Being a single mom and attempting to get back into the dating world has really justified Britney Spears’ meltdown for me. As if my twenties aren’t enough of a journey already, let’s add a little spice to it. I tend to fill my free time with Netflix marathons and harassing my sisters to avoid the agony of a first date, but every now and then I do the unthinkable. I try to just forewarn people of my downfalls up front, I’m terrible at texting back, I am fluent in sarcasm and salads make me very sad. As a parent, you have to keep your priorities in check and sometimes people don’t respect that or even understand it. I am far from any type of expert on this subject, but on behalf of some single parents out there I just want to mention a few of the basic etiquette tips for dating someone who has a munchkin:
1. Time is valuable. Between being a mom, working full time, and trying to finish school time is something that I never seem to have enough of. What little free time I do have, I certainly don’t want to have it wasted by someone playing games. If you’re going to play musical chairs and rotate your feelings every week.. BYE.
2. No, My parents can not watch my kid. Nothing makes me lose interest like someone suggesting you ditch your responsibilities as a parent to go out. I actually love spending time with my kid and often warn people that the majority of my days and nights are spent being a mom. It’s called being a parent and if that makes you uncomfortable and doesn’t fit your lifestyle, then sorry. Door is right there don’t let it hit you on the way out.
3. Liking kids and raising kids aren’t the same thing. It’s really nice that you bring up how awesome you think kids are and ask questions about them, but wanting to score brownie points and genuinely being interested in someone’s child is pretty transparent from the beginning. There’s more to parenting than playing with toy cars and riding bikes, it’s a lot of responsibility and these days you really have to be careful about who you let as an influence around your children.
4. Yes, I’ve seen every episode of SpongeBob. And my purse has ninja turtle figurines in it and you will probably find a couple of legos in my backseat. I also know how to put a Hot Wheels track together and build a blanket fort. I also probably enjoy the arcade way too much and yes, I often use my child as justification for buying double-stuffed oreos. There is no room for judgement on this struggle bus.
5. We’re already raising a child, we don’t need to raise you too. As blunt as that sounds coming out, it’s really the truth.
6. If my ambition makes you uncomfortable, you might want to go. Even halfway through my twenties I still have a list of goals and saying I’m determined is an understatement. Settling just isn’t alluring to me and if I want something I have to go after it. Turning the volume down on that just isn’t an option for me.