*I wrote this piece after talking to some other single moms that inspired me to write this. I use “we” as a thank you to them because they inspired this piece. I do not believe every single mom feels this way or thinks this way but for the women I know that are included in my “we” , thank you*
Hey you! We may or may not know each other yet but I know you are amazing. Dating a single mom is hard. Most men want to put us first but what we want? We want you to put our kids first - just as we do. We work hard, we are tired, we may complain but I can tell you we are worth it.
Here’s why :
We love unconditionally - no matter how we got here, we are alone and that can hurt and be lonely. Our children were made out of love and feelings for someone who is no longer in our lives. Whether divorce, absence, lack or interest, breakup or death - we are left alone to do one of the toughest jobs. But you know what we do in the absence? We love. We love the crap out of these little humans that God has blessed us with. We may not love ourselves yet, but we are working on it. But just know that when we fall in love we fall hard because we not only fall in love with you ourselves but we fall in love for our children.
We listen - so much of our time is spent in our heads asking ourselves “why things happened? how we got here?”. One thing we know is that we tried. Tried our best to listen and fix things that may have never even been possible to fix. But in all that thinking we know how to listen and truly be an ear and friend when you need it because sometimes we wish we had someone there for us.
We have thought about you - maybe more than I care to admit. As little girls we dreamed of our dream man. The man that would make us happy, treat us like a princess, and love us unconditionally. We dreamed of our big wedding , the house we would buy and the children we would one day have. In my case, I prayed for you, and I prayed for you often - still do. My prayers have changed over the years but I still pray the same four key points to this day. 1. I pray that my husband be handsome (I can't lie) - but I pray that he not only be handsome in looks but in his character. 2. I pray that he be wise - that he can lead me and our family in the right direction. 3. I pray that he is funny - in a world where we (and I) take things too seriously, I pray that you know how to make me laugh. 4. I pray that he is good. Good in the sense that his heart is good. He loves him family and Jesus, his friends and strangers on the street. All four of these things have been in my head since I was that little girl. They may mean something different to me now but they are still strong and true. Although we skipped a step or two we only think about you even more. Not only are we finding the match to our hearts but we are finding a match for our child (or children). Our relationship is just as important as yours with my other half.
We are professionals - we have done this parenting thing and we have done it alone. That only means the second time around we will be season vets. That doesn't mean it will be easy but it will make it easier. We will know how to change diapers and fix boo boos and all the crazy messy things you learn as parents, we will know. We will be there to love, support, and encourage you as you learn too. But don't worry we can always help you extra!
We value time - As adults, our lives start to become a little more hectic, a little more planning goes into our daily plans, and the days just pass so quickly. But add being a parent? Things go five time as fast. Every spare moment you spend cleaning, or doing laundry is now replaced with chasing a toddler and putting things away for the fourth time that day. You start to use the hours you used to sleep to just get your life back in order. We have some little time to do the normal things that used to annoy us that any free time we get is not only needed but valued. We want quality time to be quality - not time spent behind screens or talking about work. It is US time, nothing else.
We are fighters - We have done it alone but don't think that that doesn't mean we haven't wished for someone to be there. We have gone through hell and back but we are strong and we are fighters. On the days we think we just can't do it anymore? We get up, look those kids in the eyes, and smile. We get it done and we get it done with purpose. That purpose? Our babies. We may not have a husband to help but we do have babies and babies are much worse critics! The days are tough but we know it is worth it. And we are willing to fight and just hoping to be fought for.
Dating someone with a kid is hard. It is commitment and follow-through and dependability time and time again. It is knowing that things may change and they may change suddenly. Know to roll with the punches and have a backup plan if needed. Know we are trying to juggle everything but just as in real juggling, it takes a second to add an extra ball into the mix. Dating someone with a kid is a commitment. We aren't looking for our children to see flings, to see people we wouldn't want in their lives. When we say it is a big deal to meet our kids - know it is the BIGGEST deal and try not to screw it up. Just because we say we want you to meet our kids, doesn't mean you have to. Be flattered and communicate. We would rather hear that you aren't ready than ghosted after what we thought was something great. Don't mess with our hearts because its not just our hearts you are breaking. It's ours, our children's, and our hearts breaking for our children. I know it can be scary but I promise you, I (we) are so worth it. Our hearts are big and missing something huge. Just talk to us, we will prove to you just how great WE are.