The dating landscape changes for a lot of women after they become mothers. Giving birth to a child shifts people’s priorities, and perspectives. Some women, then, tend to experience a couple of struggles after they become mothers.
You are no longer thinking about your needs but also the needs of your children. If you find a suitable partner, it also has to be one that understands that you are a mother, and open to love your children as you do.
So how do you navigate this?
Get rid of the mom guilt
A new relationship will take up your time and attention, and the thought of getting into one might make you feel guilty. You feel that way because you feel that you will be spending less time with your children. Being in a new and healthy relationship will not only be beneficial for you but also your children. Lara Lillibridge, author of Mama, Mama, Only Mama: An Irreverent Guide for the Newly Single Parent, says that “kids need a healthy relationship role model”. Children learn through observation so seeing you in a healthy relationship is good for them.
Don’t let your history dictate your future relationships
Chances are, men have disappointed you a lot in the past, including the father of your child. It might have been a mutual separation, but it does not make it any less disappointing. This is an opportunity for you to start afresh. Not every man will get into your life to waste your time, although some will. This is why Lucy Good, founder of Beanstalk, an online community for single mothers suggests that you start dating when you are ready. When you are ready, you have the right intentions and have probably healed from your previous relationships.
Be completely honest
You do not want to date a man who is under the impression that you are not a parent, just to drop the bombshell a couple of months later. Let him decide whether or not he wants to continue dating you even though you have kids. Some men will stick around, but you do not want to bear the rejection of a man that is not ready to be a stepdad after you have spent some time with him.
You must also be honest with your kids about who you are dating when you are ready. When the two of you have decided that you are committed to making it work, you can let the kids know. There is no point in being secretive, especially with curious little humans that will ask you a million questions about your dating life.
Brace yourself for the judgment
On a final note, get ready for the mom-shaming that comes with an eligible bachelorette with kids trying to find happiness. There will be an endless supply of this;
“Why does she not wait?”
“Don’t both her babies have different fathers?”
“Those kids are not ready for a new man in their life”
So, brace yourself and know that the judgment has nothing to do with you but people are merely projecting their own fears.