There was anguish in her cries. And frustration. And sheer exhaustion. And yet the next day, there she was again, with breakfast on the table, school lunches packed, and our clothes laid out for school.
“Why are you still single?” “Have you tried online dating?” “You should get yourself out there; hasn’t it been long enough?” “Don’t you want someone to be with on your kid-free nights?” “Do you think you’re being too picky?” I have been asked all of these questions by well-intentioned friends but whenever I respond, I
Dating as a single mom is way more difficult than I anticipated it would be. First, you need to find someone that you find attractive (physically, emotionally, intellectually). If the feeling is mutual, you have the added trial of figuring out if they are a good match for your kid. This is significantly harder. And there is no easy way to do it.
So, this parenting thing. It’s a learning process for sure. For her and for me. I have to step up the teaching. And not take it personally when she points out my missteps. Because I’ll continue to make them.
We certainly have had some missteps, in particular once my daughter started school in the fall. But we recover and hug it out. I made it a practice to stand my ground as a parent, but to do so as gently as possible. And to readily admit my mistakes when I made them.
I never imagined the pain that would follow jointly making the decision to divorce. The decision was so raw, so authentic, so true, so right, so freeing. I felt high. I felt like my new life was in the palm of my hands, waiting to be molded. I never really thought about the pain that would creep up on me.
Nothing about my life has turned out the way that I had planned. Not my marriage. Or motherhood. Or me. I am learning that this is actually the best part.
Getting back into the dating scene after a divorce can be daunting, especially if you’re a mom. If you’re the one pursuing a mom, there are a few things you should know. Here’s a list of some of the Do’s and Don’ts of dating a single mom.
Within about 30 seconds of finding this out I was both sending texts and shouting, “yeah, I’m divorced!” and tears were streaming down my face. There was such a cacophony of emotion that I didn’t even know what to do with myself. Laugh or cry. Write or talk. Scream with joy or sadness.
I got two tattoos this past weekend. Because, you know, I’m cool like that.* One of them was on my ribcage, which, according to some, is a painful location to get tattooed. When the needle hit the thin skin over my ribs, it took my breath away. The artist stopped and looked up, “you ok?”