Dating a single mom is a package deal. She has many priorities in her life, and if you’re fortunate enough, you will become one of those priorities. Also, know that she may be struggling to find a balance between doing things for her family and doing things for herself. Patience is a definite must when dating a single mom. Schedules are tight with activities, school, work, and play. Not to mention when one or more of the little darlings brings home the latest illness from school and that schedule is thrown right out the window. The following are just a few of the things you might want to keep in mind if you’re thinking of entering into a relationship with a single mom:
1. We have many priorities in our lives.
Being in a relationship is one of those. We are very proud of who we are because we have worked our asses off to get there. We have defined ourselves professionally and personally. We know that all aspects of life, a relationship, kids, friends, family, and work are important. But not one of those roles defines us. We are not just a mom, our career, or someone’s significant other.
We are just ourselves and damn proud of each of those parts of us. Don’t expect us to just be able to drop everything on a suggestion. Wearing many different hats, we expect the unexpected; babysitter canceling last minute, sick kids, finding out about the school concert half-an-hour before the curtain call — these are things we are used to happening. We don’t expect you to know about them if you’re not a parent. We just need your understanding when these things do happen.
2. Don’t pressure her to meet the kids.
All good things in time. Women are fierce protectors of their children. We need to feel comfortable and accepting in order to move to the next step with you. While planning dates with the kids might seem like you are trying to show her that you are ready for the instant family, move at her pace. Let her make the decision on when it is time for you to meet the kids. These little people in her life have already been through a great amount of change. She will know them better than anyone, and she will also know when you are to be brought into the picture. Be prepared for that step to not happen for a while. She needs to know that you are serious about a relationship before you are introduced as more than a friend. Kids are smart. They will know your intentions more than you think they do.
Be prepared for that step to not happen for a while. She needs to know that you are serious about a relationship before you are introduced as more than a friend. Kids are smart. They will know your intentions more than you think they do.
3. Let her be the parent.
So you’ve met the kids and things seem to be going well. This is not the time where you step up and try to impress the kids to like you, like you would with her best friend. Trust me, the kids will know how to manipulate you into getting what they want. The first time you side with one of the youngsters on bedtime will be the beginning of the end for you. Those cute little angel eyes begging mom to let her stay up just a little longer is not the time for you to look over with the same puppy dog look agreeing with that master manipulator. You may think you’re gaining a tactical advantage by playing this game, but all you’re managing to do is create a situation where mom will be dealing with a kid and not spending time with you.
You may think you’re gaining a tactical advantage by playing this game, but all you’re managing to do is create a situation where mom will be dealing with a kid and not spending time with you.
4. The ex may still be in the picture.
If you’re lucky enough that her ex is still in the picture, this could be to your advantage. This means that the kids will be spending time with their dad, which in turn means her undivided attention. Kids need both their parents. Supporting her in this decision may be a difficult thing for you to handle. It may seem like she is still very involved with her ex, but it is strictly on a parenting level.
There will be times she gets off the phone frustrated with a parenting decision or agreement they came to. She may need to vent. She may need to lean. What she doesn’t need is you offering solutions. She has dealt with this co-parenting, and that’s all this is. She is co-parenting. She is not looking to get back with him, she is looking for the best ground on which to parent with her ex.
5. She is ndependent.
She is able to keep work, kids, friends, extended family, school activities, play dates, etc. all on track because she is strong and independent. Don’t take this away from her. Her downtime is much needed in order to cope with the pressures she faces every morning that the sun comes up in that sky. Give her space for a hot bubble bath. Make plans for the two of you without asking that age old question we all hate: “What do you want to do?” Allow her the space to spend time with girlfriends. If you allow her the freedom to keep her independence, I promise it will come back tenfold to you!
While dating a single mom might seem a little more complicated than dating a single woman, it has its rewards as well. Just be patient with her. Like all relationships, there will be ups and downs. You may not understand all of the pressures of parenting, but with the right amount of communication and respect, this can be a very rewarding experience. Besides, everyone knows that single moms alway have the pantry stocked with the best snacks.
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