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18, 8 weeks pregnant, boyfriends left me.(39 Posts)
Title says it all really.
He's 3 years older than me and I thought we were so happy. Baby was unplanned and a shock but very much wanted.
I had a shit start to my pregnancy with a suspected ectopic (thankfully it wasn't) and the discovery of 2 ovarian cysts.
Over the last few days we've not been getting on very well. Ive had really had morning sickness and feel rubbish all the time so I admit I haven't been as nice as I could have been
But now he's left me and says he can't be with me and he's seen my true colours. He says it's over and we'll sort out contact etc. what do I do now?
I'm 18 and I imagined my life being so different. Now I'm going to be a single teenage parent.
Just lurking, and agreeing with other MNers.
I am guessing you feel its the end of the world but I would say lean on friends, family, and outside organisations for help. Google Gingerbread who are a charity that supports lone parents. Also CSA, and poss legal advice for rights around family matters (father's rights and contact if he wants it).
Regarding your education, well done for deciding to continue! With the right support you will be the mummy your child can be proud of!
And just to add in, I think uni with a baby can be easier than a full time job (just my experience)! The holidays are amazing (only really in uni 7 months a year or so) and especially 1st year in my experience is pretty relaxed. I didn't realise how 'easy' I had it until I got a full time job
I would also strongly advise you against doing English; most of my Oxbridge cohort are still working in shops and bars two years after graduation. Foreign language degrees are much more useful and you could even work part-time doing teaching/translating while your child is young. Would it be possible to do a course without a year abroad, or perhaps defer the year abroad? English with Spanish/Spanish with linguistics are also possible.
Okay, sorry, I'm getting carried away in a romantic notion here which isn't helpful to anybody.
Point is I have been through pregnancy and young-single-motherhood and uni and all of the rest of it and it is hard. I wasn't as young as you are (I was 19) and I'd already moved out of home and the pregnancy was sort-of planned (although I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time despite thinking that I did)
A baby won't end your life and it isn't a disaster. You will love it and it will give you a sense of purpose and keep you going during the darkest, hardest times and it is true that the feeling of unconditional love is incredible and like nothing else.
But - what it is really going to be like is that the baby is going to put huge speed humps between you and the life goals you might have if the child was not around. You will still be able to reach them, and I would absolutely support you 100% in going for it, but it is going to be so much harder going over all of these speedhumps and potholes in a rust-bucket of a car, especially when the road you're on is right next to a fast motorway where your friends and other peers are zipping along towards their goals without a care in the world or even noticing how hard it is for you most of the time. It is hard to study, it is hard to learn all of the normal 18-year-old stuff like how to fend for yourself, balance bills and other expenses, keep on top of all the housework without running out of food or clean bowls or socks, you don't have the option of going through a few disastrous relationships to work out what you actually want from a life partner (because you can't just move someone in to see if you get on, moving in basically means stepfather-ing and acting as though you are married which means you're stuck with a weird serious-relationship-but-not-living-together thing until you are ready to basically be married)
- However hanging around on the MN relationship boards is an excellent alternative to dating loads of tossers and tends to improve your standards beyond recognition IME -
And when you DO find someone you want to be a life partner with it's all difficult because you've already done a lot of the things they were always imagining you'd do for the first time together, and you will both find that hard. Career wise you will feel torn between wanting to compete with others at work and wanting to be there for your child (although it's much less of a career hit to have a baby now than it would be in 10 years) You may also feel stuck in the area that you live now if your child has contact with his/her father. When you come to the time of your life when you want more children that will be a wrench because you'll worry that your first child will feel pushed out or that you have let them down because you struggled more, naturally, by being on your own as opposed to being in a supportive partnership.
I haven't covered any of the usual like the not being able to go out, the sleepless nights etc, because you know all of that and that might well be a sacrifice you are willing to make - I'm offering you a more realistic counter to the hysterical "Your whole life is ruined!" wailing that you will presumably encounter from at least one angle at some point. This is the real sacrifice, not a short term one of sleepless nights for a year or having to miss out on a few dates or parties. It will affect your whole life and the lives of your future potential husband and children too. It is doable, it is copable, it is far from the end of the world but it is a big, big thing and far bigger than you are probably contemplating at the moment. I would never tell somebody what to do and I would totally respect your decision if you read all of this, think it through and still decide to have the baby but it is very common at 16/17/18/19 to think "I could never live with myself if I terminated the pregnancy" and not think about how you will live with yourself if you continue with it.
just wanted to say one of my friends was in same position as you (many years ago) got pregnant at 16, b/f left (wasn't involved in bringing up the child at all) so she shouldered all the responsibility as a teenager.
her daughter is now 24 and one of the most amazing young woman I've ever met. I'd be so proud of her if she was mine. She's a credit to her mum, she really is. I hope you have support IRL from friends and family. Wishing you the best!
oops meant to add - studying chinese would be amazing, a much-needed language skill for the future. I'd urge you to go for it, it is do-able with a baby. There are expat communities that can help you find english-speaking childcare and so on.
You can definately do it There were certainly people on my uni course who were single parents. And nine months old is around the time that many of my postnatal group have returned to work.
You can let yourself feel a bit miserable about the end of your relationship, but he doesn't sound like a keeper. Sounds quite manipulative really - everythings your fault, you need to be nicer etc. Try not to get drawn back in if he changes his mind, the last thing you want is to spend your whole pregnancy stressing about a on again off again relationship with someone who expects your energy to revolve around him because it can't. There'll be plenty of time to re-evaluate things down the road if he grows up. Don't make any decisions about rekindling the relationship till you are used to life with your baby and are out of the newborn stage, then work out if there is room for him in your life (particuarly if he's a bit useless!) alongside being a mum and studying fulltime. Only do it if you are confident he'll do his share and make your life easier and better, not if he'll be a manchild draining your resources.
I think your plan of action should be to try and build up some support around you. Speak to your midwife (I assume you've met one and started your maternity notes since you have a scan) as there might be support available for you. Look up your university's student support services and see what assistance they can offer regarding accomodation and childcare when you start your studies. If you have supportive/potentially supportive family then speak to them too.
In terms of work, you don't need to inform them straightaway (unless your job could be hazardous to you during pregnancy). You'll need to work out whether you are entitled to Maternity pay through work or whether you'll need to apply to the government for assistance. How long have you worked in your job?
People on here should be able to advise you on which route to apply for based on how long you have been working there, and maybe what kind of contract you have. But as you are working, you will get something one way or another. For detailed advice you might want to go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau. They should be able to advise you on finances, housing etc.
Congratulations. Is there anything else you specifically wanted advice about? You sound very capable.
Good for you for being so determined. My university had family accommodation for students with kids, miniature flatlets which were very cute! And much nicer than proper halls. They also have a nursery on site. It's no cheaper than anywhere else but obviously convenient if you live on campus.
I'm not sure about undergrad degrees but I get help with childcare for being a single parents student. Even if you can't get that you will get child benefit and child tax credit, also housing benefit. It's doable, especially with a student loan on top. Oh and don't forget income support in the summer holidays.
Just to say I had my son at 18, and it is very hard of course it is, but he is a lovely young man of 19 now he would do anything for anyone and is very hard working, I didnt do it alone I married his dad but we were on our own, we did everything ourselves, you can do this and your little one will be treasured best of luck xx
Hmm whilst Chinese is an amazing subject to study one of my close friends graduated in it last year and has had to spend 3 years living in China in order to become 'fluent'. She also hasn't managed to find a graduate job (although she was attending a graduate fayre for Chinese speakers in London yesterday?!). But I only know 1 person who's studied it so perhaps I'm not giving a balanced insight.
Maybe take some time to think about what you really want to do, don't just default to English because you think it's an ok back up. There's no rush, you're so young! Take your time and make sure it's the right choice for you.
I agree with everything YoniBotts said. Consider everything and put yourself first while you do so. Best of luck with it all, whatever you decide.
Also, if you are considering studying abroad as part of your degree, would the father be on the birth certificate? My son's dad is, so he has parental responsibility. He will not agree to me living abroad with my ds and I would need his consent before taking him - just something to think about, you may need to get his permission.
Hi Holly 94. Firstly congratulations on your pregnancy. He'll be the loser. I'm not going to patronise you and say it will be easy because being a parent as rewarding as it is is certainly far from easy. You'll be fine though babies have this incredible way of making everything fall into place, and think of all that unconditional love you'll receive. xxx
The guy's a total cock and you are most definitely better off without him - thank goodness he's been culled out of this difficult equation already. I've got my first 15mo old here and I would NOT have coped with the dad being a tosser and getting shitty with me. dads have to pull their weight, being at the very least supportive if they're not going to get in there and be doing nappies etc!
Although they can be little brats, kids are great. I hated kids before mine
still do but mine gives meaning to my life. Yep OK I've had to bin some pretty big career ideas, but I'm OK with that now, because everything I do is for her. I work much harder now she's around.
I'm going to enjoy waving my 18yr old off to uni at the age of 40 when other friends are still at the toddler stage when they are having to start thinking about carving childcare out of the successful careers they zoomed into down that motorway, I'll be home and dry and ready to swoop in
I'd urge you to do Spanish or Chinese as it'll be far more useful - can't imagine you ever being short of work if you're any good. I'm sure there'll be options, as somebody said, swallow your pride and lean on anybody you can. Maybe you could skip or defer the gap year or something? Do you NEED a degree in these things to find work? If you were just shit hot at Chinese and could prove it another way, would that get you what you want without being restrictive perhaps? Don't know languages at all (I wish!) just thinking aloud here...
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