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I'm A Single Parent & Dating Seems Like Too Much Work

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I do not mean to reduce dating to a mere chore, but I’m sure you get what I mean. I want to drop everything else and enjoy a quiet evening with someone, but it all just feels somewhat complicated at the moment. Where do I even start? Dating as a single parent seems unbelievably problematic in just about every way that something could be difficult.

It has been three years now since my ex-husband and I broke up over a corn casserole that I refused to eat. There were other issues with the relationship, but corn casserole was the straw that broke the camel's back. My ex’s great aunt made corn casserole every 4th of July that my ex thought was delicious. It did seem tasty, but I refused to try it because I did not really like corn casserole. An argument erupted that spiraled into the end of the relationship.

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When we parted ways with my children’s father, many changes happened in my children’s lives. It was a sad, stressful and confusing time for the children. Adjusting to many new circumstances at once was difficult at first. However, creating regular routines at each household and regularly communicating to the children what to expect, gave the children a sense of calm and stability. Maintaining routine meant continuing to follow the rules, rewards, and discipline with the children.

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Nonetheless, I knew that I needed to have a steady home without introducing new people to the mix. I had to help my children adjust to the change by providing as much stability and structure as possible in their everyday lives. To do this, I knew that I needed to take care of myself so that I could continue being there for my children.

Against the odds, I have a rewarding career, loving children, and a peace of mind. After living through that dreadful experience, I set standards that would be hard to live up to. My future partner would need to be honest, dependable, respectful and kind. While there could be single people like this on the market, they might be more challenging to find.

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Moreover, I am pressed for time, and I cannot easily free up an evening for a date. When I get home, my children meet me with endless stories about how their day at school was. These are moments I always look forward to, and I would not want to deny them, or myself, such precious moments. Dating would mean constantly juggling and negotiating the needs and wants of multiple people. Additionally, it means finding time to make commitments with another person regularly.

Everyone needs breaks from parenting to enjoy a romantic dinner once in a while. In that regard, I believe there will be plenty of time to date when my children are all grown up. Moreover, my children would not be open to having a new dad in their life at this point. Also, time away from dating has given me time to look at things more honestly and realistically.

Considering the fact that I have to pay for sitters, laundry, and to get my hair done regularly, I do not have a lot of financial resources to go out on dates. Consequently, scheduling trips would be hard, and that is an essential thing for relationships. Nevertheless, the little I manage to save up for leisure activities goes into trips and camp-outs with my children.

While I’m a positive mother who likes to put an optimistic spin on things, I have no desire to find a new man at present. That’s because I have become accustomed to putting my children before my own wants. I'm not a perfect parent. I'm not sure I have ever done anything to perfection while raising my children. However, I have learned to make a plan of how to stay on top of my most important priority, my children, to have a better success rate.

Somewhere along the way, I will find someone when I am good and ready. A period when I will have enough time for him between work, my grown children, friends, and my active social life.

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