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Single Parent Life & Making It Happen

By: Sabrina Varley | Published: December, 2022

My journey as a mama started in August 2021, when my daughter Bella was born. Becoming a parent is the most magical experience anyone could ever imagine. I’ve always wanted to have a family, but it wasn’t until I was 37 that I finally was blessed with my little miracle. Becoming a parent is the most joyous thing anyone can experience, but it also comes with challenges you never thought you would face. When you are expecting, parents tell you how hard it can be… but until you become a parent you don’t really realise how much your life will change in the way you could never imagine before.

Bella was born on Aug 11th 2021, and she was an incredible healthy baby. Going home with a baby for the first time was the most bizarre experience I ever experienced. I arrived home with my partner with this tiny little person, and in my head I was like “What now?”. Our families were incredibly excited with Bella’s arrival, but for me it was all very overwhelming. My plan was always to experience the whole process of being a mum without the help of a night nurse or a nanny, as I want to experience all the joyous moments but also to learn how to deal with the challenges I would face as a new parent.

As my journey started as a mama, I very soon came to realize that my whole world was about to change. I’ve always wanted to breastfeed, so I’ve committed myself to try as I always want to provide Bella with the best I could give her from myself. The whole experience became really overwhelming, as I felt trapped. I could not get her to latch as my breasts were very swollen and my nipples were flat. I end up with an incredibly sore breast as Ive my body produced so much milk and bleeding nipples. I’ve started pumping so my partner could help me with some feeds, but by 8 weeks it all becomes too much. The sleepless nights, the pain, the hormones which were making me incredibly emotional it all became too much. After 8 weeks, I started to transition Bella from breastmilk to formula, and it all became a bit easier as she also started sleeping through the night, so it felt like things could become slightly more manageable from then.

Bella was growing and developing each day, and I loved watching her hit each milestone. It brought me so much joy to experience all the stages of development she was going through. When Bella was 11 months old, my partner decided that she wanted to end our relationship. My whole world fell apart, and the thought of being a single parent brought me so much anxiety and emotional instability. However, I knew I had to be strong for Bella, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best mama I could be for her, regardless of the circumstances I was going through. Our separation was incredibly difficult, but my only focus was always to ensure Bella had everything she needed and a stable routine. I was still on maternity leave, so I continued to care for Bella, but this time on my own. Living your life 24/7 with a baby on your own is incredibly challenging, but now I truly believe there is nothing a mum can’t do. Bella’s 1st birthday was a very emotional time, as I never imagined my life to have changed so much and I would be marking her birthday as a single parent and not in the family unit I had in mind when we first decided to have a child. Regardless, how difficult this period of my life was it made me stronger and made me to really focus on how I could be the best role model and mama to Bella.

In September 2022, Bella started nursery and I went back to work. This was a huge change for her and I, and coordinating being a full time worker, nursery drop offs and pick ups on my own… but each day that went by it made me appreciate her more and made me realize how blessed I was to have such an incredible daughter. Things were and still are complicated between my ex wife and I, but tough times made me ensure that making memories with Bella was the most important thing for her and I. I became a much confident mama, and the time I had with her no matter how tired it was has always been incredibly special. Being a single mama is incredibly tough… the sleepless nights, the energy someone so little requires from you… the responsibility you have for someone so incredibly important on your own is incredibly scary, but if you surround yourself with people that love and care for you, you are capable of anything. I’ve never seen myself as powerful in the past, and I never thought I would be able to be a single parent… but as my friends describe now… I am not just a mama to Bella, I am her superhero! Bella taught me more than she will never know, and I am incredibly proud to be her mama. Regardless how hard it can be to be a single mama, I would not change it for the world. My experience of becoming a mum was nothing like Ive ever imagined, but I would not change it for the world, and if I had to go through everything I went through again and still have Bella… sure, I would do it all over again! Bella and I have an incredible bond, and she is literally a mini me! What I would say is that anyone can be a parent, but takes a very special person to be a mum.

Bella is now 16 months old, and she is the proudest thing I ever achieved. I am no longer worried about being a single mama, I am proud of it! It doesn’t matter how hard it can be sometimes, but Bella’s smiles and happiness fill my heart with the joy I never felt before. I have a great career, and I have a daughter. So what I don’t have is not as important to me as what I do have. And finally, I have time for everything I had time for before. I just have an added amazing thing in my life, my incredible daughter Bella.


Sabrina is not only a full-time single parent, she is also working non stop as a Sr. Manager Programming and Talent Operations for EXOS at Google.

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