A Thoroughly Modern Mother’s Dilemma

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.




  1. September 9, 2016 / 17:06

    Hi Rosie,

    I love your post! I’ve been a single mum for 4 years too, and you’ve put into words exactly how I feel. I don’t have much time to myself either so there’s hardly any chance of meeting someone and at the moment, I don’t think I want to, like you said, I don’t have time. Maybe another 10 years time, when she’s a teenager lol!

  2. September 10, 2016 / 16:02

    Such a thoughtful post. I’m sure you’ll find the right way and what’s best for you. Seems to me there’s someone terrific out there for someone as impressive as you!

  3. September 10, 2016 / 17:13

    I know a university friend single mum who wouldn’t date again until her children were grown because she was worried about the men she might meet. That’s possibly taking too far, but I could kind of see her point. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Erica Price recently posted..Week 36 of 365My Profile

  4. September 10, 2016 / 18:35

    It is hard isn’t it. I was a single mum for many years and I met my husband at work. I am now a childminder and have a single friend and she often asks me to have her daughter a little longer after school so she can go on dates but its not ideal

  5. September 11, 2016 / 18:34

    I’m sure when you are ready you will get chance to meet someone and the right person for you will fit round your family life. I’m not sure how much of a cliche I sound right now x

  6. September 12, 2016 / 11:50

    I was a single Mum and decided I was going to try internet dating (12 years ago when it wasn’t quite so popular) and I met lots of great men and found ‘the one’ – I did have a lot more free time than it sounds like you have though as my sons Dad lived in the same village and he stayed with him every weekend. Good luck with whatever you decide x
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  7. September 12, 2016 / 13:12

    I totally understand how you are feeling. I was a single parent for a while and it’s difficult, but you have to do YOU as well as be a fantastic Mum. Enjoy yourself!

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