of some babies, as well as the shortage of doctors willing to deliver babies.

I flip to The Compleat Mother  and learn  yet another doctor is offended by The Mother because uppity wimmin have the nerve to criticize the great doctor gods in print, which creates negative impressions. Heaven knows their actions towards pregnant and labouring women and their babies aren't enough to create negative impressions.

A memory: I'm standing by the bed of a client in labour, in Women's College Hospital, the "unique, world-class" place that prides itself on its "woman-centered" philosophy of care and "family-centered" obstetrics. This woman has, thanks to me, weathered the stormiest phase of labour without an epidural and is standing up to push, her hands against the wall. She looks, is, magnificent. She doesn't act or sound like she's in pain. Dr. Elaine Herer comes in and expresses surprise that her patient is epidural-free. She says it's so unusual. I smile at her and say, "oh, I don't know, I managed to have two babies without drugs."

This obstetrician, known for her pro-choice stance on abortion, in-vitro procedures, donor insemination for single women seeking pregnancy, and resentment towards patient advocates (because she believes she is the ideal advocate for her patients) dismissed me with a wave and said, "well, you're abnormal." This is her philosophy, and she delivers a lot of babies. Dr. Herer ordered her into the bed, on her back, and all progress and descent halted. I used my best assertive and non-confrontational communication skills to get permission for my client to get back up and push effectively, but this woman-centered, pro-choice doctor ignored me deliberately and called for the vacuum. She instructed her resident to insert the plastic cup. The resident fumbled and my client's labia was gashed on the sharp edge of the cup. She cried out, the first time she had complained in six hours. There was no apology.

I asked if an episiotomy was called for and Dr. Herer made a sarcastic reference to patient advocacy being against intervention. I said quietly that I thought it would clearly help in this case. So her perineum was frozen and the episiotomy performed and the vacuum extraction completed without further ado. She was sent home 24 hours later with a fever and undiagnosed uterine infection. Dr. Herer also told her to save her nipples and not to bother nursing until the milk came in.

Two years later I learn she is having a second baby. I jokingly ask who's the midwife and of course it's a home birth, right? There is an awkward pause, then her husband says, well, we figured we were experienced old hands, so it's with Dr. Herer again.

SO: if all these resentful doctors are the good guys, we must be the bad guys, right? And they resent us for . . . what, exactly? For wanting to labour and birth normally. For the pleasure when we do. For wanting relationship with our caregivers and healers. For birthing at home. For nursing our babies whenever and forever . For not circumcising, vaccinating, spanking, institutionalizing. For not doing what we're told. For trusting ourselves and our children. For being the kind of mothers and role models they never had.

I think I can live with that.


"When a woman falls in love with the magnificent possibilities within herself, the forces that would limit those possibilities hold less and less sway over her."


BREASTFEED

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