Dating as a Single Mom
Single moms are constantly bombarded with messages of why they shouldn't date and are made to feel guilty for the other parent who isn't around regardless of the situation as if wanting to have some adult time outside of the kids should not be a want or a need. While most single fathers are free to date without the guilt and sometimes the stigma that single moms face daily. Why is that? Is it because moms are to be in one role and that's it? Is she to continually sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of preserving an image that she doesn't need or desire true love, too? This is what people believe, but I am here for you single moms, you are entitled to LOVE TOO! I for one, am glad to see more and more single mothers start re-entering the dating arena, even though there are some tricky situations to maneuver through. These can be mothers that are either divorced, were left during or after pregnancy, widowed, or those that are single because they chose to be. For these women, dating can involve some pretty large hoops to jump through unless you’ve got live in help or a relative that just loves to babysit your kids for you. Actually, babysitting is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coordinating all of the things that need to be taken care of before you can enjoy a night out on the town with a date.
However, in spite of all the preparation for a date, single mothers continue to have a very successful social life that also includes dating. The first thing to remember is that any man who may be around your children at any point in time should be someone that you’re very sure about. You need to be certain that he’s safe and that he doesn’t have any sort of criminal history. It’s also a good idea to find out how he feels about kids before you start dating him. Does he want kids or if he has kids does he have a relationship with them? If you get that little whisper in your ear or thought in your head, don’t brush it off, ignore it or make excuses. It could be a red flag something is wrong! Yes, I don’t care how fine he is, his income, his car or is profession. As a matter of fact, all of these things are very important and should be thoroughly checked into before ever going out on that first date. The last thing you want is to bring someone into your life and that of your children who has a less than stellar background or character flaws.
A problem that many single moms face when dating is dealing with a child that doesn’t want to share their mom with someone new. Now, obviously, you don’t want to upset your child that may already be dealing with the fallout from a divorce, absenteeism, or death of a father. However, you do need to set some clear boundaries. It’s important for your child to understand that you’re more than just a “mom” and that you deserve to have some privacy of your own to get out and have some adult fun. You need to explain that you’ll always be there for them, but that there’s also a part of your life that belongs only to you. Don’t feel guilty you aren’t putting them last. You are learning balance as a woman and not just as their mom. If all else fails and these problems escalate, you probably want to consider having your child speak with a counselor.
Last, but not least, if it begins to look as if a certain relationship may be heading down a path to something more permanent, start incorporating your child into your dating life. Once you feel that someone may become a serious part of your life, he needs to spend some time with your child so that they can become better acquainted. This needs to be done well ahead of time before making any such serious decisions as moving in together or getting married. If your child and your man get along well, the transition will be so much easier because they will have had time to get to know one another and won’t be strangers. Plan a meet and greet or VIP (Very Important Playdate Day with John Doe)! Make it kid friendly. Allow your partner to meet the kids where they are and all should go well.
As you can see, it’s much simpler to adjust to the dating life as a single mom than you may have ever thought it would be. So, silence what people say you should be doing and plan, prepare and propel in the dating world! You’re more than JUST A MOM!