In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of my single mom’s who are holding it down! Being a mother is the most challenging AND rewarding job in the world. Many women do this job alone, with very little or no appreciation, and many times with very little support. They are truly some of our society’s most unsung heroes.
I know there are single dads out there that are doing an amazing job, BUT because it all about MOM on Mother’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on her and some of her needs. Father’s day is coming soon and that day will be all about you. To all of my amazing dads, just hang in there with me, your day is coming!
I wanted to take this time to talk a bit about the challenges that many single mothers face as they enter or re-enter the dating arena. There are many challenges that single moms face when it comes to dating. Depending upon the ages of your children, those challenges will be varied.
Parenting is difficult, dating is difficult, dating as a single mom is at times, overwhelming. From dealing with your children not liking or accepting your new dating life, judgmental family or friends, integrating your new love into your life with your children, what to do about baby daddy issues, the guilt of wanting to seek happiness with someone else other than the children’s father, financial worries of single motherhood….. the list goes on.
Of the many challenges that single mom’s face, I wanted to explore one of the most pervasive when dealing with single motherhood and dating. I wanted to explore the guilt that many single mothers face as it pertains to dating and having a life aside from their children. If you are married and have children together with your children’s father, mother’s still deal with guilty feelings; however, they are different in nature.
If you are a single mom and are dealing with a father who is mostly absent or totally absent from the lives of your children, the guilt is even more magnified. Many single mother’s try to overcompensate when dealing with the fact that their children’s father is not owning up to his responsibility and being the man that he should be. Carrying around that guilt for many singles mothers is constant, and at times, all consuming.
If you are a divorced single mother and the children’s father is present in their lives, many single mothers still feel guilty about actually wanting to date. The feeling that it is somehow wrong to seek happiness and trying to balance that desire with raising healthy well adjusted children is a struggle.
Whether it is the guilt of leaving your children alone with a family member or sitter, or feeling guilty about actually desiring a life independent from your children, the struggle is REAL.
In my opinion, I feel that society has not done women a favor by the messages that are subtlety and not subtlety given, that women have no right seeking happiness outside of rearing a family. Many women fall into this guilt trap, making it very difficult to successfully navigate dating.
Single mom need to realize that not only do they have the right to seek their own happiness and fulfill their needs, it is absolutely essential for her to do so. You simply can not teach your child to happy and healthy if you don’t know how to do that in your own life. Whatever her needs are, they are going to be unique and specific to her.
Life is all about balance, balance in our professional and personal life. For you to experience a sense of equilibrium and balance, you have to address the needs of all areas of your life. I have heard many single mom’s say that they don’t want to date while their children are young and choose not to date at all until their children leave home.
Which if this is what they truly want, then that is what is right for them; However, keep in mind that the longer you stay away from dating and interacting romantically with another, the harder it will be when you attempt to start dating again. The longer you are single the more set in your ways you run the risk of becoming.
The more set in your ways you are, the more difficult it will be to compromise, which is CRITICAL in any relationship. Also keep in mind that many marriages fail due the fact that, for whatever reason nurturing that relationship and making it a priority until the children left home took a back seat.
After several years of growing apart, no longer knowing how to relate to each other anymore, it’s been to long and to much distance to overcome.. It is now to late to save what might have been saved before so many hurt feeling of isolation and rejection have set in. Just a little food for thought…..
Not every single mother wants to pursue dating and that is perfectly okay. However, if dating and spending your life experiences with a love interest is important to you, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about that or allow others to make you feel guilty about it, not even your children.
They have their lives to live and will one day, leave the nest to fly on their own. As the featured image of the mother allowing her child to spread her wings, that is our primary job as mothers. If you haven’t given them examples of what it means to fly and live a happy, healthy and well BALANCED life, where will they learn it?
Our children are a wonderful gift that have been entrusted to us to love, nurture, shape and mold into happy, healthy and well adjusted individuals. Part of our responsibility as parents is to teach our children to nurture and attend to all areas of their lives. Having healthy, loving relationships are apart of life.
There is no better person to provide them with loving examples of how to navigate these complexities of life, than you. If you are no longer together with their father, it is important for them to see a shining example of how to overcome and learn how to be resilient in the face of extraordinarily difficult circumstances; Furthermore, showing them the enormous amount of courage it takes to love again after disappointment, set backs and heartbreak. That is definitely a very powerful lesson for them to learn and to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
With practice and patience, you will find the necessary balance you need to mother and nurture you children AND pursuing a dating life. It will take a little time to navigate the land mine of issues of dating as a single mom, but if having a dating life is what you want, it can be done. Just be patient with yourself and your children as you teach them what it means to take care of them and you, and become a better person in the process.
So if you are a single mom and are dealing with guilt issues around dating, I have a suggestion for you, throw that guilt into the dishwasher with that load of dirty dishes, wash rinse and repeat as necessary: However, an even better suggestion would be to throw that guilt out with your Tuesday morning trash on trash pick day and leave it there.
Guilt has no place in our lives, it’s counterproductive and strips of us our dignity. On this Mother’s Day, celebrate YOU by getting rid of any negative thoughts and energy that doesn’t bring you the peace and a sense of balance in your life. Your mind, body and spirit deserves better and so do you….If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and don’t forget to like us on facebook!