“No one can be a single parent, and likewise, no one can alone bring a child into this world.”…Shoshana Alexander
A young twenty four year old girl who just finished college should have nothing but her whole life to look forward to. A girl who just got a job as an aide in an elementary school, has many friends and a family who loves her. She is a girl who loves to hang out and be as normal and free as a twenty-four-year-old should be. But she has come to the conclusion that life has been so stressful that she can’t even stop to smell the roses and see the scenery.
One day she looked at the calendar in her New Haven apartment and said, “Wow, I have not had my period for a few months now.” She decided to go visit her mom and get some advice about what she should do. So the next day they made a doctor’s appointment, only to find out that she was indeed pregnant. The doctor couldn’t tell her how long, since she didn’t specialize in that field, and told her to go over to have an ultrasound. On the ride over, they sat side by side in silence. She couldn’t believe how she had missed this. A million questions went through her mind. She came to the conclusion that she wasn’t going to freak out until she had the ultrasound and knew all the facts. While she was lying on her back, talking to the doctor, all she could think about was how nervous she was and how she had this knot in her stomach. She started to freak out, toned the doctor’s voice out, and felt a cold sensation on her stomach. The doctor told her she was five months along. Next, the doctor asked her if she wanted to know the sex of the baby. She just looked at her Mom’s face while her eyes lit up and said, “yes sure.” When they heard that she was having a girl, joy came over her face. Then the doctor told her, “Your daughter is playing peek a boo on the monitor.” She became very excited and knew right then and there that she Carey-2
was going to keep the baby.
Being so ecstatic, she had completely forgotten about the fact that it didn’t take just her to make this baby. She called the father and every ring tone she heard she got a gut-wrenching pain in her stomach. Finally, a “Hello” came from the other end of the phone. Her mouth moved but no sound came out. After a few minutes of silence, she just came out and said, “I‘m pregnant.” It took the father a day or so to process this. His advice was, “Well, it’s all up to you. It’s your body and therefore your decision.” She responded, “I’m keeping the baby.” He said , “ There wasn’t anything that was going to change your mind,” she never heard from him again.
For this paper two single mothers were interviewed. During these talks, they were both very scared and reserved. Their thoughts of earlier struggles were frightening. Their bodies tensed up and even trembled a bit. The mothers looked down to the ground. The months of their pregnancies were very emotional for them. As the interviews went on, joy and smiles appeared on their faces. The love that they were feeling as they talked about their children now was evident. As the interviews progressed, their bodies relaxed as they told stories. Both single mothers have struggled and sacrificed, but they believe strongly that these difficulties were worth while, both for them and their children’s.
Becoming a single parent is a life altering choice. A parent doesn’t choose to do it alone, it is how life plays itself out. This is how the cards are dealt. Raising a child alone is a sacrifice a parent has to make. Usually one of the parents, often the father, chooses not to be part of the child’s life, and leaves the other one to raise the child alone. Before she is pregnant no mother can imagine herself as a single parent; she usually imagines being married, in a house, with a successful job.
“ The feeling of being blessed to witness the beauty of a blossoming child yet mourn the absence of a partner to share it with”…Shoshanna...