Single mothers, some mothers do have them, don’t they?
You may have heard the expression, don’t knock it till you try it. I have but I think trying something once isn’t the best way to do things. The best course of action for me is to try something twice to make sure that you’ve given it a fair hearing.
In this list of things that I have tried twice that I am sure I don’t like are muscles (look if you want an excuse to eat garlic butter just eat the garlic butter, don’t insert effort into proceedings) France (no thanks) and single mothers.
The first one was rocky. It was mostly my fault. I didn’t have any hard feelings towards the person but was relieved when it was over. Not long after that, there was interest from another single mother. My attitude was “what the hell, go for it” and jumped in. Now in the second relationship, the kid was younger. Even though it went on for longer, it was more turbulent than the first one.
It came to an end, and that’s when I decided to vow off single mothers for good.
But first about Single mothers
Now before we continue let’s get a few things straight so that I won’t get misunderstood. I mean, I’m going to get misunderstood anyway, but at least I’m going to put a few conditions on what I write.
“Are you saying don’t date single mothers?”
“But the title.”
I know, you gotta do the clickbaity titles. One reason is that you’re hoping for those outrage clicks. Another reason is that the alternative title When entering into a relationship with a single mother you have to consider the following aspects. It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue.
“Are you saying that single mothers are undateable.”
Again no, there are just some realities that you’ll have to face. This speaks more of my naivety than anything. I figured that I could wade on in and it would be fine. I was wrong. It was down to my own lack of preparedness.
I don’t want to do the whole “But some of my best friends are” but I’m gonna. I know several single mothers and they’re good people and even better mothers. They’re trying to do the best for their kid(s) with what they got. Even the two single mothers who I dated overall are fantastic mothers to their kids.
In many ways, therein lies the rub.
Let’s get into it.
5 You walk a line with the dad
The dad is Godot. Any Beckett fans in the house? No?
Now, I didn’t go out with either of the single mothers for long enough to ever meet the father and for that I’m glad. The dad is always a presence in the background. You have to consider him when making decisions and his timetable. After all half of the kid is his, and he has just as much a right to spend time with the kid as the mother. Provided they’re not abusive or a danger which in both cases, neither were. It’s never a two-person relationship with single mothers. You’re part of a trinity. It’s more like a Catholic marriage, you have to leave room for the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is going to show up late on Friday to take the child to Funderland.
The dad is mostly invisible, but the presence is felt.
The other issue is the fine line that you have the walk. Now you might not believe me when I say this, but some women verbalise displeasure. I know, indulge me here. Some women not only voice displeasure but will ask you for your opinion. Spoiler, silence is not an adequate response. When it comes to single mothers, these situations can be fraught. When they complain about the father and let’s make no bones about it, they will complain. Do you think they’re not together because the relationship was too perfect?
When they complain you have a tightrope to walk, you have to walk this line of agreeing with her but not joining in. If she says “He’s a dick” under no circumstances say “You’re right he is a dick” that will make you the target, “Hey lay off him, if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have Baby”. Don’t make excuses for him or do anything that could be taken for a defence “He’s probably just forgotten, you were saying he’s under a lot of stress” that will lead to “You take HIS side in all this? After everything, I TOLD you? How COULD you?” again not good.
In my estimation, you got two options. You make it about the kid, “Poor Kid will be disappointed” you look empathetic while changing the subject. The other option says that you forgot your coat and need to get it, “But you’re already wearing your coat” “No I’m not this is a bigger, cooler coat. It’s got an emblem that says Born to Surf on it” “You’ve never surfed a day in your life” Leave the room.
Even though the dad isn’t physically present, mentally, he’s everywhere.
4 Logistical nightmare
You would think that someone with a kid would have loads of free time right? Apparently not, I found out that children are massive time commitments. You have to do it for at least months on end, full time. Here’s the kicker, you don’t even get paid for it or nothing. No wonder women are dying to get abortions.
Kids being a massive time sin adds up to creating logistical nightmares. Kids can’t even look after themselves. If you want to go out with the mother you have to give money to a person who will look after the child. Even then it’s only for a few hours.
You can’t send a child off to boarding school either, no matter how many stamps you put on.
This whole having a baby thing adds up when you look closer.
It also means that many aspects of the relationship are centred around what the kid can do. Bad news, they can’t do much. They have to be in bed like super early, no hitting da clubs when you have a baby. I don’t like clubs too much anymore. Do people have kids to get out of having to go to da clubs?
Either way, you’ll have to become a super planner if you’re going out with a single mother.
Here’s a quick tip. Add an hour onto every activity.
3 You become a sort of big brother
Due there being a kid present you can’t be your usual, just telling it like it is, self. You have to adjust your conduct around kids. This can lead to a strange dynamic as you become this “mummy’s special friend who isn’t daddy”. It can get a bit odd.
Let’s be real, mums aren’t the fun ones when it comes to parents.
They’re the ones who kiss our boo-boos and watch from the window and tell us to “Be careful”. They can be overprotective to a fault at times, but everything they do comes from a deep source of love.
What are dads? They’re the Ying to mum’s Yang. He’s the one pretending to be an elephant or a monster. He’s the one who picks you up and swings you over his head, gives piggybacks and all that. He makes you cry because the rough and tumble can occasionally get harsh at times. That’s not his fault you’re just a kid who can’t handle the banter. Dad keeps pushing your banter handling capabilities. You get better because he pushes.
Now what I’m about to say is not cool, and I’m no expert, but kids need a positive male presence in their lives. Girls, just as much as boys. No one can do it all on their own. Especially raising a kid. Now there are loads of mothers who have done it, and that demands respect. I know I couldn’t do that.
Would I be wrong saying that there are single mothers out there who have a support network? Grandparents have to step up more now than ever.
Then you find that you have to step up also. You do your part you take them on day outs and all that. In the back of your head you remind yourself that you aren’t the father.
So what are you?
You ask where do you fit in all this?
Spoiler, you don’t.
2 Prepare to chew your tongue off
Now I’m not a mechanic. I don’t know anything about car maintenance. I don’t think that I could change a tyre if I had to. Again, I’m not a mechanic. Are you a mechanic? If you are you don’t need to read the next bit.
You’re walking to the shops when you see a car driving down the street. The back half is missing, and sparks are flying everywhere. The windshield cracked, thick black smoke rising from under the bonnet.
Now, my question to you is, do you need to be a mechanic to be able to say “That car might need looked at”?
You do not.
I would also say that you don’t need to be a parent to see that some things aren’t exactly correct.
Here’s the thing, that’s an extreme example. At no point did I see the parenting equivalent of a car in half. I did see things that I didn’t agree with, and the worst thing that I did was voice this opinion.
If you do that you will be treated to the “How dare you, you don’t have a child, you can’t have an opinion”. Don’t get me wrong I understand it was in poor taste to vocalise my issues. I will say that if you hear that speech, it’s time to end the relationship. Don’t be a dummy like me and hang in there for reasons. Wrap it up after that she doesn’t respect you and has told you as much.
I wouldn’t say that in relationships both parties need to be equal. What I would say is that couples should compliment each other. What there does need to be is mutual respect. If she lambasts you. Says that you don’t have a kid or suggests you should feel bad because you know a thing or two, then she doesn’t respect you. She never will.
What you’re about to read is going to sound extreme.
If you get involved with a single mother, consider having kids sooner than later. If you have a kid together, you have a better chance of being on equal footing.
You think that might sound extreme, but I had no inclination to have a child with either of these women. Both those relationships ended
1 The kid will mess with your mind
Before you go, understand this. Kids are genius. They’re super smart. They know exactly what they’re at and they can get inside your head. If you find yourself going, “Do they know they’re doing that?” Let me tell you, they do.
You spent the last week getting a night out organised. The mum has got her hair done and is wearing something without vomit, she looks good. The babysitter has told you to have fun and the cool, crisp evening air greets you as you walk her to the Uber. That’s when the bundle of joy decides to go loco. They’re pulling books off shelves and throwing remotes behind sofas. That’s when her heartstrings get pulled, she doesn’t want to pull the trigger, so you do it, let’s cancel. You send the babysitter home, the bundle of joy gets to sit with mummy on the sofa and watch Teletubbies.
The mum is dozing off while baby sits with a warm bottle of milk sipping away. You’re at the far side of the room wondering do you get her to take him to bed or do you say your goodbyes and go. For a moment you sit and watch the two in the glow of the TV. An image of serenity, mother and child at peace. It’s in that stillness that they child turns their head to you, looks you directly in the eye and smiles.
That’s one way they mess with you, here’s another.
I know I’ve gone on for quite a bit with this post but would you mind reading on because I’m almost done. Last bit, I swear.
When you first start dating a single mother, you try and delay meeting the kid(s) for as long as possible. You say to yourself that it would be hard on them, but eventually, you do meet them. What strikes you is how open and accepting children can be. They don’t question the mother, she’s made a choice, and that’s how things go. As the relationship goes on the kid starts becoming more of a presence. You tell yourself not to, but you bond with the kid. Not in any deep way but you can see that mum isn’t always consistent with her rules. In fact, you sometimes see it as one rule for one and not the other. Not fair but what can you do?
You start to see that the kid has developed their personality. You watch them as they try and figure the world out, something you haven’t managed to do in thirty years. They have their little quirks. They like something the mum hates, or they love climbing into small spaces and just sitting there. You and the kid develop further along. You’re there sometimes when the mum is doing something important.
In the back of your mind a voice says, do you see this lasting? You shrug it off and think you’re silly, but you say to yourself, maybe. It all changes, there is an argument, and you realise that the relationship is over. Just like that, it’s finished. You’re a stranger.
The problem was between you and the mother, not the kid. You wonder if there a way you can tell the kid that but you don’t want to cause any further disruption. Exit the villain because the parental bond is more important than what you had. You then have to erase any photo or any memory that you had. A man with pictures on his phone of a family that isn’t his is downright weird. You see them out, and you look at the kid and wonder will they remember that for a short while you put them first.
You realise that they’ve forgotten you, for the best. That’s when you understand just how insignificant you are in some people’s lives. You vow off single mothers; you tell people that it’s because it’s not fair on the kid, but really, it’s for you.
So yeah, the kid can mess with your mind.
In conclusion, take care if you’re going to get involved with single mothers.