Finding out that you are pregnant can be a very overwhelming experience, especially if it was unplanned. The first thing that you should know is that you are not alone. You may be experiencing many emotions at this time, and
even wonder if you are in fact ready to become a parent. It is important to know that you always have options. After discovering a positive pregnancy test there are three things you should do right away.
- Schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN. There are some cases where a positive pregnancy test does not mean that you are pregnant. It is important to be evaluated by a health care physician to determine if you are in fact pregnant.
- Immediately terminate the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
- Consider confiding in someone close to you. This can be a very emotional and challenging time, and having a proper support system will be key for you during these times of uncertainty.
Next, take some time to reflect and digest all of the information given to you. Many people suggest sitting down and laying out all of your options, and future plans. From there, you can sift through your choices and decide if parenting is the right decision for you, and your child.
If you aren’t sure about where to begin, read below. Here you will will find common questions that many women ask themselves when they are faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
Am I Ready?
This quite possibly is the most important question to ask yourself. If the first answer that pops into your head is, “no”… that may be all that you need. But if you are still wavering, ask yourself these questions about preparing fo
- Am I emotionally prepared to be a mom?
Parenting a child often requires sacrificing the present, immediate pleasures, making healthy long-term choices to support the well-being of your child. Are you ready to make those choices in your child’s best interest? You will also need to be prepared to but the emotional and everyday needs of your child before your own. Parenting a child is a journey filled with intense emotions. You must be ready to handle the roller coaster of parenting, and learn how to handle yourself when things get tough.
- Am I ready to educate myself about parenting and healthy child development?
Raising a child is a never ending learning process. As your child grows older, their needs will become greater. You will continually have to educate yourself on how to care for your child at different stages of their development, b
oth biologically and psychologically.
- Am I able to raise my child in a safe environment?
Reflect on your current living situation. Do you have room for a child? Is your environment safe to bring a newborn into? Are the people
whom you surround yourself with going to be a good influence on your child? If not, are you willing and can you afford to move and make changes to better the future for your baby?
Does my partner feel the same way?
- Does my partner want to be a parent?
This is a question that requires a lot of consideration. You and your partner got into this together. It is important to consider if your partner wants to parent. If they do not, and you ultimately decide that you are ready to be a mo
ther, you must remember that you may have to go through this journey without them.
- Is my partner willing to parent with me?
There are many benefits to having a co-dependent relationship when raising your child, unless you feel that your partner will be a negative in
fluence. Studies have shown that having a father figure in your child’s life is important to the emotional development of baby. Having another parent could also provide mo
re financial assistance.
Being a single mother can be extremely challenging, especially if you do not have the support from your family members. However, with enough love and support single mother’s parent children all the time. It is just a matter of if you are prepared to take this on alone.
- Do we have the same parenting styles?
It is important to figure out if the child’s father feels the same way about parenting as you. Most relationship experts agree that it’s not so much that you agree on key issues, but how you deal with disagreements. When you disagree on one of life’s “big questions,” do you honor the others opinion? Do you think one of these disagreements could be detrimental to the development of your child?
- What about my partner’s future goals?
It is equally as important to consider your partner’s f
uture goals as well as your own. Is he financially able to parent? Is he willing to put future goals on hold to become a parent? Is he willing to sacrifice certain goals, if needed, to provide the best life possible for your child?
What about own my future?
- Am I willing to sacrifice some of my dreams?
Many times parents make sacrifices to provide the best possible future for their child. This may mean giving up your dreams of attending college, perusing a certain type of career, to simply marinating your current lifestyle. If you are not willing to gives these things up or put them on hold, maybe you should look at options aside from parenting.
- Will I have time for my child?
This question relates to where you are in life such as your age, finances, family, and support system. Are you still in school? Do you currently have a job? Are you able to take maternity leave? Do you have time to be there as much as possib
le to form the bond that your baby needs in the stages of his development? If you answer no to some of these questions, ask yourself if your family members or support system can step in when you are unable to be present.
Do I have the Resources?
It is no secret that raising a child can be very expensive. Unstable financial situations are one of the main reasons why women decide to not parent. As stated by the Department of Agriculture, the average cost of a single mother raising a child from birth to age 17 is $157,410. For another example view this info. graphic
on the cost of raising a child.These numbers aren’t in any way meant to scare you away from parenting, many people from all different types of financial backgrounds make parenting possible. It is just essential that you have a realistic expectation of the costs involved in raising a child. Fortunately, there are also government assisted programs to help you with food and healthcare.
After reading through these questions, if you feel that you are committed to being a parent that might be the only answer that you need to move forward with your decision. If you feel like you cannot make parenting work at this stage in your life, it is important to explore your options. One option is adoption.
There are many agencies that will provide you with the resources to make the best possible decision for the well-being of not only you, but your baby. Whether you decide to make an adoption plan for your baby or not, the social workers here at AFTH are available to walk you through ALL of your options.