Experiential report: I was and am a single parent!

Svenja from Cologne 1 is a single parent who shares practical tips and experiences

In the beginning was love, then came separation and death

In the beginning everything looked like dream family: My daughter Alina 1 was so planned and longed for! And I was so in love with her dad! We were very happy when the pregnancy test was positive.

So I was not pregnant alone. Alina's daddy built the cot and rebuilt the apartment. Nesting pure with us both. But my partner drank a lot. He promised to stop drinking as soon as the baby arrived. And I wanted to believe him then! The yearning for a nice little family was great with both of us. The time of awakening followed soon after birth and was painful for both of us.

My partner continued to drink and suffered from manic-depressive episodes. So I was often alone with Alina - and actually started my time as a single parent (there was our child two months old). My partner was still physically present, but instead of supporting me, he cost me strength and nerves. Nevertheless, I hoped for a long time that we could manage it. The love for each other and for our daughter was still there! When Alina was just two years old, my hopes and energies were at an end, and I threw her dad out of the apartment together. Drunkenness and manic depression I could not cure. But I did one thing: I promoted the contact between Alina and her father as best I could. He was with us almost every day (he had a flat around the corner). Sober, he was a wonderful father after all - and I wanted to get her at any price. You can not replace a dad.

When Alina was just six, my ex-partner died - from then on I was really without a father for my daughter.

Moments to Become a Single Parent

If the Child Recalls the Father

Although I loved Alina's father, I still did not find it great to discover traits of him in her. A doctor once put it in a nutshell: ""Alina is fighting against the genes of her manic-depressive father. ""She had a noticeable tendency to sadness at a very young age. Thankfully, my family genes (we take life relatively lightly, though it's hard) take strong action against it.

If one is not exactly in favor of the father or mother of one's own child, but has inherited some (especially negative) traits, then one has to learn to handle it so that these traits (or physical traits) do not trigger negative emotions.The new baby is a very unique person!

Questions about the Father

The questions about the father are guaranteed! Sometimes single parents are even subject to modest accusations: Why did you get the child alone and without a partner? Why do you have no more contact with the father? This is usually not so openly addressed - subliminal to feel the lack of understanding anyway. You have to arm yourself against such situations and consider a strategy early on how to handle it. By the way: When it comes to the important question of how to deal with the father, one should listen to one's own inner voice, consider the right of the child and, best of all, seek out a professional counseling center (for example the association of single mothers and fathers ).

What hurt me a lot back then was the frequent (often ill-considered) question of whether I would have a friend (once again)? ! That was awful! It is best, one already thinks well how to react to such situations. I was able to explain to some people that without a partner, I really do not want for anything and how hurtful I find their questioning. Apart from that: From sarcasm over anger to turning over and standing or simply ignoring the question, everything is allowed!

Filling Your Own Void

I felt empty and exhausted for long stretches. Above all, I felt this own inner emptiness as a feeling of dissatisfaction - only later could I define it as emptiness. To charge my batteries, I needed at least a whole weekend without a child. That was just not possible then. Nevertheless, I tried, if it was possible, to have some time for myself.

My work also did a good job later. At first I only taught four hours a week, but I was out! I was not Mama, but Svenja, who taught her students to play the piano. During these lessons, I was only seen as a teacher. By the way, my own compositions reflected my state of mind and the music was a wonderful therapy.

Also, when my daughter was a little older, I joined a choir. That was good! Out and among people with whom you do something together. This unites, clears the mind and creates new experiences beyond diaper changing.

If Understanding Is Missing

I would often have liked more understanding of my situation - especially when my daughter was a little girl (up to the age of three I was really busy with Alina's upbringing!). For example, sometimes I did not have a babysitter and therefore could not attend every choir rehearsal. That's not really bad. But some choir members just did not understand my situation and found me unreliable - or the understanding was hypocritical feigned.That hurt already. I wanted to and want to be perceived as someone who does an uplifting and wind-up work that really has it in it and that does not run incidentally!

Savings Tips: It's always more expensive!

The bad news: Fewest single parents are so wealthy they do not have to worry about money. The good news: I have the experience that children can be expensive, but they are not at first! Of course, diapers cost money, but you can also buy them at Aldi and leave the expensive option left.

I bypassed all of this cream and powder circus by using old home remedies. The cost hardly anything and are good and effective: For example, mother's milk on the sore butt miracles! In addition, I have long breastfed Alina, her own porridge cooked instead of glass to buy and a lot of toys for my own child tinkered. I bought a lot of clothes for Alina at flea markets - there I always found something for toys and books. If you want to promote your child, you do not necessarily have to dig deep into your pocket and book all your leisure time courses. My tip: A playground around the corner does it too! Inviting a trip to the nearby park or friends of the same age to play costs nothing and the children relax. Maybe it will be boring for the parents at some point - after three years we were in the playground every day, I was really fed up. But Alina still thought it was great!

Nobody is perfect!

Going down a gear

What was wrong with me? After all, I had already in my pregnancy in education books and read everything about breastfeeding read! What I did not want to do anything - I had everything before the birth and get everything on the line! But in the end I had to learn that I can not be perfect.

It helped me to downshift and not make anything big at first. Then the disappointment to fail your own claims is less hard! There are still enough things left to do anyway.

Like-minded

I found sympathy above all with other mothers: I sought contact and exchange with other new mothers and multiple mothers and also with my own mother. Then I was able to get rid of my questions and fears and then knew that I was not alone with this or that problem. As a single parent, one should consider whether or not it applies here as well: what one experiences as a single parent is understood above all by those who have experienced or experienced it themselves.

Trusting the Mother Instinct

A doctor and friend gave me the best tip at the beginning of Motherhood: When your child cries and you wonder why - after all, it's still full, lovingly rocked and freshly wrapped - then Let it cry for a moment.Sit in a chair and listen to yourself: Every mother brings the mother instinct to the world at the same time as her child.

This inner voice is often not heard. Some voices are louder: those of one's own mother, well-meaning friends, or pertinent books. Maybe the acquaintance of the playground advises something different and also has more experience with three children, but the own child may not tick the same way. Only you, as the mother of your child, know that! Maybe you will not always find out right away. But the short respite helps - even if it is only for a moment that you calm down and become calmer - and suddenly the child is calmer too.

Getting used to each other - adjusting the rhythm

At first, I made the mistake of always bustling around the flat when the worm was sleeping. And because Alina did not sleep more than two or three hours at a time, until she was almost two years old, I was pretty frayed at some point. I finally adjusted my rhythm to her sleep rhythm. Of course, this problem is not so great if you are lucky enough to have a baby with a ""comfortable"" sleep pattern - or someone (parents, friends, babysitters, etc.) who takes care of the baby while resting a little.

A Unique Experience

As a single mother, I had to fight hard for some things. I've often felt alone, but I've also gained a lot: the baby scent, the infinite depth of tenderness that keeps popping up in one, the sparkling child after a bath (after all the dirt in the playground and on the playground) Going home), waking up when the child peacefully sleeps next to you and so much more ... But there is also the exhaustion and the question: And where do I stay? ! Who cares about me? ! Who cooks something for me? ! Who is stroking me? ! In retrospect, I would have done many things differently. I should have looked after myself a lot more and taken good care of myself. But I'm a perfectionist and I wanted my ""job"" as a mother as well as I possibly can. It only took me a very late time to realize that this also includes refilling your own batteries. This is certainly one of the biggest challenges for single mothers!

Some things turned out to be just right

For Alina, it was good that I challenged and encouraged father-child contact. When her dad died (there she was just six), I did not have to regret not having done anything in this regard what I should have done. But I also understand that there are situations where you have to rigorously break contact.

Time has made me stronger

Meanwhile, I can say: I am up to my challenges. Before Alina was born, I was responsible only to myself.Now there is my daughter, whom I love very much. I had to learn to show their limits and to keep them, I also learned to care for myself, I fought my way through the bureaucratic jungle and sought support. Yes, I had little money. But I had a lot of time for my child. Today, with Alina almost grown up, I know how important this foundation is that I could offer her: love, affection, attention, just being there. A good mother can be any woman - with or without a partner. I do not want to miss my daughter and the experience gained.

1

The name has been changed editorially

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