Sometimes I blissfully reminisce about my life prior to being a mom. It seemed like I had an endless amount of time to do whatever my heart desired. Actually, I often felt like I had too much time and found myself bored when I was idle and had no agenda. What is it they say? Don't know what you got till its gone.
Fast forward to me being a mother and its more like there just isn't enough time in the week let alone the day. As a single mother who co-parents, I am lucky to have help. Part of me and my ex's agreement is to alternate weekends so that both of us are afforded the luxury of having two whole days to ourselves. For those of you who are reading this who have your child/children full time, you may be a little envious. However, I'm pushing myself to be honest and recognize that there is a downside to this type of schedule, or rather challenges.
On weekends when I don't have my son, I find myself trying to cram in a zillion things that I need to get done. Thinking back to the past several months, I've only been successful at getting about 40% done of my to-do list during my free weekends. I am frustrated with the fact that I feel like I blink and it's already Sunday evening. And then of course, the following week, I have my son for five days straight so pretty much everything not having to do with him gets put on hold. I'm exhausted and I fail to give myself credit for what I have done and focus on what's left on my list. Did I drop off my laundry? Did I get enough groceries for the week? Did I get a chance to clean the toilet?
Sigh. It's not easy. And on top of that, I had to reflect on how this new schedule as a mom would affect my dating life. As a newly single woman who has been through major breakups and heartbreaks (who hasn't?), I have emerged confident and more aware of what I am looking for in a partner. What's frustrating is the lack of understanding many men have when it comes to dating a single mother. They say they are open to it, but a lot of them don't get it! So I have compiled a list gentleman to give you a heads up of the do's and don'ts when it comes to dating a woman with a child:
Don't: Call me at midnight with the intention of convincing me to either come over or have you come over so we can screw like rabbits. Chances are I'm already in bed fast asleep and my child is sleeping in his bed next to me so that's just wrong.
Don't: Show up at my door and tell me you've made a reservation at a romantic bed and breakfast for the next weekend and that I need to pack right then and there. My spontaneous days are over.
Don't: Cancel a date that we have made far in advance and expect me to be able to reschedule for the following evening. That's not gonna happen!
Don't: Ask to meet my child on the third date. (Do we even have to discuss this one?)
Don't: Get angry if I can't just drop everything and give you 100% of my attention at any given time. Especially if I am in the company of my child.
Don't: Expect me to spend endless hours with you on the telephone. When I do not have my kid, I like to sleep as much as I can. I can talk to you when I see you in person.
Don't: Get angry with me if I text or take calls while I am out with you. I guarantee it is pertaining to my child.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way gentleman, here is what you can do:
Do: Understand that my child will always come first and while I welcome the company of a man who is as motivated and driven as I am, you will never take his place.
Do: recognize that although I have limitations, I am flexible within reason and if you are worth it, I will actively make time for you when I can.
Do: Understand that I won't let you in easily. You have to earn my trust and respect and I have to be secure in the fact that we may have a future and only under those circumstances will you meet my child.
Do: Understand that I do not want you to raise my son or put money in my pocket. I do however want you to be present mentally and emotionally and open to the idea of being involved with a child who is not your own.
To sum it all up if you can't not do the don'ts and you can't do the do's, then dating a woman with children may not be for you. And that's ok. It's a preference. But if you are open to it, you have to GET IT and recognize that single mothers are different from women without children. But different can be good.