Last week, I opened up my ears to hearing all the questions that I know stir around in minds and emotions in those who may be a single parent dating or someone interested in a single parent. I appreciate everyone who reached out for some insight. Below, I've answered a few questions that were sent and a few that are pretty common when someone meets me.
So, let's start the conversation!
How do you find time to date and still be a mom?
The same way any person would--priorities.
As a mother, of course our main priority is our child, and being there for them comes before anything.
However, there are single parents who are fortunate enough to have a supportive family member who will babysit a night or two. Or if the other parent is still active, there are nights where the child is with the other parent, which can free up some time.
It's key to have someone who understands that you won't be able to go out every night or every other night and is willing to understand that your priority is your little one. Though this all sounds like common sense, this question still remains the most common.
How do you introduce your child to someone you're dating?
This is tricky. Speaking for myself, I've yet to introduce my son to anyone I've dated or was interested in, so I'm going to speak from a point of view of when I do, this is how I would:
Make it natural. Introduce them to mommy or daddy's "friend." Let them be friends with each other before jumping the gun to "this is my boyfriend/girlfriend."
After all, we want our little one to know they aren’t replaceable, especially if you've been single for a while and this is all so new to them, too.
I'm interested in dating someone with a kid, but I feel like it's a lot of responsibility.
Let's pause right there.
If you're dating the right person, you won't feel as though their child is automatically your responsibility.
It's important to remember that the child already has a parent(s) and it's not your responsibility to swoop in and take on that role.
Yes, you should be a good example, especially if you're around a lot, but there are boundaries. Be there for your significant other and respect the relationship that's been established long before you came in the picture.
How do I know if I'm ready to date?
This is something only you can answer.
I don't think anyone (parent or not) really wakes up one day after being single and says, "I'm ready to date."
You will know when you meet the right person who is able to assure you that it's okay to take the chance.
Always remember that you deserve to be happy. If you're doing all you can as a mother or father, there's no need to feel guilt.
You deserve to feel that love.
If you have questions concerning single-parent dating, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet using the hashtags #AskMarina and #TPWD.
Mother and writer doing everything she can in one lifetime. You are appreciated.