I am a single mum with two children who I had when in solid relationships, Ian’s father Sven I was married to and am still friends with, he now lives in German y with his wife Christa. Katy’s dad was a lifelong friend who I was with for 5 years and engaged to be married, we split up nearly two years ago, and he marries his fiancé next month. Though not quite friends yet, I am civil with Katy’s dad and partner. I wrote the tags on baggage, visitation, Scotland &Germany ?
Anyone who thinks it is easy to date whilst raising Ian 10 and Katy 4, should try it some time !
Business commitments and lack of free time are surmountable, dating when a single working parent can seem impossible. The logistics are never easy, some parents are lucky enough to have a support system of nearby family for babysitting, overnight sleeps etc. I don’t. Dating becomes an issue of can I afford a babysitter , will it matter if I go home at 11, I can’t drink because I’m a mum once I get home, you can’t stay over because the kids are here, I can’t stay over because the kids are at home.
There are a whole heap of cant’s, shouldn’t couldn’t and wouldn’t with dating as a single parent, but really it is possible; you can date and juggle your family life. If you close off from the world until your children are “old enough” or “settled enough” you will be missing out on making wonderful friendships and perhaps meeting a brilliant new partner.
I love my children and I think I am a better person for being a Mum; I am certainly more caring, more flexible, less precious about my appearance and definitely less shallow. When I date now I am less needy than my pre mum self, I don’t need a partner now but I would like one. This awareness that I am okay on my own that I have a full life and my own independence these are qualities premum didn’t have.
Premum Louise could walk in 4” heels and wear skirts not much longer, Premum was fun, knew the number one and could lie in bed most of the weekend if the pub wasn’t open. Premum was fitter, 4 dress sizes smaller and more carefree.
If there was a time machine I wouldn’t go back and change a thing, my children are awesome, yes Ian’s DIY scissor cut this week was bloody annoying and Katy’s insistence on wearing pink is wearing thin, Peppa Pig music gives me a psychotic twitch...... but my life is so full with my children, so much more fulfilling and interesting with them in it.
When I do have a partner and I am satisfied it’s going somewhere he can enter into the mayhem, the fun that is being able to do things with the excuse that you have children, I can legitimately go to any animated film, go go- karting, bowling, play with the pony, happily play at Alnwick gardens treehouse, the list goes on. I have a lifetime of things to share with my kids even walking with the kids is amazing, just experiencing new things with them is invigorating. Any partner lucky enough to enter my family will be getting so much more than premum, Louise the mum is a better person and a more complex person.
I was going to write about single parents in general , an over view if you will, but there is no “general” the days of 2.4 children are gone, our families are now made up of extended, half, step and friends that are classed as family.
Instead of patronising and saying it’s easy to date when you have dependents I would rather say it’s not easy everyone is different but it’s these differences that make you who you are, dating and the butterflies that accompany it are an important segment of my life, the bit that’s just for me, that keeps me sane when the Xbox is too loud or the kids are fighting on the sofa, dating stops me feeling cynical and gives me hope that one day I will find my soul mate.
Because if I give up and I am not looking, how is he going to find me?