I’ve been a single parent for nearly four years and in that time I’ve remained publicly single, is dating when you’re a mother the final unspoken parenting taboo? Or is it the unattainable happily ever after oasis flickering in the distance?
This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, so much so that I’ve got different drafts on my phone in notes, on my mac, even scribbled in my notepad yet somehow each time I’ve shied away from hitting the post button. Being a single mother isn’t something I hide, yet I wouldn’t say it’s something I constantly talk about. I don’t know why this is, and if I’m being completely honest I’m not entirely sure it has much significance; it’s just the way I am.
Do I even want to date? I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous – I’m allergic to cats so the crazy cat lady look is not an option for me. Plus I’m incredibly content as a single woman: I am not lonely merely alone. I swing between these two camps on a monthly sometimes weekly basis. Do I continue to be the singular pillar of continuity for Boo putting the idea of meeting someone to the back of my mind? But then I indignantly shake myself from thinking like that and remind myself that I am indeed a twenty-something red blooded woman who should be pursuing relationships.
Maybe I’m searching for the holy grail that exists in the tiny slither between born again virginity and having a revolving door of ‘uncles’; of course I’m exaggerating but most of the time, that’s exactly how I feel. Society is such that the popcorn is on keep warm waiting for the moment to swoop down and judge a mother’s decision, least what she chooses to do behind closed (bedroom) doors
Get past the decision of whether to date and I’m faced with an even bigger hurdle: the practicalities of dating. Two and a half days a month are what I have to call my own, hardly enough to get to know someone never mind maintain all the goings on of a relationship – I think you know what I mean! Talking of sex, that’s a whole other minefield; we all know sex and how we feel changes once we become a mother (doesn’t have to be in a bad way, it just does) how does that fit in with someone new? And don’t even get me started on the whole booty call aka the ‘Aaaarrgghhhh I have less than an hour to look like I walk round like a groomed, leg hair free, let’s not even talk about bikini line woman’ call.
Plus where are all these eligible men? With a curfew of Boo’s bedtime imposed, I’m left with little to no opportunity to meet anyone – this isn’t the film Bad Moms where extremely hot guys who are ready for family life are just loitering around waiting to catch you eye -actually I’m pretty sure that would creep me out more than anything – you can keep that one Hollywood.
In this modern mothering landscape with shifting family setups, maybe dilemmas are set to focus less on babyled vs. puree and more on how to find love –or at least a relationship – after becoming a mother.