Ah, the dating game. Complex, confusing and unpredictable at the best of times. Now add kids to the mix, and the game just moved up a level. Fear not, single ladies, here are some solid guidelines to ensure the odds are still in your favour…
According to the most recent stats, (sited in our podcast with Ang Arde) just over half of South African Mums describe themselves as single. That’s a whole lotta single ladies! Here’s how to go about successfully mingling, mama…
- Ditch the guilt
If you’re feeling ready to go out on a date, make sure you leave the Mum-guilt behind. Remind yourself that in addition to being a mother, you’re a woman with a wide variety of wants and needs. Desiring a fulfilling romantic life doesn’t mean you’re selfish; it means you’re a thriving, healthy woman.
- Use your lunch hour for casual dates
The kids are in school, you’re already out, and an hour is a perfect length of time to determine whether or not you want to go on a second date with someone. Plus, daytime dates just feel like less pressure for everyone involved.
- Know your deal-breakers
What are your non-negotiable values? List them, then stick to them. This will help you save so much time and effort (the two things single Mums really don’t have in abundance), preventing you from investing in a relationship that’s ultimately unsuitable for you.
- Think twice before involving the kids
Only introduce your kids to someone you think is serious, and, even then, go slow. Don’t expect too much too soon – from either your kids or your date. Let both know in advance about meeting together, then to keep it from feeling too strained or intense, try to find something fun you can all do together to take the pressure off.
- Remind your kids how much you love them
A new relationship is always exciting and a little consuming, but take some time to remind your kids that they are still your top priority and that you love them unconditionally. They’ll probably roll their eyes, but the words won’t be lost on them. At any moment of change in their lives, they need the extra reinforcement and reminder that you, their Mum, anchor, rock, isn’t going anywhere and still has ‘heart space’ just for them.
- A date don’t maketh a Dad
When a new person enters your family, don’t rush to hand over the parental responsibilities. Your partner must first build a relationship with your kids before attempting to step into any type of parenting role.
- Set the right expectations
If you make your expectations all about meeting new, fun people who can enrich your life, you’re less likely to feel stressed and your date is less likely to feel overwhelmed. Have fun. After all, it’s just lunch!
How about you? Any crazy/funny/amazing single Mum dating stories to share with the rest of us? Comment below and you could win a Mumspiration Hamper valued at R250!
Written by: Julie Williams – Lifestyle Editor