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To wonder how much support you actually need with a new baby?

(129 Posts)
chocolatestrawberryvanilla Tue 19-Jun-18 20:36:58

I would like to have a baby, before I am too old. I am single so would need to use donor sperm.

The problem is I wouldn’t have much support. I do have friends but I know from experience friends can and will only do so much. I have no family who can help and obviously there wouldn’t be a partner.

Yet others seem to manage - I don’t know. Am I kidding myself?

Greendayz Tue 19-Jun-18 20:41:43

You manage if you have to. I became a single parent to a small baby and a 3 year old with little family support. That was hard but not impossible. You do need friends, preferably friends with similar aged children. But if you don't work full time or take maternity leave there's lots of opportunities for making new mum friends who you can swap childcare with.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 19-Jun-18 20:42:24

Personally I wouldn’t, I’m sure most responses here will be to the contrary. Your friends won’t actually do anything practical, you need family if not a partner. I’m sure there are stories of those who have managed, (probably held down three jobs and done a masters at the same time), but in reality you could have (hopefully not) a poorly baby, a disabled child, or on the mild end a colic baby and you’d get zero sleep. Without any help if would be so hard.

starpatch Tue 19-Jun-18 20:44:23

I needed more support in toddler years rather than new baby. If you are pretty active person ie could cope with full-time job and full life may be okay. Plus if you could afford to buy more childcare in toddler years than you actually need that would be a big help. And get a dishwasher! I love being a mum but it is a long lonely path to be honest. My donor conceived son does miss having a dad too.

Namechange128 Tue 19-Jun-18 20:44:31

There was a really good thread on here recently where someone was looking to conceive as a single mum and people really helped with looking through finances and what help she'd get etc.
My friend has done it solo, it's been hard work but she adores her DD and they are such a little team.
That said - babies don't need much (and what they do need you can buy for peanuts second hand, unless you want disposable nappies), but taking time off work for maternity leave is a big cost, as is childcare later. Do you have good savings? Flexibility at work?

SnuggyBuggy Tue 19-Jun-18 20:45:25

As a new mother I can't imagine how I would cope alone but I know people do. I would be as prepared as possible with baby supplies and easy cook food but I don't know how you would cope alone with sleep deprivation.

Grobagsforever Tue 19-Jun-18 20:45:38

Well the plain truth is that without family support then money if your friend here. If you can buy decent childcare, the odd evening babysitting so you can have a life, a cleaner, takeaways when you're knackerd and lunch out at the weekends to break up the day then it's do-able. I'm a widowed parent to a 4 and 7 year old and I cope by buying help and treats.

If you earn at least 50k do it. If not think hard.

Thehop Tue 19-Jun-18 20:45:43

Like anything it’s nice to have help! Housework, decorating etc.

I quite enjoyed most aspects of single parenthood. Only my rules, super close bond, no skidy pants to wash!!

chocolatestrawberryvanilla Tue 19-Jun-18 20:46:06

I can quite see the toddler years would be worse.

I am actually gay, so a dad wouldn’t be in the picture even if I was in a relationship if you see what I mean.

chocolatestrawberryvanilla Tue 19-Jun-18 20:46:32

40k! So not quite there ...

StarShapedWindow Tue 19-Jun-18 20:47:00

It really depends on the baby and how you’re coping. With DS who had silent reflux and was my first baby I could have done with some help. With DD who was well and happy and also my second baby, I didn’t need any help.

limon Tue 19-Jun-18 20:47:03

You need lots and lots of support. And if you're not mobile afterwards or there are complications, even more.

Just having a break of an hour is a godsend. Dh and I have never had any support, no babysitters (so no nights out) , no family to help, no tome to ourselves and a dd who still doesn't sleep through aged 6

Add working into the mix and it is totally exhausting..

NomNomNomNom Tue 19-Jun-18 20:47:03

You would manage because you have to but I think there would definitely be difficult times. (Imagine the baby picks up a terrible D&V bug in nursery and you catch it. You're stuck over the toilet trying to console a screaming, puking child while cleaning up sick simultaneously and you've had no sleep for two nights etc.). I think childcare would definitely be difficult - what if a meeting runs late? Child's off school sick? School holidays etc.?

There absolutely are single mums who manage all these issues (and do a brilliant job) but it is definitely difficult.

kitkatsky Tue 19-Jun-18 20:48:10

You manage if you have to, but if be lying to say I would do it again with no support. It's harder than you can imagine before you do it

NapQueen Tue 19-Jun-18 20:48:54

I think if you are relatively sociable and would embrace clubs and classes with the baby then it could work.

But having someone there in the middle of the night to say "Ive rocked them for three hours and i need a pee here take them" is priceless.

StarShapedWindow Tue 19-Jun-18 20:49:00

BTW I didn’t get much help with DS and the first five months were awful but we survived!

waterrat Tue 19-Jun-18 20:49:04

I have a close friend who did this twice - she has been fine. Honestly I would say she seemed more relaxed than other people i know. yes it was hard, yes she was sleep deprived - but she never had a partner to bicker with - and she chose a very relaxed form of parenting.

All the single parents i know tend to go for relaxed parenting - co sleeping/ keeping the child in their room for longer than normal - doing whatever is easiest basically.

the sleep deprivation bit of parenting is - in the context of a child's childhood - very short! though it doesnt feel that way

If you want a child do it - nothing else can replace being a parent.

LeighaJ Tue 19-Jun-18 20:49:10

It depends on the temperament of your baby, if any unusual, or common things become a problem, and your MH.

Our baby has a less common feeding problem which was awful before diagnosis at 5 weeks.

She also has the very common "witching hour" cry-a-thon, which isn't just one hour long despite the nickname.

She was very clingy before we discovered that she loves laying on these large pillows we have (that I was going to throw out because I'd accidentally destroyed their filling)

I have Bipolar Disorder but women without any MH issues can still get PND.

Wish I had more positive, reassuring advice but there are just so many question marks befor your baby is born.

I am very fortunate to have the support of my husband and MIL.

annikin Tue 19-Jun-18 20:49:48

I think if you really want a baby, you would manage it fine, and you would be less likely to regret doing it than not doing it if that makes sense. In between the hard times, there will be priceless times that you wouldn't have missed. The only thing I would caution is that if you don't have physical support (ie family), it is really helpful to be financially pretty secure so you can pay for 'people' - ie nursery etc.

SittingAround1 Tue 19-Jun-18 20:50:54

What's your financial situation like? If you don't have a partner or family help them you'll need to buy in help.

It's a shock having a baby. You can't leave it alone even for a minute. If you need to pop to the shops for milk then baby has to go to.

Do you have a flexible job? You'll have to cover all illnesses, school holidays, night wakings, appointments etc

Disco2018 Tue 19-Jun-18 20:53:15

I'm married and I had no support for my ds. I did absolutely everything for the first year. No family support, no friends and dh did nothing - I'm not exaggerating, nothing.

If you think you can raise a baby alone then go for it. It's doable, loads of people do it. Don't overestimate how much a partner adds, a lot of men do f-all with their kids.

blankiesandunicorns Tue 19-Jun-18 20:53:58

I feel like yes of corse it's easier with support.
But, if you decided NOT to have a child you may look back and think 'I wish I had a child'
However in 10 years time if you do have a child you won't look back and regret it, regardless of how hard it is.

At least that's the advice I gave a friend in a similar situation. It's a pretty simplistic way of looking at things and there's loads of other things to consider. But that's how I look at it

Elementtree Tue 19-Jun-18 20:54:18

It depends on you and it depends on the baby. I wouldn't have coped if I didn't have support with ds1 who had terrible colic that stripped my nerves to nothing over four months of relentless crying and 40 minute sleep stretches. With ds3, it would have been a breeze.

I think the toddler years are really quite easy. I don't mind the full mobilty: no common sense chaos, it's a welcome change in pace from the baby days.

KoshaMangsho Tue 19-Jun-18 20:54:26

It’s hard but possible. I have DH but zero family around. We have two kids. But we have a cleaner and because I work FT we have a nanny. So when I went on mat leave the second time and my oldest was in school, the nanny was able to help with the baby every day. It’s hard but doable. You just need to factor in how you are going to get time for yourself. I can imagine the weekends particularly being long and endless.

HushabyeMountainGoat Tue 19-Jun-18 20:55:27

You'd cope because you had to but i can't imagine it would be very enjoyable or easy in the early years. I have a husband and family who are involved and i still found my maternity leave quite mentally draining. My baby is fairly easy going and i joined groups but it was still groundhog day-ish compared to the work life i was used to.

You also can't plan for mum guilt. I need to work as i'm the largest wage earner. No option. DS spends 3 days with his grandmas and 2 days at a lovely nursery. He is very well looked after by all concerned. By MY GOD, the guilt i feel for not being there. Not to mention the guilt for not staying back at work as often as i used to. ... Totally irrational of course but it's not nice!

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