As we get older and progress through the various stages of life, the likelihood of dating a single-parent becomes increasingly more common. A lot of us over the years have been in long term serious relationships, some married some common-law, some relationships fleeting and brief. Some of us have started a family with who we thought was going to be our happily ever after, only to realise you’ve grown apart over the years and no longer have it in you to make things work. Some of us end up with unplanned little minions from relationships that weren’t expected or were doomed from the get-go, so we end up taking the long, hard road of parenting on our own. Some of us choose different paths, some put career before kids, travel over family, and some just haven’t grown up yet. Whatever path you choose is entirely up to you and nobody has a right to judge your choices, those are YOUR choices and yours alone.
That being said, there are massive differences between these types of people, so naturally, dating the varieties requires some knowledge and understanding. If you don’t have kids, chances are you don’t know what type of commitment it takes to actually be a parent – that’s ok, nobody expects you to understand that. What we DO expect you to understand, is that we are not like the single, kid-free, fly by the seat of your pants girl you met backpacking through Amsterdam.
Things are different with us.
Let me explain.
5. She’s going to be tired. Like, fucking exhausted 99.999% of the time. Yes, we understand you have worked all day as well, but think about it this way… if she is a stay-at-home-mom, she has likely chased or carried kids around all day, kept the house tidy, did laundry, made breakfast, lunch and dinner, (nap while the kids are napping.. that only happens in movies. It’s a fairy tale.) etc. If you don’t classify MOM as being a job, you better get your head out of your ass and open your eyes.
If her kids are old enough to be in school, this means she will be working 8 hours a day outside of her home before she comes back home and works another 6-8 hours making sure her kids are taken care of and her house isn’t falling apart before eventually collapsing into bed and starting all over again in the morning. When she says she’s tired, don’t fight her on it.
6. Her house isn’t going to be Martha Stewart, prim and proper clean, she may bake some mean muffins though! There will be toys, clutter, laundry, dirty floors, papers… you name it. Listen, this chick works HARD to keep her household flowing smoothly and keeping tiny humans alive, any extra time she gets off or to herself she would much rather spend enjoying it with her kids or just having some R&R, not cleaning and organizing. Providing she doesn’t have dog shit strewn about and feces on the walls or generally living in a state of filth let it go, if you say anything about the state of her house, expect a push-back and quite possibly a backhand.
7. She will be guarded and scared to open her heart and let you in. She wants to love, but she doesn’t want to get hurt again. She doesn’t want to have to start over all over again. She doesn’t want to experience another failed attempt at love. She’s more than likely been hurt before. She’s got battle scars and baggage to prove it. She may be somewhat damaged, but she’s still capable and worthy of the best love possible. When entering into a potential relationship with a single Mom, you need to realize that it’s not just about you + her anymore. It’s not quite that simple. There aren’t just two hearts in the equation. You break her heart, that’s one thing… you break her kids heart and that’s an entirely different story.
8. She may very well be the hardest working woman you know. Any of the single mom’s I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter and interview have all been hustlers. Most of them work full-time + part-time just to make ends meet. Some are putting in over 60hrs a week to make sure they are able to provide the life the envisioned for their kids.
At the end of the day, just be kind, loving and gentle. If you have doubts about the relationship and where things are going, talk to her. Honesty is always the best policy. If you don’t feel like you can make it work because you are not fully prepared for the commitment of kids in your life… we get it. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Worth it, fucking right, but easy… not a chance. Parenting is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced. Give enough respect to the person you are let them know what’s going through your head. Don’t bail out unexpectedly. Don’t ghost and disappear without a goodbye or explanation. Just don’t be a dick. Be patient and know that once she let’s you in… it’ll all be worth it.