You make the rules.
Many people seem to have an opinion about single mothers, and their advice hen it comes to your private life is: Take up needlepoint. Forget them. A single mother can date, seriously or casually. A single mother can be seen out dancing on a Saturday night. A single mother can even have sex!
Nobody loves a parade
It’s not necessary to introduce your kids to every guy who takes you to a movie. Wait until you’re secure in the relationship before you let your kids perceive someone as “Mommy’s boyfriend.” Have a reliable sitter lined up; you don’t end up bringing children along before you’re ready.
Don’t lean too hard too soon
Resist the temptation to make the new guy a parenting helper right away, Until you’ve actually decided that the time is right, don’t ask him to pick up your daughter or son from School just because it’s on his way from work. “Don’t have him take on parenting roles until it feels stupid not to.
Nothing but the truth
While discretion is recommended, lying and sneaking are not. If you think extramarital sex is okay, when questions arise you should be able to explain to your children (in an age-appropriate manner) why and under what conditions. If you can’t, then don’t do it. Behave as you want your kids to when they reach early adulthood.
Have your priorities straight
Keep your hormones in check when making decisions. Maybe it’s more important for you to be at the school basketball playoffs than away for the weekend with your date.
When you’re out, be out
One way single mothers sabotage relationships and act out their guilty feelings, is by talking about their children constantly while on a date. “Five minutes max,” she says.
Don’t succumb to pressure
My long-term relationship was a lot more than dating and a lot less than marriage and it’s sometimes a little difficult to explain to outsiders. But its right for you and your kid at the time. I did what I thought best, and that’s why I have no regrets.
Leave when it’s time
One of the more trying moments in a single mother’s life is splitting up with someone her kids care about. I know women who have stayed in dodgy relationships “for the kids.” This makes even less sense when you’re not married. If a particular bond is really strong, perhaps there’s a way for that adult and child to maintain a connection.
“Lots of times women are dating perfectly nice guys and their kids are horrible to them, especially if it’s the first guy after the divorce or the first one you get serious about. It’s you. I used to have you all to myself, and now I have to share you.” Acknowledge and accept kids’ feelings. Say, “I love you as much as ever, but sometimes I’m not here when you want me to be. I like to spend time with my friends, just like you do.” Don’t let your kids control you—or try and force them to like the guy, either.