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Single Parenting A Newborn

A new baby, is there anything more wonderful? I remember when Hailey was brand new, what an amazing time, they grow and change so quickly. I was very fortunate that when Hailey was born her father and I were still married and he was head over heels in love with his little girl. That definitely made those infant days easier. I remember waiting for him to come home from work so I could get a break. As much as I loved that baby, there were times when I was just done.

I can’t imagine being a single mom to a newborn. Babies fuss, and cry, and scream, sometimes for no reason at all. Many nights I walked the floor and cried right along with Hailey because I didn’t know what to do and when it simply became too much I would take her to her father and climb in my bed and cry about my inability to parent this tiny little person. It was so much harder than I ever imagined.

What if there wasn’t anyone else to walk the floor? No one to wake up and have them run to the story for baby Tylenol or suppositories, or anything else a baby might need in the middle of the night. What if it was just you? For many women this is a reality, either by choice or by chance, they alone, are responsible for this new little person.

I know even with a husband there were times when I just wanted Hailey to SHUT UP!! As much as I loved her I couldn’t stand the crying, I couldn’t stand that I couldn’t comfort her, I couldn’t stand feeling inadequate. How hard it must be not to have someone else to take a turn.

It is important to remember that you are a single parent, not a perfect parent, so don’t strive to be and then beat yourself up when you fall short. Ask for help when you need it, especially in those early weeks and months. Your hormones are going crazy, you’re alone and the baby won’t stop crying, it doesn’t make you a bad mom to have to say you need help.

Another very important thing to remember is that a baby will not die if you let it cry, even if you let it scream. Sometimes, you just have to walk away. Make sure the baby is somewhere safe, in its crib or a bouncy seat, and walk away. Go make yourself a cup of tea, call your mom, pace the floor, whatever will help calm your nerves. It’s hard to listen to your baby cry in the other room, but it is better than the alternative. Many times the baby will simply cry itself to sleep, babies tire easily, don’t let it make you feel guilty. The baby won’t remember that you let it cry and by the time it wakes up you will both feel a little better and be ready to once again try to figure this out.