Dating, dating, dating….
One of the biggest taboos of single mothers across the globe. Most of us seek validation from strangers on web forums and posting anonymously to Facebook parent chat groups, asking if it is socially acceptable to date, hoping to get the answer we are looking for.
My question is… Do you want to be happy or accepted by a group of strangers you don’t know? It basically comes down to this. If you want to date, do it.
Now I am not saying it is easy. Dating as a single parent is difficult, dating as a single parent with a special needs child is tough. Neither circumstances are impossible, we just have to work harder.
As most mothers know, unless you have a strong support system and a understanding set of friends, the act of “hanging out” or “socialising” is hard. Being a single parent is extremely lonely especially with a child who needs a lot of extra help. So the thought of dating is mind boggling.
I was socially awkward even without a child, I met my current Man Friend online. Luckily he was really understanding and patient when it came to texting or emailing him back.
Asking some one to baby sit on our first date was difficult. Not many people jump up and down to look after a toddler especially when you don’t have any friends with children of there own. Luckily my Mother was able to look after Pebbles for a couple of hours.
At the time Pebbles hardly slept through the night and didn’t like playing by herself too often. So I had to get my outfit ready, my make up done and my hair straightened whilst juggling Pebbles. It was a struggle but I managed to pull it together before my Mum took me to bus station.
Meeting some one offline is scary enough but when you have toddler at home who depends on you, it’s more terrifying.
I was lucky and met my wonderful man friend in the middle of London on a busy day. We spent hours just walking around and talking, it was so refreshing to have some “me” time.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. Time is something I didn’t have, I couldn’t keep playing pass the baby with my Mother so only after a short period of time I introduced Pebbles to my new partner. (This isn’t advised but luckily for me it turned out okay)
My partner had only one girlfriend for a short period of time before me and hadn’t any experience with children.
The first time they met Pebbles didn’t really understand what was going on, as they met when she was younger, she can’t really remember life without him.
Now having proper “alone time” is hard, we can’t regularly go on dates as we don’t have a lot of money and we can’t really have time to ourselves because there isn’t many people who will look after Pebbles so we try and get time together when we can.
Because of circumstances we couldn’t really take things “slow”, my man friend knew from the beginning that he was either in for the whole ride or not allowed in the car.
At times there had been a great strain in our relationship as I find it difficult to give attention to my Man friend as well as my daughter. Pebbles needs round the clock care which means sometimes me and my Man friend are exhausted by the time we get to spend time together. But through it all we love each other very much and support each other when things get too much. Even though it is a lot of work having a special needs baby and a man friend, it is completely worth it. We have a lot of laughs and it is always nice to have some one to hold when the days are short and the nights are long.
I hope this helps some one who is thinking about writing on one of those parenting forums. This goes for single fathers too. Do what’s best for you and your family and ignore the rest.