If you are considering parenting, but you’re thinking you’re just not ready, we have some great news to share with you… Very few people ever feel ready to parent. Every woman on the planet has had the flood of emotions when finding out she’s pregnant.
Married or single, planned or not, parenting has a unique set of opportunities and challenges. Even in the most ideal situations, the thought of parenting can be overwhelming. So first, take a deep breath and realize you are not alone. You are not the first person feeling what you are feeling.
We hope to bring some truths to common myths and provide you with social services and general support to the difficulties you may be facing in this unexpected pregnancy.
First, there is not one type of family today. There are many family units and even more styles of parenting. There is much to explore as you consider your next steps in dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
As society has evolved, the immediate thought when facing an unplanned pregnancy is not to simply rush and get married. Or run and hide “someplace” to have the baby in secret.
Did you know 50% of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned? There is a lot more grace surrounding this topic, and in many situations, an unplanned pregnancy does not have the same stigma it once did. The focus has shifted towards equipping women with resources to making decisions that are right for them.
Single parenting is when the primary responsibility of raising the child falls on one individual. There are many single parents for a variety of reasons. No matter the reason, society has come a long way in its views on single parents, and there are many resources available to help single parents. There are so many classes, books, mentors, and thousands of blog posts out there to help you learn everything you need to know on the topic.
Finding a solid support system that can help navigate the days ahead is important for everyone but especially for someone who will be primarily a single parent. No one is expected nor should do this alone. Even the strongest of women will experience a moment they will need to reach out for help. As you make your birth plan, make a list of people, places, and resources available to you as you embrace single parenting. If you do not know where to start, our directory can guide you to classes, social services, and even places you can go for material assistance as well. Check it out!
Co-parenting is when the responsibility of raising the child is shared between the biological mother and father. Whenever possible this is a wonderful option for the child even if the couple does not decide to stay together. The parenting plan will include a schedule that is detailed in writing and should also include child support commitments. It is best to have these documents legally binding.
If your partner is unsafe or unhealthy, then seek help and assistance to ensure your health and safety. You may need to look towards parenting without them. However, if possible, including them in a healthy respectful way will be rewarding for the child as well as each parent. There are many resources, classes, blogs, and tips on how to successfully co-parent. Please check out our directory and find a resource near you!
Blended families, or stepfamilies
Blended families are very common today. They are when two individuals come together and one or both have children. Learning how to live together as one family unit can be a unique experience. The good news is the successful stories of blended families are plentiful! The resources to help both parents and the children navigate this successfully will be important.
What should you do?
- Communicate with your partner about your child and their needs.
- Communicate with your child the benefits of having “more people to love them” by adding additional members to the family.
- Reinforce to the children that nothing changes in your love or attention for them.
- Continue to invest into the biological parent child relationship so they don’t feel forgotten or overlooked. This will save you hours of time down the road trying to undo bad behavior that “seems to be coming from nowhere.”
Remember blended families offer an increase in the opportunity for love and security. They can be successfully done!
A nuclear family is when both the biological mother and father are living in the same house raising their children and doing life together. Traditionally they are married, but not always. If a nuclear family is healthy, it can provide a consistent home environment, structure, increased focused on education, and a general overall increase in the economic stability of the home. This makes sense as there are two adults working together for a common goal with shared resources.
The number of nuclear families has been on a decline. Twenty years ago, 48% of families were a nuclear family. According to the most recent census that number has dropped to 40%. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/estimates-families-living-arrangements.html
Although there are many benefits to a nuclear family, the best family for a child is the healthy family and it is possible for you to have a healthy family in all the options mentioned.
Whatever your situation is, parenting and family styles are unique to each person. You will be able to find many resources as you embark on this adventure of parenting. Reach out as you seek information on parenting and resources available to help you along the way!
We realize this pregnancy is likely unexpected, but you can do it.
Reach out. Do not do this alone.
Unpack all your options and find the solution right for you.
If the idea of parenting is still overwhelming to you even after learning about all the assistance available to you but you still want to see your child thrive, you may want to consider adoption. Whatever you choose, parenting and adoption are both great ways to see the life inside of you come to their fullest potential and be involved at the level that is right for you.
For more on adoptions read here.