If you’re a single mom like me, you probably have been a little hesitant in getting back into the dating scene. If so, then you’re normal. If you have never being married, have been divorced or widowed, you hold one of the most difficult jobs out there. No matter how you were given the title, you share the role with other single moms. Of all the challenges you have or will face, dating will be on the top of the list. So, why do I think single moms should date?
As a single mom myself I dated while my son was growing up, but I regret not doing it with purpose and intention. I would fear to bring men around my son and would spend more time trying to size a man up as a step-father than a partner who I would share my life with. I am not unique in this because I know many women who either don’t date or do so in a way that excludes a lot of good men out there.
Reasons Why Single Moms Should Date
You’re a Woman and You Deserve to Be Loved
Let’s be real. There is still a stigma with being a single mom. Even though it has become more commonplace, people still frown upon single mothers and blame them for all of the societal ills. It’s as if they skipped that day in biology when they covered how a baby is made.
There are different reasons why women become single mothers. Sometimes it’s done on purpose, but most of the time it happens unwittingly. Maybe the man we planned to marry decided he didn’t want the responsibility of a child and a wife and moved on to someone else. Or maybe we decided to we could be a better mom is we left an abusive relationship. Whatever the reason behind it all shouldn’t cause us to punish ourselves for the rest of our lives.
You can only be a better mom if you’re a better woman. Being loved by another person is what all of us deserves.
Your Children Will See What Romantic Love Looks Like
Even though I am a single mom, I would hate dating men who had been raised by one. Though this is unfair, of all the men I dated who were brought up by single moms, only a few of them had a healthy view of what a relationship between a man and woman should look like.
Now I’m not saying that men brought up in households where the father abused their mother is better off, but as our children’s first teachers, it is our responsibility to show what love between a man and woman looks like. If you’re a single mother who doesn’t date, then you’re leaving this lesson to be taught by the television and other possibly damaging role models.
Dating Opens the Possibility of a Long Term Commitment (Hopefully Marriage)
The sad reality of single mothers is that a large percentage of the households they head are poor. Compare that to the fact that women make less than their male counterparts, single mothers start out at a huge disadvantage.
No matter if child support is received by the father or not, it’s most likely not enough and much less than what the children would receive if the father lived in the household. It’s not fair, but it’s true. If a woman stayed home with the kids while her husband worked before the divorce, it is likely she has not built up the work history, experience and education needed to comfortably support a family.
Dating is practice for the real thing. If you date while you’re a single mom, you open up the possibilities of falling in love with someone and eventually marrying them. This adds not only a male figure within the home but a second income as well. This adds more stability into the home and more money.
Yes, you can raise a family well as a single mom, but having a husband often takes some of the financial burdens off of you. You are no longer the breadwinner and head of household, but now a partner with someone else. It’s stressful trying to figure out how you’re going to pay the bills by yourself and that stress trickles down to your children.
You’re More than Just a Mom
We often lose our identity as a woman and become solely a mom. We’re no longer a wife, daughter, friend, or professional because we allow the role of motherhood to consume our entire life. This becomes a problem, because what happens when your children begin hanging out with their own friends or end up going away from college?
Focusing more on being a mom than a woman will cause you to be miserable, bitter and resentful. Mark my words. You think you’re doing a great service to your children by making them your entire world, but they won’t respect you for it. Children love it when their moms have their own lives and dreams to go after.
I’m not saying that you should neglect your children and go after every man that walks. That’s not being a good mother or a morally right woman either. You need to continue to enjoy life and do the things you once enjoyed before you became a mom. Yes, you have to work to support an entire household and yes you have to be a role model for your children. You have already given them life and it does not make it right to allow them to take yours.
Dating Helps Weed Out the Duds
Taking a long time to start dating again will leave you rusty or set in your ways. If you haven’t dated in ten years, there’s a great chance you’ll accept the first thing that crosses your path. Not only is this crazy, but you’re possibly opening up your life to a deadbeat or worse, someone dangerous.
Dating allows you to figure out what type best fits your living situation. Desperation forces you to make decisions you otherwise wouldn’t make. If you’re looking for the right father for your children, you’re possibly missing out. Instead of trying to figure out if he’ll be a great stepdad, figure out first if he’s even a good man.
Loneliness is powerful. It has made me fall in love with an out of work drunk, simply because I didn’t want to be alone again. I ignored all the signs but thankfully I came to my senses before it was too late.
Your Children Will Leave You Someday
Have you ever seen an old woman whose unmarried, unemployed, adult child still lived with them? I have and it is not a pretty picture. In my opinion, it is quite sad. The mother has prevented that child from growing up out of fear of being alone someday themselves.
Thankfully this is not the norm. Most adults will leave their parents’ home when they leave school or when they get married. Often times the father is relieved whereas the mom struggles to hold on to their “babies” for just a bit longer.
Let’s say you spent the last 18 plus years only being a mother, what life will you have once you’re no longer depended on? Though this post is primarily about dating while you’re raising children as a single mom, but can relate to you having a life period.
When my son turned 18, I was overjoyed and elated. I couldn’t wait to fully live my life. Even though I dated while my son was growing up, I sometimes wonder what I missed out on. If I wasn’t so worried about introducing my son to the wrong man, would I be married now? Would I have had more children?
I don’t know, but I don’t want any of you to have any regrets by not dating while you’re a single mom.