Chances are there a many single mums on WMW. If you are one, you are probably already well aware of the difficulties that come hand in hand with dating and having children. Yes, it can be hard finding a babysitter, or maybe you just are not sure if you want to leave your kids with someone else, but dating when you have kids isn’t easy. The last thing you want is to start to date someone who thinks your kids are baggage, after all, they will come first in your life no matter what.
From what friends have told me, I think one of the hardest things about dating when you have kids, is when to tell your date you have kids? And then more importantly when to introduce them to one another? Basically, both could potentially ruin a relationship before it has even really started but then hey, why would you want to date someone who was either put off by the fact you have kids or didn’t get on with your kids? At the end of the day it is very important to remember to put your kids first.
So, when do you tell your date you have kids? Again, from many hours spent pestering my friend’s for answers, some of them don’t tell their date unless it comes up in conversation, while others feel they should announce it straight away. One of my friends in particular, likes to ask her date to introduce themselves, so when they ask her back, she can respond by saying, “Well, I’m a divorced mum of one, who works as the receptionist at my local doctors surgery and I love cooking…” thereby introducing the fact that she has kids without springing it on them.
Another good way of informing your date that you have kids is to internet date. That way you can set up your profile to indicate that you have children or you can use specific websites that are for single parents who are dating. Make sure that when you meet up it is at a coffee shop or somewhere in public and perhaps arrange for a friend to call you after fifteen minutes so you can escape if you need to.
How about, when will you tell your children about your new date? And introduce them? This can be very tricky, particularly if you have only just seperated from your children’s dad – they may feel that you are betraying them by seeing someone else. I know some parents think that the best approach is to inform their kids from the beginning, while others don’t tell their children at all until they feel that the relationship is going somewhere.
At the end of the day, dating is hard when you have just come out of a relationship whether you have kids or not, but of course having kids makes it harder. You have responsibilities and you have commitments and your date needs to realise this. Being honest and upfront may seem the best thing to do, but it is totally your decision and taking your time is the most important thing for yourself and for your children.