Many women choose to be single mothers because they are ready to raise a child but have not yet found the man with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives. Others are not so fortunate, however, and find themselves single after getting pregnant by the man they considered to be a soul mate. Going through a break up is difficult in the best of times, but can be even more so if you are on your way to becoming a mother. Here are some tips to help you cope if you are going through a painful breakup while you are pregnant:
- Focus on what matters – Regardless of how important your ex seemed to you, the only thing that really matters right now is the health of yourself and your baby. Find activities that will keep you centered and allow you to block out the mental confusion at least a few times every week. Buy some new clothes, get a massage, and pamper yourself. Your baby’s health is directly related to yours, so you must take care of yourself.
- Prepare for motherhood – Read about child development, single parenting, and motherhood to prepare for the life that is ahead of you. Join single mother support groups and online communities to share your fears and feelings with others who are sharing your experiences. Take some time occasionally to deal with your emotions and feelings about the break up so you can move on to a peaceful life with your child. Just be sure to not let the grief eat up too much of your time. Allow yourself a set period of time for contemplating your relationship and move on. By taking it in small steps, you can prevent getting too stressed and upset.
- Immerse yourself in positive feelings – Surround yourself with friends and family who love you. Allow their excitement about the coming baby to infect your every thought. After all, your relationship ended for a reason. You will likely realize that it was for the best once you have time to deal with your thoughts. Instead of focusing on what is lost, focus on what you have gained…a loving child. While it may feel good to bash your ex, set limits on what is said by you and your support network. After all, he is your child’s father and you will be dealing with him for a long time. It is better for the baby if you can do so in a civil, compromising manner.
- Accept help – There are many caring people who will be more than happy to help you during your time of need. Take classes, attend support groups, and allow your loved ones to help you prepare for the baby’s arrival. If you are having a very difficult time getting over the break up, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
- Follow the rules – Remember that your relationship with the father will affect your child from birth throughout the rest of his or her life. Work with the father to determine how parenting will be shared and what his responsibilities and involvement will be. Encourage him to be an active part of his child’s life and create an environment that will make him feel comfortable doing so. Regardless of how betrayed and angry you may feel, always communicate in a civil manner and never use your child as a pawn in emotional games.
Going through a painful break up while you are pregnant can steal the joy from your special time, but only if you let it. Instead of getting down, deal with your feelings and get back to the business of being a mommy.
About the Author: Donna Moody uses her experiences as a mother, teacher, and woman to provide parenting advice for those in need.