One of the hardest things to do is date when you’re a parent. Whether the other parent is active or not, I think we can all agree that it is hard dating when you’re a parent. Whether it is coordinating schedules, your child gets sick or you are exhausted, we all have things that get in the way.
When I started dating one of the things that I made a point to say to prospective men was that I was a mom first. That meant that you needed to be flexible with me when it comes to my son. I remember that I had met a guy and we had gone out a couple of before. He was nice enough. Well, one Sunday he wanted to go out and I told him that I didn’t want too.
I explained that my ex-husband had sent me a text that Munch was not himself and not feeling well that day. He said he would monitor him. I was asking for more information and he just responded “If he gets worse, I’ll take him to urgent care.” That meant that I wasn’t going to go out that night. The possibility that my son could be in urgent care was too much for me. My son had never been to an ER or Urgent Care without me.
This was the new me. A single mom and my son would always come first. Needless to say I texted the man back to say that my son was sick and I wanted to stick close to home in case he had to go to urgent care. The guy didn’t get it. He was disappointed and I never heard from him again.
Okay. His loss. Munch did end up going to Urgent Care and was later diagnosed as having shigella, but that didn’t matter. That man had broken a cardinal rule…being upset that I told you no over choosing to be a mom. I wasn’t hurt. I stood my ground. I was a mother first.
Dating is hard as hell whether you have a child or not. How are you expected to cater to your man and to your child too when you just meet someone? How are you expected to balance it all? The truth…carefully.
You have to meet someone who understands and values your commitment to your children first. I would never be upset if someone’s child was sick or they needed to be a parent first. Remember that I told you that I wanted someone to love me and my son as though we were flesh of their flesh. That was a requirement.
Mr. C is an incredible father who respects and loves the fact that I’m a mom first. He tells me all the time that I’m a great mother. Even when I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. He’s encouraging. I remember the first time I cried when I told him my fears about parenting. He soothed my spirit and calmed me down. He’s a parent.
We have two different parenting styles. He doesn’t believe in allowance (but secretly spoils his son) and I am going to start giving Munch an allowance. He believes that driving are a right of passage that a boy must undertake by his senior year in high school (I think it depends on their responsibility level). He’s strong and a provider and I’m a tough as nails educator who will dole out kisses and hugs and lots of encouragement and support.
Different. I think that’s why we work. He respects that I’m a mom first, a girlfriend second and knows that I will always trust his judgement. I am blessed to have met someone who gets that parenting is hard and it comes first. Someone that gets that I may have to reschedule plans or include Munch when things get in the way. He is flexible.
Find someone that encourages you to be a better parent. Who supports you in raising wonderful and good human beings. Who believes that there is nothing more valuable than creating and crafting the minds of the future leaders of America. Okay, well maybe that’s too much…but find someone that loves your kids as much as you.