It’s been almost 2 years to the day since I became a single mum and in these last couple of years I’ve learnt a lot about myself. I’ve also had the chance to observe other single parents along their own journey of finding their feet and ‘coping’ on their own. Among other attributes, one thing I changed about myself is increasing my standards when I think about having another man in my life. I mean, we all think about it at times as single parents, I think we all wonder what it would be like to meet someone else and how / if they would fit into our routine.
Dating as a single mother is definitely harder. For one to even leave your house you need a reliable form of childcare – meaning if you plan to carry on seeing a guy there needs to be someone who looks after your child on a regular basis. In a dream world this would happen but I know that many single parents don’t have this ‘luxury’ to spend time on their own let alone with someone else. The other thing is this, when you split from your child’s father the wonderful world of social media shows everyone that you’re now a single mum, whether you make it obvious or not. Some of us love to delete all our loved up photos and post the usual ‘new me’ quotes and maybe even the odd pouting selfie or dare I say underwear photos (be careful with this one). Others I’ve noticed keep themselves low-key but over time you get the gist that they’re in the ‘single mums club’ as I call it. The problem with social media is that some guys could look at your Instagram account and have you figured out all wrong. Some guys would think you’re ‘vulnerable’ or you need them in your life (thank u, next) and some may see a single mother as someone they can take advantage of because they might not have as much self esteem or confidence. I’ve seen this happen and I hate it! Women should never be sweet talked into a situation where they find themselves holding onto dead weight for the sake of a new relationship. I started this blog to help and support women but to also give the truth and realness of everyday life. Some guys see single mums as weak and easy to take advantage of, as women we need to work to get rid of this stereotype. We need to aim higher and we need to want more for ourselves! Not just accept another guy who will make history repeat itself!
The next point I come to is, if you find a guy who you think has potential and you want to go out & get to know him, it’s important that they understand your time is precious. To be quite honest it doesn’t matter where they take you (not McDonald’s though obvsssss) it could be for a drink or even a cheeky Nando’s. You need to think, is this guy going to value your presence and the time taken out of your busy mum (and working) life, will he treat you as a woman, will he listen to you, make you laugh and feel relaxed etc. When you date a guy as a single mum you want to come away from the experience feeling relaxed and like you’ve had a really good time as yourself, as in the you before you became a mum. But then also in your mind you’ll be thinking, is this guy mature? Does he have life goals? How is his relationship with his family? As well as noticing any red flags which might lead you down memory lane from past relationships. Overall, you just want to know that this is a guy who will care about your wellbeing, your peace of mind, and add value to your life, not be an absolute headache (like the last guy)
I think most women set their standards higher after becoming a single mother and I know a lot of women go through the whole ‘I don’t want or need a man’ stage – that’s kind of where I’m at now although I do think it would be nice in future to have someone who I can be with to share new experiences with and make new memories, to enjoy time as myself being Emma rather than ‘Kimaarah’s mum’. Whether I’d think about having someone to live with and extend my family I think the jury’s still out, it’s been 2 years and I’m doing just fine on my own.
To end this I want to recognise the single mothers who set the bar high for themselves and their child(ren), who plan family activities, holidays, who work hard whether full or part time to show their children that nothing in life comes for free, and most importantly won’t let any old man into their lives. Us women need to stick together and support each other. If anyone’s reading this and feeling lonely or scared I really want to reassure you that in time things will get easier and you will mend your broken heart, you will learn from your mistakes and you will be happy again, even by yourself. Just remember that a Queen without a King still remains a Queen!