Being a single parent part II: My story

(Continued) I knew I had made a mistake the minute I realised I was expecting. For me falling pregnant was not such a big deal but the person who impregnated me was. Financially he provided and that’s all he did. The rest was just up to me. I hated him for lacking to see what I was really going through. Because whilst he was living his life I suffered from post-natal depression and no one cared to notice not even him.

I felt like having a baby had cost me a relationship with my parents and the livelihood I once had at their house. To some degree I wished she had died or something like. It was that bad. It was only after reading an article from a magazine that things started to get better. I could identify with the symptoms of PND. And I could see that I was seriously strained mentally. Awareness kicked in and realized that I needed to change my way of thinking and how I generally viewed things.

A few months later I found a job and interacting with other girls my age, older and younger made a huge difference. I worked as a Brand Ambassador for Unilever so meeting up with other girls with similar situations to share made me realize that I was not alone after all. The more I opened up, the easier it got. Suddenly I had a group of young mothers with different backgrounds and circumstances yet we had one thing in common…parenting. They became my support system because they understood what I was going through. As a young adult, a woman and a mother.

‘Mentally and Physically prepare yourself. Yes you can never be well prepared but you need to at least prepare both your mind and body of what is to happen. Parenting begins at that very moment you know you’re pregnant.’

My daughter is now seven and each time I look at her, I realize just how far I’ve come. Having had to take responsibility for her is one of the hard lessons I learned. It made me take a deep look at myself. And I finally saw that I had a pattern of blaming and complaining without taking any sort of ownership for my own mistakes. This has now changed and I embracing my uniqueness. I am also accepting of my individuality and acknowledging my imperfections. It was these things that made me appreciate being a parent.

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