For this reason, I wouldn’t introduce the person I am dating to my son as my ‘boyfriend’.That said, it’s easier said than done to keep them totally apart, and often just not practical.But it’s taken me a while and a lot of bad dates to get here. When I first returned to dating, I didn’t mention my son on my online dating profiles, or when I met men in real life.Because of the stigma surrounding single parents and myths I was believing at the time, my subconscious told me I would have more luck keeping my profile baby-free. On my first date after being pregnant, dumped and giving birth – when my self-esteem had hit rock bottom – I sat opposite a man who visibly quivered when I revealed I was a mum and compared my child to his ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease.I’ll never forget the first time I came down the stairs all dressed up to see my baby with his bottle, ready to be put to bed by someone else. But now I know how important my personal time is to keep me sane.A good mum is a happy mum – never feel guilty about wanting time to be you.
Remember, anyone with a problem isn’t worth your time; being a parent is actually a very effective asshole filter.The problem is theirs, don’t waste time feeling like it’s yours.Which leads on to…It’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing you have to explain how you came to be a single parent.If you find yourself in a similar situation, use it to your advantage, and remember: having a child helps you sort people into a ‘worth it’ and ‘not worth it’ pile early on.Finally, a family isn’t incomplete just because it doesn’t fit in with traditional roles.Just because you fancy a date doesn’t mean you are looking for someone to fill a void.Also, for anyone dating a single parent, we aren’t necessarily looking for an immediate co-parent, we are looking for a date – those are two very different things.You’re a mum, yes, but you’re also a woman who wants to flirt and enjoy a nice glass of wine in some adult company.I think it’s important to make clear to the person you are dating that you aren’t looking for any help with parenting.In the early stages of dating, that’s really none of anyone’s business. Know anyone you meet will be lucky to get such a fabulous two, three or however-many-it-might-be-for-one deal.You know your child is the best person ever so why assume another person will feel any different?