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8 Easy Things To Do To Prepare For Single Motherhood
Any prospective mother will spend hours fretting about her ability to manage the challenges of parenthood, but this is even more pronounced in single parents. Thinking about the enormity of what’s ahead can be scary, so it can help to focus on the smaller, more immediate details. Here are a few practical steps you need to take if you’re going to become a single mom, which can help you feel more prepared and secure.
Find Out How Much Your Hospital Bills Will Be
Hospital bills can be a huge source of unexpected stress once the baby is born, so it helps to prepare by knowing how much you are likely to be paying. According to Parents, vaginal birth without complications costs, on average, $2,600, while a C-section costs around $4,500. If you have insurance, know what your deductible is so you are not surprised when the bill comes.
Stock Up On Food
You’re going to have a lot less time to do food shopping, so stock up on both pantry basics and on frozen meals. The less cooking and shopping you have to do in the first few weeks, the better. CookingLight recommends whipping up big batches of healthy meals and freezing them for later.
Stock Up On Baby Essentials
Now is the time to start stockpiling things like diapers and formula. You can save a lot of money by buying these in bulk, so don’t hesitate to go for the absurdly large value packs (as long as you have someone who can help you carry them into the house). Other ways to save on essentials include cashback programs, coupons, and free samples from major companies.
Pack Your Hospital Bag
You want to be ready to go the second you realize it’s time for the baby to arrive. Use a hospital bag checklist to make sure you have absolutely everything you need. Some easy-to-forget items include your own toiletries and bath towels, a comfy robe, and postpartum basics like good-quality adult diapers and a nursing bra.
Make Your Baby First Aid Kit
When your baby gets sick for the first time, you are not necessarily going to be able to send someone out to buy some emergency medicine. Preparing your baby first aid kit now means you will be fully prepared whenever something happens. According to The Bump, your first aid kit should include a baby thermometer, infant Tylenol, saline nasal drops, and a medicine dropper.
Review Your Car Insurance
Everyday, non-baby things like auto insurance are often forgotten, but it’s good to make sure you have the best car insurance you can afford so that you’re covered in case of an accident. There are no discounts on car insurance catered toward single parents, but you can look for ways to save by asking about group, mileage, or safe driver discounts. Later in life, you can take advantage of lower rates if your child keeps up with good grades or goes to driving school. Before choosing an auto insurance policy, be sure to get quotes from three or more insurance companies.
Figure Out Your Support Network
You don’t have to do this alone. Your support network can be made up of friends and family, but there are also support groups for single parents that can be a huge help. Some single parent organizations to look into include Life of a Single Mom, Daily Strength (an online community), and Parents Without Partners.
Look Into Your Care Options
Chances are you will need to pay for care, so it helps to figure out what is likely to work for you. This will, of course, depend on your budget. Remember that you can save money on child care through Dependent Care Accounts, which are flexible savings accounts (FSAs) offered by many employers. This can save you approximately $2,000 a year on child care.
There can be no doubt that being a single mother is a daunting and challenging task. However, nowadays there is more support than ever for single moms, and plenty of resources to help you figure things out. Take advantage of these, and focus on the small, practical steps you can take to prepare. This will make the process less stressful, and will make you feel readier when the time comes.