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Susan's Story: Feeling Alone

Susan's Story

Meet Susan

Jim Daly

It was only a few months ago that Focus on the Family's "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life" ad aired during the Super Bowl. The upbeat celebration of the bond between Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother. And that is where a young woman named Susan enters the picture.

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Feeling Alone

I teach high school in an urban district. After 13 years of teaching, I have taught thousands of teens. I have seen every family combination under the sun. I have to admit that intact, two-parent households with no divorces, stepparents, half-siblings, or other combinations are not the norm. So I know I’m not the only single parent out there. Still, sometimes I can’t help feeling as though I’m the only single-and-the-father-isn’t-in-the-picture pregnant woman around.

The many pregnancy books I’ve been reading haven’t helped my feelings. Every one of them assumes I am happily married. Well, in truth, one tells me that if I’m not married, as I read I should substitute “boyfriend,” “co-parent,” or “significant other” in place of “husband.” Another book tells me that I can just skip the parts referring to my husband if I’m not married. A third includes all the same information about my partner, but refers to him as the baby’s father throughout. I find this frustrating because, well, nobody’s going to be rubbing my shoulders to help reduce my stress, running to the store for a pint of ice cream at midnight, or taking me on a babymoon vacation when I reach five months! 

While the baby’s father is not going to be a part of this pregnancy, I cannot totally avoid him either. For one reason, we have mutual friends. And also, when I thought our relationship was going to last, I made some decisions about car payments and car loans that now mean the two of us still have to be in contact. So, despite our situation, I have seen him several times since the big fight where I insisted on keeping the baby. He is cordial, polite, and even friendly.

At first I thought it was really strange that he made no mention whatsoever about the baby or pregnancy. I decided that since he didn’t want to be involved, he was choosing to stay as uninvolved as possible. But as time has passed, I think maybe it’s deeper than that. He stopped by the other day with a car payment, and he saw one of my pregnancy books on the couch. He said, “Why are you reading that?” I was dumbfounded. Was he serious? I finally stammered, “Why am I reading it?” He changed the subject. As far as I can tell, he is, at this point, pretending that I am simply not pregnant.

So, I do not think the same books that advise fathers-to-be to bring home flowers for no reason and be patient with their wives’ mood swings are also aimed at me.

On one hand, I know that I am not alone in being a single mother from the very start. But on the other hand, where are the other voices and perspectives? Why do I feel like I’m the only one with out a partner?

I know God wants me to have this baby, and I know I have friends and family who will support me through this. But the truth is that even knowing those things to be true doesn’t always change how I’m feeling.

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