This topic almost seems as if it’s an “automatic” way to be once you have all this going for you or rather “against you”. But just to be clear, no one can control exactly what happens to them BUT ONLY HOW YOU RESPOND. So that should really be directing you on how to conduct yourself during this time in your life.
SINGLE MOM: Let me begin by saying, I didn’t initially have those feelings because of my particular situation. I wasn’t interested in being with my kids’ father so yes, CHOOSING single parenting was my decision as opposed to working things out, being miserable and putting on a “front” whether it’s for the kid’s sake or for opinions of others (a very dangerous place to live your life from–I’ll touch more on this subject on another post!). Whether I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, I strongly believed that HOW MUCH “BETTER” COULD IT POSSIBLY BE IF I’M IN A RELATIONSHIP THAT’S NOT FULFILLING NOR ADDING TO BUT TAKING AWAY FROM MY HAPPINESS…ALL TO SAY I’M WITH MY KID’S FATHER??! Isn’t that very much shallow, delusional, & pathetic??! But rather, I took the place of strength and owing my life instead of weakness (not knowing my own power & capabilities) & fearfulness (being another label, disapprovals from family/friends, & what to expect/do in my new role). Please understand, IT’S NOT THE END OF IT ALL ONCE YOU’RE SINGLE WITH KIDS!
Now don’t get me mistaken though…fast forward: on the 2nd day after returning home from the hospital with my 1st born, I had a brief moment that made me break down because I needed to run some errands. In that moment while lugging groceries back to my car, I realized “I just had a baby” a life altering event with my stitches still fresh and still in pain…I shouldn’t have to be doing this!! I had a brief breakdown (& when i say brief, it lasted a few minutes) while in my car and then my inner voice reminded me, “So what, get over it. I have MY baby to love and care for.” I already knew I was a single parent except there’s a difference of “knowing” what it’s like through eyes of someone else’s experiences or hearing about it from others. It was then when I received my own awakening about what some of the experiences will be like when you RELY only on yourself to get things done regardless on how you’re feeling. I later learned this powerful quote from Les Brown, “Do what you know (you’re supposed to do), NOT what you feel (like doing). I really stayed in that frame of mind because that was all that was important. But besides that, I truly experienced my personal JOY from my blessing and I wasn’t going to let anything steal that feeling away. From that moment on, I EMBRACED & TRIUMPHED my single motherhood journey for however long it needed to be!! Today makes 8yrs and I don’t regret any decisions up until today! 🙂
SINGLE: Beginning motherhood without another relationship was beneficial. For one, I needed my space from being with another guy to get to know WHO BETINA WAS AND WHAT I WANTED/NEEDED FROM ANOTHER GUY to share my time with. Secondly, I needed to HEAL the hurt from an ended relationship after 4yrs. Thirdly, I was entering into this new space and I selfishly didn’t want to experience it with anyone else that I too would have to get to know and enjoy his company WHILE & WITH my new found love. It wouldn’t be fair to my child because he didn’t ask to be here and then for me to want to be with someone else too? I had to get used to my new lifestyle and also I was not done with enjoying spending every moment with my son. I had to protect those very valuable growth moments and having a child wasn’t an expendable thing or event that lasts for a moment. & besides, when would I have the time or energy–especially for the 1st year…when they are dependent for EVERYTHING and require ALL of your attention? In order to be an extraordinary mom, I wasn’t interested in spending valuable time to be with someone else to decide if they are worthy or even qualify to take my time away from my child. It was bad enough I had to work 40hrs/ wk and the time leftover, I was supposed to have time for someone else? It just wasn’t adding up to make sense. So honestly, I didn’t even entertain anyone because there wasn’t anyone that had a chance.
LONELY: To clear up, when I’m discussing being lonely, I’m not EXCLUSIVELY saying you’re living in a box and no one will be able to at least have a conversation with you or maybe even take you out once in awhile (at the max lol). But in my opinion, once you’ve settled into your routine, your child can sleep straight through the night, and you’ve completed your mommy duties for the evening, it’s ok to have some “adult time” if you’re craving that. Me personally I ONLY wanted to go out when my child was in bed for the evening and I wouldn’t be missed. So when my 1st son was about 10 or 11mos, I have gone on 1 date. After having 2 brief conversations, I agreed to dinner for about 2hrs. And as fast as that happened, was as fast as it was over! lol That just re-confirmed my priorities were way more important than dinner with a stranger. When my 2nd son was 4mos, I went out on my 2nd date (at that point 3yrs being single) to dinner and movies that too lasted just for that evening because he had unrealistic expectations about my life and getting to know me. So although it seemed as a waste, I gathered valuable lessons learned moving forward: 1. I wasn’t going to attempt to balance my family with an interested person because my time will have to be pulled away from (either my children or this guy) and it definitely wasn’t going to be from my children!! 2. I had too many responsibilities as a mother, financial provider, and maintaining my household , with not enough SLEEP incorporated that I didn’t have time to feel “LONELY”. 3. I realized I went out not that I was feeling “lonely”, just wanting to break out my norm…to have another experience. But ALL I was offered was dinner and movies. I WAS ALREADY DOING THOSE ACTIVITIES IN MY OWN HOME & BEEN DOING THAT SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER!
With everything mentioned, you get to be more SELECTIVE BY CHOICE . Your time is limited and you’re DEFINITELY NOT going to introduce your child to the new guy just because you’re “dating” someone. More importantly, YOU NEED to determine: 1. what you want from your new guy (eg. phone conversations, outings/playdates with his child too; friendship, etc); 2. value most about him (eg. a father too, single dad too, exciting, fun, stimulating your interests, etc); & 3.have realistic boundaries set of what’s possible given where you are in your life with your child (eg how much time you’re willing to set aside while you have your motherly responsibilities & when you’re able to meet/converse with him). That needs to be known BEFORE you start to allow yourself to feel “lonely or needing attention.
So UPHOLD your standards for your life as a Single Mom & Being Single. WHEN and IF there’s a guy who can meet your set standards, then you can invite him into your world!! 😉
[…] There comes a point when the woman in you shows up. In my opinion, it’s ok to be hardcore mom, & then hardcore needing adult affection & attention…YES I’m speaking from experience! BUT this area is really tricky because dating or being with another man as a new mom isn’t the best situation—you’ll be splitting your VERY VALUABLE time between him and your children. I wrote about feeling lonely in an earlier blog: “So you’re a NEW Single Mom, Single, AND Lonely huh? My beginnings…” […]