June 4, 2016

If You can’t Love my Children—Don’t bother Loving Me.

Authors Own. RS Creations Photography: https://www.facebook.com/RSCreationsbyRoseanne/?fref=ts

“Why would you be scared to date a single mom? There’s nothing sexier than a woman who can look after herself, her home, her finances, cook a mean meal and still give her child everything they deserve.” ~ Unknown


I’m not single—I’m a mother.

This means that I rarely have the luxury of going to the bathroom by myself, let alone have an evening off to gallivant around town as if I was the newest addition to the Sex and The City cast.

But the thing is that I wouldn’t want it any other way.

While I am a woman first, these two little people in my life are depending on me—not just to make sure I don’t burn their chicken nuggets, but to be there when they scrape their knees or get asked to be the lead in the school play. Because to them—I am their world.

This won’t always be the case, and at some point in the not so distant future, they will begin to spread their wings and venture further away from the nest. They will begin to realize their own strength and take off flying into a life of their own design.

But right now, they are still children—and as their mother, I owe it to them not accept less than what we all deserve, because when someone dates a single mother, they aren’t just dating her, but her children as well.

I do want passionate, crazy love—but I also want a love that will be the right fit for my children too.

This means that all the chemistry in the world won’t matter, if at the end of the day, a man isn’t comfortable playing one last game of come-and-get-me around the house before bedtime—or if he doesn’t understand the semi-organized chaos that comes from sharing life with two little sassy, blonde troublemakers (okay, maybe three).

As single mothers, it seems that we are often told we shouldn’t be looking for a father for our children. Yet if we are honest, that is a double-sided sword that we end up cutting ourselves on time and time again, in an effort to find love not just for our own hearts, but for our children’s as well.

Am I shopping around trying to find someone to step in and be daddy? No.

But am I seeking someone who would be a good role model and who could also be a father figure in their lives? Yes, of course.

My children don’t need a daddy, but they do need a man who can come into our lives and give them all of the love and support that they deserve. A man who knows that it’s the simple things that matter most—reading the same story for the hundredth time, playing basketball in the driveway as the sun dips low and dancing with momma in the kitchen, making them laugh and realize that they’ve never seen her this happy before.

They deserve the same type of love that I do, because we are a package deal—love all of us or none at all.

The reality is that there is no one set way to date a single mother, and often times the entire game of dating will have to change—from going out to movies and dinner, to day-trips, pizza and bonfires at home—so everyone is in bed early.

This is the reality of dating, and not just for a single mom, but for any single parent.

I’ve tried to separate my personal desires from being a mother, and I’ve looked for love in all the wrong places. What I had to realize though, is that these situations that didn’t evolve into relationships because I was looking for love only for myself—not my children.

I had thought that if I met someone and there was brilliant sparks, that magically the rest would just work itself out—yet in the end, it never seemed to, and until recently I was dumbfounded as to why.

The problem was that I was approaching dating as if I was still single, omitting my children from the time I spent with prospective men and erasing the signs of them in my home. But now I realize that to date me, also means to date the mother I am—the one who spends most of her time around the house in yoga pants and a t-shirt with stickers plastered all over it (stickers her youngest gave her for being a good mommy that day).

It means not pretending that I’m truly single, and instead, embracing the fact that I am a mother with two little girls who are just as fun (if not more so) than me—and in even more honesty, it means letting someone into our lives to see if they would really fit.

Not the life of freedom and whimsical love, but the raw truth of our messy kind of love. The kind of love that is stained in homemade raspberry jam, and that isn’t perfect, but is very real.

While the actuality is that these children won’t be under my roof forever, the time that they are is the most important thing to me. It’s not placing them above my partner, but realizing that with the right man there is room for everyone at the top.

It’s not just about me, but it’s about them too, because we deserve someone who makes all of our lives better—not by money spent or status acquired—but by the simple presence of a man who realizes that there isn’t anywhere else he’d rather be than being the ringmaster in our own kind of wonderful three-ring circus.

So, now I’ve come to the place where I can stand strong in my truth and say that if you can’t see yourself loving my children, then don’t bother loving me—after all, they are my heart, and every mother knows there is no separating herself from that.


Author: Kate Rose

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own, via RS Creations Photography

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