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    Where Are You Going Mommy? Dating as a Single Parent

    By Kristen Houghton     

    If you are the single mom of a young child the idea of dating can become a major issue. You feel, and rightly so, that your first responsibility is to your child. That goes without saying. But while the wonders of parenthood are great, you still have a need to meet, and spend time with, an adult member of the opposite sex.

    How can you make the polar opposites of parenting and dating gel? You are a different person now than you were pre-child and dating is no longer a spontaneous activity. It is a well-planned, seriously thought out action. Before deciding what you’re going to wear, you have to think about getting a baby-sitter, the chance of date cancellation if your child gets sick, and your child’s emotional reaction to the idea of you going out on a date. It is your child’s reaction to “mommy dating” that needs to be addressed before anything else.

    There are ways to help your child deal with this new phase in her life.

    The best way to prepare your child before you venture out on a date is to be “age appropriate honest.” This means that if your three year old wants to know why you’re going out on a Saturday night instead of staying home with her to watch “Shrek 2,” you give an explanation that a three year old understands. Telling her that this night is for “mommies only” is something she can comprehend. Nothing more need be said.

    An older child gets a more “mature” explanation. They can grasp the fact that mom needs to spend time with other adults. They relate this to their own age group based society like school or sports.

    A good way to prepare your young children for mommy’s first date is to make sure they see you with adult friends and co-workers. They will feel comfortable with the idea of you being with other “grown-ups.”

    Talk openly and honestly about what a date means. Let them know that there are activities for adults only like dancing, late dinners, and social organizations.

    Introduce a date as one of your friends. Be casual because it is casual. This person may or may not be in your life on a long term basis.

    Tell your child approximately what time you’ll be home.

    If you leave before they go to bed, call them once during the date to say goodnight.

    Relax and enjoy yourself. Your child will be fine and so will you.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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