Back in 2010, my ex husband and I threw in the towel. We realized it was never going to get better and together, we were simply toxic people.
So, for the last almost 5.2 years, I’ve been a single mother to our three boys, and he lives on the opposite side of the country from us.
Somehow, I’ve obliviously dodged the common consensus on dating single mothers or dating as a single mother and some really big misconceptions the general public seems to have about the whole thing.
A few weeks ago I was doing some reading and catching up on Reddit and came across some sub reddits about dating a single mom and why it’s awful and soul sucking and how we are just these societal leeches just hanging around waiting for some poor unsuspecting victim to save us from our poor pathetic lives and bad decisions.
Ugh…what?! While I’d be the first to come out and say there are plenty of catty ass good for nothing bitches out there that simply want to be taken care of, there is also my whole 2% part of the single mom population that is nothing AT ALL close to that description and we’re pretty damn tired of assumptions and getting thrown into the same boat as the women we hate probably even more than you do. Hoes!
Close those legs (and your mouth) and for gods sake stop giving decent, hardworking single parents a bad name already!!!!! I’m over it. So, here’s what we want you to know:
1. I am NOT out there looking for someone to bring home the bacon. I don’t even like bacon. Seriously.
2. I DONT need nor want you to play house and pretend to be my child’s father. You’re not. You may not even get to meet him if I don’t think you’re up to the challenge. It is one and I’m sure you’re man enough, so don’t take it that way, but I’m protective. My child does not need to know the instability of the dating world. He just doesn’t.
3. Sometimes (okay, most of!!) Netflix and chill does not mean I want to fuck you on the couch while my sleeping children are in the next room. Can we please stop with that whole phrase and assumption already?!? OMG I get it! It happens. People are nasty and cheap but more than that….some of us decent single moms are just fucking exhausted. Listen up. If I ask you to come hang out with me don’t assume I want to get some. At times it’s truly me just being courteous. I work forty hours a week if not more. If I am interested in you that means it’s very likely that you do as well and have a life as busy and full as mine is. So. If you want to date me, get this through your head or simply don’t make it awkward, and straight up boldly offer to pay for at least half of the cost to hire a sitter. Consider it the $$ you would be spending on another lady’s drinks. I’m sober so, I’m a very cheap date, I’m funny and open, but respectable. That’s just not how I roll. And nothing is sexy about being interrupted by a five year old sleepily asking if they can sleep in my bed. Absolutely nothing. Right?! 😉
4. I’m fine discussing my past. Past relationships and past otherwise like anyone else but I don’t want to hang out with you just to bitch about my kids shitty father so you’ll feel bad for me. In fact, unless you happen to ask me about it, I’m not even going to bring him up. The past is the past and that’s all there is to it. Yes he pays child support, on time, and even if he didn’t I certainly wouldn’t be screwing you for grocery money. (Or anything close to that, I’m no “hood rat”)
5. Yes, I have a vagina. But I also have hands that work hard and provide for my family and a brain inside of my skull. I like to talk about the news, current events, politics, hobbies and a vast majority of subjects. Please for God’s sake don’t assume I’m going to talk about the color of my child’s poop when we are eating dinner, don’t worry, I hate when people bring up that kind of disgusting crap (ha!) just as much as you do.
6. Yes. I have made some unwise decisions at times in my life. So did your ex when she got drunk and got your name tattooed on her ass. Life is life. I have obviously also chosen to give myself and my children a life that is full, blissful, not without struggle but completely full of strength, love, and laughter. And those were absolutely my choices as well. (And choosing to date you too….right?!)
7. While it’s true that my little family of four is on food stamps, that doesn’t mean I’m standing on the corner with my hand open. I work very hard to give my boys what they need and a little bit of what they want too. For me the purpose is to accept the help we need until it’s not needed and I can give back. I will not be a public assistance lifer. I have goals. And these are far removed from trading groceries for street drugs and other dumb ass shit I’ve heard about. Wanna know why when I volunteer to help with class parties or events and soccer etc that I’m always the one signing up to bring some sort of food (usually healthy)? This is why. Eat the party food, your tax dollars paid good money for it. This is also why I volunteer at a food pantry and why I try to give back (not patting my own back or anything but just an example). Last year I posted my old wedding dress on a sisterhood site and just gave it away for free. The cool thing was the couples great fullness. They had four children from previous marriages and were struggling to make ends meet AND plan a frugal but fantastic wedding. I’ll never forget the gigantic hug this lady gave me. So.worth.it.
8. My friends are not all 40 somethings bitter and divorced and hanging at the local bar with their tits out just asking for it and drunkenly clamouring on about there not being any good men left in this world. In fact. None of my friends are like that. They say misery loves company but who the hell wants to be miserable forever? Not this girl. My friends are from all walks of life. We prefer real, warm conversations to endless texting. We don’t drown our challenges in alcohol and sperm, but are totally comfortable being who we are whether it’s falling apart or taking and conquering dumb shit like a boss. In short, we fucking rock.
9. Again, there are certainly “the rule” single mothers, but us exceptions? We are certainly do not fall into this classic picture of “neediness” you probably have in your head. Yea. I have needs. None of which have a damn thing to do with you.
I am perfectly capable of finding whatever it is inside my own self.
I need to love and to spoil myself (at times).
I need to feel secure in my life and job and not have to (excessively) worry that I’m not giving my sons what it is that they need.
I need water, food, and shelter (possibly bubble baths and red wine, too!)
But you…no I don’t need you in any form, fashion, realm, or delusion.
But I want you.
I want to give all of the love and trust in my heart.
I want to let my guard down.
I want to be there when you need me to be.
And instead of being out there scouting for the perfect, tall, intellectual but goofy and fun “other half”of me, I’m here.
Growing. Learning. Changing. Loving. Dreaming. Planning. Reading. Laughing. Praying and preparing for great things. For myself. For my now. For my future. And yes, even for you.
How can I ask these things of you without doing the same? Putting in the work. Fighting my vices and every day stripping down my old man and all of my old ways in anticipation that what I’m moving out of and into is a season beyond my wildest dreams. I refuse to get stuck and sulk about who I’m not or what I don’t have yet not just for the future, and not just for you or even my boys, but for my own single mama self. I WANT to be the best but humble, balanced, healthy, a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of creative, unsettled but somehow still content and thriving person I can be!
Until that happens, yes I’ll be single. But honestly? I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
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