When Your Baby’s Father Becomes Your Ex During Pregnancy
Your life during pregnancy is already a little topsy-turvy. Your body is changing and you’re experiencing symptoms you’ve never had before, including unpleasant ones like morning sickness. Plus, you’re feeling stressed by all of the changes that go along with bringing a new baby into the world – but what if you have to deal with another major source of anxiety and uncertainty. What happens if your baby’s father suddenly becomes your ex and it happens while you’re pregnant?
Breakups are hard but they’re particularly tough to deal with if you’re pregnant. With so many things to worry about already, a broken relationship might make you feel like you, too, are reaching your breaking point. Yet, if the break-up has been a long time coming, you might breathe a sigh of relief Still, if you lack a strong support system, a break-up can be one more thing to add to your list of worries. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with family and friends. You’re probably feeling stressed from the break-up AND the pregnancy and could benefit from a sympathetic ear. That’s what friends and family are for.
If You Don’t Have a Support System
Not having a close circle of friends and family to turn to makes the situation more challenging. If you belong to a church or social group, there may be people there you can form a friendship with or who you can turn to for support. If not, look for parenting support groups in your area. You can also engage with other pregnant moms-to-be online via online forums and groups.
Even though your ex may have checked out emotionally, that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook in terms of supporting the child he and you created together. Be ready to file for child support. You’ll also need to think about how you’ll support your baby once he or she is born. If you have a job, look for child care options you can contact. If you don’t currently have a job, you may need to apply for government assistance temporarily. If money is an issue, is there a friend or family member you could live with temporarily? Write down all of your options.
You’re Not Alone
Remember, there are many single moms out there that manage to survive and flourish. It may take a bit of planning and soul searching to find the best way to support you and your baby financially. One option is to team up with other parents whom you can share responsibilities with, such as childcare, transportation etc. There’s strength in numbers!
Comfort yourself with the knowledge that the break-up might be for the better. If a man is unable to be there for you when you’re carrying his child, it’s unlikely he will make a good partner or father. Yes, pregnancy is more challenging when you don’t have the emotional support of the father who made it all happen, but you’re strong enough to get through the rough times and welcome your new child into the world as a solo parent.
American Pregnancy Association. “Doing It Alone”