Focus on your strengths! That is great advice for anyone who is going through an unfamiliar or challenging time in their life. An unexpected pregnancy and the choice to become a parent may bring a certain amount of apprehension depending upon the situation. “It’s going to be different for every person,” said Heidi Lalonde, Patient Service Manager at Real Options. “We start by identifying what their strengths are or what they envision their strengths are as they plan to become a parent, both for herself and for the father of the baby. What do they see as their strengths in their existing environment whether it is family support or a good home or whatever it may be.”
“I know that every single person I meet has an internal strength and a support system,” said Lalonde. “Often times when people are hurting, they cut people off but every single person has someone or some internal strength to rely on. Why do you have a desire to be a parent? Then working with them to understand, okay, I may have come from nothing and maybe my experience as a child was really a let down, but how can I make it different for my child? What would I want to be different? What would I do differently so that they can have a better chance at life?”
The next step is to anticipate the challenges of becoming a parent. “I think the worst thing you can do is be dismissive of their fears, whether it is not finishing school, or keeping their job, or keeping their relationships.” said Lalonde. “I often ask parents, what is the one thing you would make sure you don’t want to give up if you decide to parent? What is one thing you are not willing to sacrifice? What needs to happen to make that a reality?”
If a person has the ability to give a child’s basic needs of shelter, nourishment, clothing, and safety the rest doesn’t really matter. “I can tell you that wealth does not equal good parenting” said Lalonde. “Most kids, if they have those basic needs of food, water, and security met, just want your love! I wish more women and men felt secure in what they have to give a child because I talk to so many people who say, ‘we are not prepared’, and then you have a child, and it’s like, ‘I would do anything in the world for this child! I am prepared’! I think they underestimate their own abilities.”
RealOptions provides you with a team of experienced advocates to help you develop a specific plan of action that will work for you.
If you are worried about the prospect of facing an unplanned pregnancy or if you have decided to become a parent you may find it helpful to meet with one of our patient advocates. Call to schedule an appointment at one of convenient locations of RealOptions Obria Medical Clinics or go to www.realoptions.net.
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Oakland, CA 94609
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Redwood City, CA 94063
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Union City, CA 94857