PREGNANT AND ALONE

Dear Ella and Suse,

First of all: thank you for your wonderful services. I believe you should replace, or at least figure upon, every website available for symptom checking and self-diagnosis.

I am a young woman who is 33 weeks pregnant. I am also alone, since I broke up with the baby's father soon after we found out I was pregnant. We are still friends, and I am in no way heartbroken, or in doubt about my choice. I am however a little worried and certainly very humbled by the thought of being a single-mom/solo-mom/parent alone, whatever you like to call it. I am overwhelmed by the enormous responsibilty that comes with being a parent. And overwhelmed by the thought of a tiny person, my new family, residing inside of me, only to come out in a little over a month, and to live with me, and to have me as a caregiver. And as an idol. And a friend. And as "the adult" in his life. And as the person who shall introduce him to this world, and show him how to find his way in it.

Please, do you have any books in mind with good advice or perhaps an
inspiring protagonist for me?
Yours,
Solo
Dear Solo,
Thanks for your positive thoughts about our services, and for reaching out yourself at a moment of great excitement and trepidation in your life! We can well understand the feelings you must be having as a lone parent to be, and it is great that you are thinking about iterary routes to calming your worries. We do have some good ideas for reading, for inspiration, reassurance and courage. Firstly, we would like to recommend the brilliant "The Last Samurai" by Helen de Witt. This excellent novel describes a young woman having a baby,very much like yourself, without a man around, but happily alone. She brings up her son with great joy and intelligence, and he soon reveals his amazing intellect and capacity for learning. He learns Greek by age 5, then moves onto Hebrew and Arabic very rapidly, masters the fundamental laws of maths before he is 6, and is a constant source of fun to his mother Sybilla. The novel explores their relationship and his search for a father figure, with great sympathy and wisdom. We hope you will recognise yourself in Sybilla.
For inspiration about ways of mothering brilliantly, revisit or read for the first time Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. Benign neglect could be a way of describing Durrell's childhood, as he grew up in Corfu and ran wild at a time that the island was idyllically remote and unspoilt by even the thought of a tourist. This book will encourage you and help you to feel the sheer delight of a child discovering the world around him, and in this book too there is no father figure.
If you feel a need for some fluff, indulge yourself with The Friday night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. Single mother Georgia is a great role model for a good mother looking after her daughter Dakota, a pre-teen, who goes through all the usual challenges that kids do, living in New York. This is not great literature, but indulgent, a hot chocolate of a comfort read - but full of great characters and quite a lot of good advice.
Finally, look to Atticus Finch - read To Kill a Mockingbird, to remind yourself of the perfect single parent. Don't spoil the image by reading Go Set a Watchman.
Good luck!
All the best,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - The Last Samurai by Helen de Witt
My family and other Animals by Gerald Durrell
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The L - Shaped Room and the two following books

    By Jac on 15 Sep 2015

TWEETS
@THENOVELCURE

A - Z
LIST
OF QUESTIONS

A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE