There are things you simply can’t even connect to without having gone through the newborn parenting process. Now that I’ve lived through the first 6 months, I can’t imagine trying to have a baby on your own as a single parent, much less a single working parent, and especially not a single working parent at a low paying job with no family support nearby. At a gut level – the thought of doing so seems totally insurmountable, now. Whereas before – it was simply another option, hard, I knew, but an option.
WCB has 3 parents in home, 2 grandparents, her special auntie & uncle, and I have at least a half dozen good in-town friends who went out of their way to be supportive during the first months – and who I can still count on when out being medieval. She also has a doting long distance grandma who has come down to “babysit/visit” several times already, and plans to do more. And I STILL feel like I could have used more support in the first 3 months, and could use an extra pair of hands even now!
BTW – single working moms with no support system must use formula. Unless they have a live in supportive realtive (or a PILE of money to hire a 24-7 nanny) AND a very understanding job. On demand breastfeeding in the first 3 months simply cannot work along with a typical minimum wage job like retail or heaven forbid – waitressing. Just can’t.