Just my personal input here, and I speak from experience. i am currently working on my second pregnancy and am happily married and financially ok. My first child is now 5 years old, and I raised her for 4 1/2 years as a single mom. Her father and I were living together at the time that I got pregnant, but I had to leave him due to "problems" that he had (not keeping a job, being mean!). I knew him for years, and should have known better, but went and got pregnant anyway thinking it would all just work itself out. First I got to experience the joy of being single and pregnant. My mom was the only one present at my daughter's birth. Then, even better, living with my parents at the age of 20, working, going to college, and trying to raise a baby. I dont think I ever slept. And every time I looked at my daughter, all I could think of was how much she deserved better. She deserved a mom and a dad who loved each other. She deserved more than I as a single mom could provide. I managed to give her a good life regardless, but suffered because of it. I felt so guilty over being so careless. I should have thought before getting pregnant. I mean when you choose to create a life, it should be under the best of circumstances. It is a huge decision. My daughter refers to my husband as dad now. She told me she is happy to have someone to call that. It makes me sad because I never realized how much she wanted a dad like all of her other friends and classmates. Plus, her real father is a horrible person, and I live in constant fear of him someday rearing his ugly head and making her life more difficult and confusing. For now, she has not had to deal with his abuse. But what if someday he decides to cause trouble???? Just my experience. We all have our own situations, but single parenting is just not for me. It was hard, and a selfish thing to do, and although I made the best of it, Id be very irresponsible to ever do that again. Take care all.
I think you were brave to leave your x husband. Some women will stay with a man just so the kids have a father even if the relationship is bad. Don't be too hard on yourself about going to school, living with your parents,etc.. What it showes it that you had the best interest of your child in mind. It's so great that your daughter calls your new husband DAD! She must feel a real closeness with him that enables her to call him that. You are right about these issues, and it's awesome that you are speaking out from experience. Maybe your experience will help another woman to decide against having a baby until later in life when she finds the right person. I think many women think that if they get pregnant it will change their partner into being a loving, caring person, after all they have to turn into a father. But unfortunately, it doesn't happen. In most cases it only makes the situation worse. I say more power to you for doing what was in the best interest of your child even though you might think you should never gotten pregnant in the first place. People make mistakes, and sometimes we're not mature enough at that moment to realize it. It probably seemed the right thing for you to do at the time, and now after knowing how hard it was on you and your daughter, you would probably would have done it differently. Anyway, I just think it's wonderful that you are saying your story so other young women will think twice before having a child.
Molly H.<p>[This message has been edited by Molly M (edited 02-20-2002).]
Thank you so much for your reply. I know so many girls who want to get pregnant to keep a man, or to have something to love, or just because they see others doing it, and I have BEGGED them not to do it! I work for an organization that deals with abused and neglected children, and all I can think of is "why o why did these people have kids????" When I became pregnant I told my parents I would either do it right or not do it at all (parenting). It is not a decision to be taken lightly, and believe me, around the time that I got pregnant, I wasn't exactly the kind of person that SHOULD be having children. Boy, did I change, and fast! I have a great 5 year old. She is reading and writing and is generally a good person. Raising her has been very rewarding. It was alot of hard work because it takes alot to produce a well-mannered, well-adjusted, all in all good kid, but I have one. Im so very proud of her. Im hoping that this next baby girl will be the same. Im sure she will. After all, this time, I have experience on my side.
You have to be really strong to be a single parent. I know in my heart I couldn't do it. I wish my mom had been more careful. She left my dad when I was 3 and immediately moved me in with this man she once knew. Then she got preg. to keep him and they got married. Then she got preg. again b/c he was about to leave her. In the end I was unable to know my father until I was almost 16 and I was molested by my stepdad. I feel many women need to understand children are people not pawns and that they should think before acting once they have kids. I think very highly of mohters who remove themselves from bad situations to protect themselves and their children. And I'm glad to see many people agree that you should think before you have children. Even if you make a bad decision you don't have to keep going down that bad path. That was great of you to share your story with us hilary. I hope someone reads it and it changes their life.
Smile, life doesn't last that long.
Another thing in response to that last reply-I didnt date for YEARS after I had my daughter because I didnt want the following: A) men in and out of her life B) to bring an abusive man into her life or C) to get pregnant and bring down the quality of my daughter's life in a major way (financially). I ended up marrying someone who I was friends with for the longest time because I didnt want to date him because he was "too nice!!!" lol He is wonderful to us, and my daughter tells me all the time that she is very glad to have him as a father. My husband considers my daughter his own and wants to adopt her. It is also so cool to share this pregnancy with someone. Last night, we were feeling feet coming out of my tummy-it felt like you could just grab one! Last time I had to go to the doctor alone, and field tons of questions from tons of people about my marital status, age (I was a very young-looking twenty) and I always felt that people just generally thought "oh, she just couldnt keep her man". My husband has arranged his work schedule so that he can attend every doctor visit. I called him at work a couple of weeks ago to let him know I was at the hospital getting an iv for the flu and he was there within 10 minutes, despite the fact that I told him it was nothing, and he could meet me there when he got off work. I told him that giving birth really really hurts and that I am the kind of person who will NOT want their hand held, and he told me that tough, he was going to hold my hand and do everything he could to make it better. So my first pregnancy was lonely and kinda sad, this one is stressful but I get to share it all. Take care!
OMG, it's like I just read the story of my life. Hillarynotclinton, I went through the exact thing you did. I raised my daughter alone for the first 4 year. Like you I left her father, we were also living together, but he was a complete jerk, I knew it wasn't going to work for us, so I just said good bye. I haven't talked to him since. With the help of state assistance, I did have my own apartment, but it was my grandmother who helped me take care of my daughter while I went to school and worked. She watched her when the daycare was closed. I didn't really date for years because I didn't want strange men coming in and out of my daughters life. And I refused to make our situation worse, I didn't even have sex for 5+ years. I always said there'd better be a ring on my finger the next time I had sex. Well I ended up marrying the man that I had sex with. It's not a perfect father/daughter relationship, but they do pretty good. She also calls him dad and he refers to her as his daughter or our daughter. I will always say that my daughter is the best mistake I ever made. Because without her I wouldn't have pushed myself so hard to succeed in life. I may have went to college, but I probably wounldn't have finished. I would probably have ended up with another bum, or worse, stayed with the bum I had in the first place.
Single parenting is very hard, but it can be the most rewarding life change if you just take advantage of what is out there to help you better yourself. OUR government gives us welfare for our benefit to better our lives, it is available to everyone in this country. But you hear of all the welfare families that live off of it for life. This is what has got to stop. If you're a single parent you've got a little life in your hands who looks up to you for guidance. Everything you do is teaching your child how to be an adult, if you do not suceed as an adult, your children will not either.
Hillary, I'm glad things are going so well for you. I'm sure your daughter is too! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
My biological father (I prefer to call him my sperm donor) was extremely abusive towards my mother and he ended up taking off for good when I was just a toddler. My mom struggled working 3 jobs trying to support us and she really gave herself up for me. She remarried the most wonderful man when I was 5 and I gladly called him dad since day 1. My mother and him are still married 20 years and two children later and he has been the father I wish every girl could have. He IS my dad in every sense of the word and I'm so very thankful for him. In fact, he just walked me down the aisle last month. I didn't invite my biological father to the wedding because I haven't seen him or heard from him since I was 2 and to be honest, I never really even think about him at all. I'm proud to be giving my REAL dad his first grandchild this summer and he couldn't be more proud to be a grandpa soon. He checks in often to see how I'm feeling and how his little grandson is doing. He's so excited. It sounds like you picked a winner and I imagine your daughter will have an equally wonderful story to tell 20 years from now. He may not be her genes, but more importantly he'll always be daddy. Congrats to you and congrats to your daughter! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
Your hubby sounds just like mine!! I had that 24hr. bug and he was in the hosp. in 5 min. b/c he knew I was afraid of needles. He went to every appointment with my son and has gone to my first one with this baby. I have no idea how I would make it without him! I am almost 20 and I still get these dirty looks from people when I walk around with my son and when I was preg. last time. I live in the south and the older people here are real strict. They all assume I am an unwed mother. Which I find very rude!! If I was, who are they to judge?? I wear my wedding ring at all times but as ya'll all know there comes a point when you gain so much fluid wearing a ring is impossible...especially with toxemia..ugg! I'm just glad I have someone so great to share this with!!
Smile, life doesn't last that long.
well ok I lost my sons father last year but I know so many girls who get pregnant to keep a man it doesn't work and they don't get that!!
I agree 100% with all you said <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif"> <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif">
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away"
lol purrbaby, Im 25 now and people still think im very young. And my wedding ring does not dissuade some of the looks I get from mainly older people. And it doesnt help that my 5 year old daughter looks like an eight year old. My mom told me that she went through the same thing-she had my brother and I at 23 and 25, and now people think she's my daughter's mother. So I guess that gives me something to look forward to!
I have a 5 year old sister and teen preg. is so bad here in Meridian that people used to think she was mine!! Now when I go out with my stepmom and my baby brother..he is 4 months...they think my son is hers and that my brother and my son are twins. They are 6 weeks apart and close to the same size!! It gets crazy when people assume things!!
Smile, life doesn't last that long.