It happened in the blink of an eye. One day I was a married mother of three and just like that, I am a single mother of three. The motherly instinct in me, of course, put the kids first. But once they were settled what was I supposed to do? I felt a lot like a fish out of water. Hobbies and various activities that I had always wanted to do seemed to fill one block of time. Then the question I so wanted to avoid started coming up. When are you going to date? Everyone seemed to have an answer or just the right way to go about doing this.
Dating is one thing but dating as a mother of three children is a whole different animal. The kid’s questions were actually some of the first to surface. Are you going to move in with some man now too? Their father had seamlessly moved right in with the woman he had been having an affair with. It seemed that the boys just assumed I would be doing the same thing. My daughter didn’t agree in the least. She actually asked me to never live with a man again. So how do I find a middle ground?
The New Reality
The hustle and bustle of being a single parent filled a large amount of time. But with each passing month thoughts of resuming some sort of adult life started sneaking in. It was challenging enough going out with the girls for a drink. How would I date? What about the kids? There seemed to be a whole lot of questions and very few answers. The dating world seemed so strange and nowhere that I belonged.
I feared the judgment of family and friends to discuss my thoughts on dating. Online communication and dating apps seemed to be the simplest way to navigate this foreign land. The fear still loomed heavily as to how this would all work. Little did I know that all it takes is sticking your toe in the water a bit for a ripple effect to occur. Messages from friends of the past helped so much to bolster my confidence. I could slowly feel myself morphing from the ugly duckling of an ex-wife to someone that just might have something great to offer.
Where do I go from here?
I have no idea where this path will lead and I am actually finally okay with that. Social media is a great way to get back into the game if it’s been a while or you haven’t dated before. However, the biggest take home is buyer beware. Try to keep the experience as light and casual as possible. There will always be interactions that seem to go full steam ahead quickly and end up leading to nowhere. Don’t get discouraged if there are bad experiences. Stumbles during this process are just another way to learn.
As I have said many times what I wouldn’t do for a fast forward button to life. I am happy to go back and live through whatever I need to if I could just know where I will end up. The kids continue to be more and more supportive of me having an adult life. Even my daughter has decided that it might be okay to let mom have some type of life other than just laundry. To be honest, it is kind of funny to think about dating alongside them in the years to come. We chuckle about our home of single Pringles. And the house rule is that it’s always okay to dig down in the can, because the perfect one just might be at the bottom.