Doing it Alone.
I was talking to another single mother yesterday and we both agreed that while we were scared to go it alone after the baby arrived we never felt one minute of loneliness. Mentally it is overwhelming to have a baby without a partner but we both agreed it’s more difficult physically than emotionally.
The husband or partner that seemed so important to have before we had babies become the least on the list of priorities – and the fulfilment of having a newborn eliminates any need for a partner. Perhaps it’s the Oxytocin, a hormone released into the bloodstream in response to love and in labour, that fills your heart with joy.
However, it works Oxytocin remains a lot stronger for your baby than for your partner. It’s reported that almost seventy per cent of people experience a decline in their relationship satisfaction after the arrival of the first baby. The decline typically shows up between six months (for women) and nine months (for men) after the baby comes home.
So while it’s perhaps physically harder to have the energy for a little one if you are parenting alone emotionally it seems harder to fulfill the needs of a partner at the same time as your baby. And we all know that having an unsupportive partner can be a lot worse than being alone.
Over half of my friends have unsupportive partners where most of the childcare falls on them so perhaps this explains the rise of single mothers.
My friend and I decided we don’t feel a loss because we don’t have partners. And that actually it’s a good time not to have a relationship. And that our love for our babies is much stronger than anything we ever felt for a partner anyway.