Other completely solo mothers? How/when/where do you date? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 12-19-2009, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess the title says it all. If there are any other moms here who have their kids 100% of the time, when do you find the time to meet people and actually date and "spend time" with them? Especially because I really don't have money for a babysitter it seems like the only time is during the day when the kids are in school. I guess I would just like to hear the how/when/where of dating as a totally solo mom from others who have been there. I'm new at this part.
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#2 of 20 Old 12-19-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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I'm not totally solo, although it seems to be coming closer and closer . I've done coffee dates on weekday mornings, and I've done coffee/lunch dates with my youngest (when he was less than 2) in tow. I do online dating, and do a fairly lengthy email exchange period for screening purposes. If I am comfortable with someone after the first/second date, I'll usually invite them to come to my house after the kids are in bed. It's not ideal, for sure, but if someone can't roll with the way my life has to fit in around my kids needs, then they aren't for me, anyway.

I have been dating the same guy for about a month now. The first date was a day when my kids were with their dad. The next few were mid-week mid day when I was at the office (I have a pretty flexible job and am fortunate enough to have some extra daycare hours built in at this point) or evenings at my house after the kids were asleep. My dad comes up one weekend a month and spends the night on a Sat. night, so when he came up this month, I went out and met my guy in town for a few drinks.

Other than that, it's been at my house.
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#3 of 20 Old 12-19-2009, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll usually invite them to come to my house after the kids are in bed. It's not ideal, for sure, but if someone can't roll with the way my life has to fit in around my kids needs, then they aren't for me, anyway.
This is great to hear. I was thinking of doing this but wasn't sure how well it works. I also wasn't sure how a guy might react but, like you said, if they can't hang then they can't hang, right? Now, what happens if a kid wakes up? Mine are older and usually don't but it's something I've wondered about.
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#4 of 20 Old 12-20-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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I am a solo, actively dating, mama. My X lives in another country, 10,000 miles away.

I use babysitters... I have two wonderful teenage sisters who have been babysitting for me for almost 2 years! Ds LOVES when "the girls" come over. Additionally, I have "after bedtime" dates.

Actually, I had one last night and it was awesome! He came over with pizza at 9PM, we ate, drank some wine chatted and made out on the couch!

My ds (6 years old) has woken up a few times, but not often at all. Although, he did wake up on Tuesday night in a sleep walking stupor when the guy I am dating was here. I just introduced him, "This is mommy's friend so-and-so" and shoo'ed him back to bed.

I think because I don't make it a big deal, he doesn't think it is a big deal. Kids will follow your lead, so if you think what you are doing is 'bad' or 'inappropriate'... they will pick up on that. AND imho, it isn't a big deal. Ds knows that I have male friends, just like he has girls that he is friends with.
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#5 of 20 Old 12-21-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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This is great to hear. I was thinking of doing this but wasn't sure how well it works. I also wasn't sure how a guy might react but, like you said, if they can't hang then they can't hang, right? Now, what happens if a kid wakes up? Mine are older and usually don't but it's something I've wondered about.
When I first started dating, my now DP invited DS on our dates! Which was awesome, since he was only a few months old and nursing, and I didn't have a sitter anyway. My older two would go to grandmas house.

We did have some 'after bedtime' dates. For about 2 months, he would sneak out around 5 or 6 am, until one morning I was walking him out the door and my then 4.5 year old was playing in the living room. She was a bit surprised and a little scared - So I introduced them, and then explained that mommy has sleepovers too, kind of like how she has them at grandmas house. That worked. BUT DP and I have known each other for 10 years now. Two and a half years later - my kids get concerned when DP 'stays at his house'. The wonder why he would want to do something like that.


Some ideas to arrange childcare so you can go out: Any friends willing to babysit? I knew a college age couple who loved to come over and babysit just so they could eat real food and watch tv! I know a group of babysitters from a church (one girl, she charges $10 an hour, but she is also a housekeeper and my home is SPOTLESS when I get back, totally worth it). My kids love having a babysitter, it's a real novelty to them. I can't always afford it for a date though. I've shared babysitting with friends who have kids the same age.

Hope that helps!

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#6 of 20 Old 12-21-2009, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is all so reassuring to hear! Thank you!

So, I have to ask...what is such the huge deal about mommy dating anyway? I've heard everywhere that you should never introduce your kids to your dates or boyfriends until you are very serious. That they could form an attachment and that would be so hard on them and confusing. Honestly, I don't get it. I introduce them to new people all the time. I've had work friends that they get to know a lot and then I don't work there and they never see them again. Not a big deal. So, what is with someone you're romantically involved with? Is it really such a problem?

They've actually asked me if I have a boyfriend and if not, why. They've also suggested I remarry (which I told them not gonna happen any time soon, if ever) so I'm not thinking they would be traumatized by this at all.

I'm also wondering if it's a big no no to be affectionate in front of them. I'm not talking about "get a room" kind of stuff but some hugging, handholding, even little kisses. They had an extremely bad relationship modeled for them for so long. He was verbally abusive and violent but also did not respect my sexual boundries at all, in front of them too, unfortunately. I feel like, if they have an opportunity to see mommy being treated respectfully and gently and it's a positive relationship, wouldn't that be a *good* thing?

Thanks again for your insights ladies.
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#7 of 20 Old 12-21-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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This is all so reassuring to hear! Thank you!

So, I have to ask...what is such the huge deal about mommy dating anyway? I've heard everywhere that you should never introduce your kids to your dates or boyfriends until you are very serious. That they could form an attachment and that would be so hard on them and confusing. Honestly, I don't get it. I introduce them to new people all the time. I've had work friends that they get to know a lot and then I don't work there and they never see them again. Not a big deal. So, what is with someone you're romantically involved with? Is it really such a problem?

They've actually asked me if I have a boyfriend and if not, why. They've also suggested I remarry (which I told them not gonna happen any time soon, if ever) so I'm not thinking they would be traumatized by this at all.

I'm also wondering if it's a big no no to be affectionate in front of them. I'm not talking about "get a room" kind of stuff but some hugging, handholding, even little kisses. They had an extremely bad relationship modeled for them for so long. He was verbally abusive and violent but also did not respect my sexual boundries at all, in front of them too, unfortunately. I feel like, if they have an opportunity to see mommy being treated respectfully and gently and it's a positive relationship, wouldn't that be a *good* thing?

Thanks again for your insights ladies.
For me, it's more about the kids getting attached to someone who just disappears out of their life when the relationship is over.

Just an example from my experience: Ex left me for an 18 year old girl. Moved right into her house from mine (they had been having an affair for 6 months before this). After that, every single time the kids saw their dad, "J" was there. The kids got really attached to her. Ex and "J" lived together for 2 years - then they broke up...Ex moved out of her house. Kids haven't seen "J" since their last visit (September). They still ask about her. Now Ex has someone new "G" - again, "G" is always there when the kids see their dad, Ex has been seeing "G" for a few months. I just don't want to see my kids grow to love someone and get really used to them, only to have them just disappear and not make contact again.

The reason I 'hid' my DP for a while was because my kids were little, and I figured they had a lot going on already, and I didn't want to confuse them. Plus, I wasn't 100% sure how DP would be around kids (turns out...he is excellent with my kids!)

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#8 of 20 Old 12-21-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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This is such an interesting and challenging thing. I can really see both sides of the issue. With the guy I was dating last fall, he had really been burned by letting his kids meet women too soon, get attached and then have them go out of their lives completely, and vice-versa with him becoming attached to the children of women he had dated. So he was totally not into us meeting each other's kids, and so I didn't have to think about what to do.

I haven't dated anyone else seriously enough to even consider it, until recently. I am a bit nervous that my kids have already met the guy I'm dating now several times, but I feel okay about it, mostly. I have faith in my, and his, ability to remain friends if we stop "dating", and in his recognition that if he becomes important to my kids, then that is something to be considered separately from his relationship with me. I also got some good wisdom over on the dating thread, thinking about how teachers, babysitters and other adults who are very important in our children's lifes come in and out, and that is okay -- our children learn and grow from their time with these adults, but we don't expect them to be lifelong connections, even though they spend enormous amounts of time with them.

So, I'm taking a leap of faith and letting my kids and my guy get to know each other. I don't know, maybe I"ll be back here in 6 months preaching the "don't mix kids and dating" gospel, and to be sure, if I had more of a 50-50 split with my ex, I doubt my kids would have met my guy yet. But, such is life....
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#9 of 20 Old 12-22-2009, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also got some good wisdom over on the dating thread, thinking about how teachers, babysitters and other adults who are very important in our children's lifes come in and out, and that is okay -- our children learn and grow from their time with these adults, but we don't expect them to be lifelong connections, even though they spend enormous amounts of time with them.
This is what I was thinking. And they always do well with these people going out of their lives. I do think kids can benefit from interacting with new adults, even if it's not life long or long term bonds. Like with work friends I have had, and of course their teachers and day care providers.

That said, I would never have a person I'm seeing spend a lot of time with my kids or take on any kind of parenting role.

I guess overall I'm just going to have to feel it out when I get there?
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#10 of 20 Old 12-22-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and I also wanted to emphasize the "where" part again. Where do you meet people? I don't have many opportunities to meet new people. I know you're supposed to just go do things you like but that's like hiking and stuff. You don't meet someone out there in the woods usually, you know?

I don't thinkthe online dating thing would work for me. Ideally, I want to be physically drawn to someone and I can only feel that out in person. I would hate to spend a lot of time getting to know someone online only to meet them and know in an instant I could never get romantic with them (and that's how soon I know). I also would so hate having to reject someone. I would hate even more being rejected!
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#11 of 20 Old 12-25-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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Hi moms,

I have my kids 100% of the time, live thousands of miles from my family/close friends, and cannot afford frequent childcare. I have a teenaged neighbor who watches my kids for three hours a week, but I have that time reserved for all kinds of necessary things that I don't get accomplished during my very busy work/home/karate/school/errand week. I recently began feeling like I really would love to meet someone, so I put myself out there (on OKCupid), which freaked me out at the beginning, but I was reassured by several people that this is the way people meet one another nowadays, and it seemed like there were alot of really interesting, intelligent and attractive people on the site. After a few dates with some nice people, I have deleted my profile. As much as I'd love a romantic interest, it just doesn't seem logistically possible to me in my life right now

Still, I'm hoping to be find myself surprised...

Good luck to you!
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#12 of 20 Old 12-27-2009, 02:33 AM
 
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i have dd majority of the time. i work long hours and use my babysitter to work in the eves. i go on dates during lunch and when dd is with her dad. it's very hard to juggle and hence i barely date. and most of the time i'm too exhausted to be able to connect with another person. i'm hoping life will get better once dd goes to 1st grade in fall, one can always hope

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#13 of 20 Old 01-10-2010, 04:01 AM
 
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I don't. My older kids go to bed around the same time I do but aren't old enough to babysit. Can't afford sitters anyway plus the 1 girl that babysat occasionally for me, now has a real job. My family is all thousands of miles away as well. but I'm usually too exhausted. Plus with 5 kids 99.9% of the time - it's not like guys are even interested. Ex takes them occasionally but irregularly/no notice - not really enough time to plan. I'm hoping when they are all older - but probably they will all have to be grown up and moved out.

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#14 of 20 Old 01-10-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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My friends just know that we hang out at my house after the kids go to bed. (I am not dating anyone but sometimes grown up time is nice). I try to be home as much as possible for my kids and my work situation really sucks but at any rate whenever xh has the kids I try to get my work hours in there. which means that tims is not so much for socializing.

also any guy I date is going to have to be a normal friend first and I do not have any problems introducing them to guy friends. they have never seen a guy treat me respectfully before and so dating or not I think it is important for them to see male and female friends treat with respect and dignity. They need to see me forming attatchments with men in ways that are non-sexual. they need to know that men can love women even if they aren't sleeping with him. and when I am dating someone I don't think it is wrong for them to see affection (so long as they do not seem bothered by it but I am pretty modest in that area and doubt there will be anything outside of holding hands, an arm around me or a little peck. but I am a pretty affectionate person and I do all this with people I am not dating.)

I am also not above the day time date. gees, I am a 35 year old mother of 3. If he wants to be my man he is just going to have to get used to seeing me in the light of day. besides resteraunts are so much less crowded during the day.....and there are lunch specials....win win froma date standpoint.Not to mention I am usually at my peak around mid morning....

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#15 of 20 Old 01-11-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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I don't either, not yet. Haven't really thought about the logistical nightmares as pill is still so attached to me being here at night. I can't imagine not being here and leaving him with a sitter so I guess if anyone wants me he's going to have to meet me for a lot of lunch dates.

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#16 of 20 Old 01-11-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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why is everyone so attatched to evenings and weekends anyway?

I don't have a reguilar 9-5 mon-fri work schedule anyway so even if I did not have kids I would likely hang out with people who were also fee during weekdays or who wanted to bum around my house after I got off work....

I have never really dated (even with xh) so I am not sure what people do for dates. I would assume we would just hang out and do what friends do. You know, do what we normally do, just together and with some smootching thrown in for fun. I mean we will both be adults, its not like either of us is going to have money to waste or tons of free time like a couple of teenagers. I clearly have a lot to learn....

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#17 of 20 Old 01-11-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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why is everyone so attatched to evenings and weekends anyway?
Well, my evening and weekends are the only time I do have free, in addition to most of the men I have dated, due to work schedules.


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I don't have a reguilar 9-5 mon-fri work schedule anyway so even if I did not have kids I would likely hang out with people who were also fee during weekdays or who wanted to bum around my house after I got off work....

I have never really dated (even with xh) so I am not sure what people do for dates. I would assume we would just hang out and do what friends do. You know, do what we normally do, just together and with some smootching thrown in for fun. I mean we will both be adults, its not like either of us is going to have money to waste or tons of free time like a couple of teenagers. I clearly have a lot to learn....
All of the above is great... once the relationship is a bit more established.

I would not be bumming around my house with someone I am just getting to know. I would want time to get to know them and see how they behave/react in public, which can tell you a lot about a person.

Some of the things I have done on dates: meet for coffee at little cafes/coffeeshops, taken walks around the Lake, dinner, movies, see an exhibit at a local gallery or museum, hiking, explore new neighborhoods and do some window shopping, etc. Dates don't have to be expensive. They are just opportunities to get to know each other and see who the other person is... in various situations.

I have had men come over, after ds is asleep, for a late night dinner, wine/coffee/tea and cozy conversation. It is nice and I enjoy such dates, but I don't want ALL dates to consist only of that. I enjoy going out from time to time and you learn so much about a person when you are with them in various environments. Ykwim?
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#18 of 20 Old 10-05-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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This is such a relevant topic... I am the solo mom to a three and a half year old son. While I have dedicated the past 4+ years to pregnancy and mothering, making N the primary person in my life beside myself (and no joke I sometimes forget about myself). The sacrifices have been worth it but now that he's weaned (that only took 3+ years) I am really feeling the pull to explore dating and the idea of new relationships. I recently signed up for an online dating site and was instantly overwhelmed by the available options. I honestly put on my profile that I am a mom and that my son is the number one person in my life and I am in his, but that we both like to meet new people : ) In a perfect ideal world a first date would be with N is tow. Maybe a trip to the park or a hike in the forest. The transition for me to see other people and for N to see me with other people and be ok with it is going to require that he is an active and accepted part of the package of me. How do other solo moms go about this? I often feel like I do not have a clue but somehow keep getting by.
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#19 of 20 Old 10-07-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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i am not dating yet, but i have noticed that lots of single dads are at the playground on saturdays and sundays. i am not religious, so i go to the playground during church hours. if i was christian, i would hang out at the catholic school playground, or in the latino areas of my city.
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#20 of 20 Old 10-09-2010, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i am not religious, so i go to the playground during church hours.
OMG, I love this. You're grand. lol What a great idea. Two birds, one stone.
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