When I was pregnant, I had a partner with whom I had every intention of raising our kid. By the time our kid turned 2, I was living 1,000 miles away from his father, navigating a career, a new city, and toddlerhood by myself. It wasn't exactly the plan, and it definitely wasn't easy, but more than three years later it's a hell of a lot easier than it was, and the whole experience of being a single mom has taught me a lot of things that I wish I would've known when I was pregnant. Things I feel confident saying every single mom wants pregnant women to know.
Now, I know that every experience with every woman regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and the life that follows is different. In other words, I can't speak for single moms the world over. And I'm aware that literally everyone wishes they could go back and speak some sense into their younger selves, but I think there's something a little more pointed about the feeling of wanting to tell your pregnant self all the things you think she'd benefit from knowing before setting out on whatever is to come. Being that time travel still isn't a thing (or so the government wants us to think it's not a thing *conspiracy theorist eye squint*), I can't tell 5-years-ago me anything. But I can sure as hell tell everyone else.
Whether you're pregnant and already know you're going to be a single mom soon, or you're currently partnered and harboring a secret fear (or hope, because I don't know your life) that you'll end up parenting alone one day, all of the following is relevant. I mean, it's honestly relevant no matter what family structure you're parenting within. And maybe the universality of the following points is the point: single moms and partnered moms go through a lot of the same things, experience most of the same fears, and end up finding strength, resources, and support to get through stuff that seems insurmountably challenging.
Read on and fear not. OK, fear a little. You're having a baby — it's not like it's going to be easy. (They're real cute though. I promise.)