8 Ways Being A Mom Turns Me Off To Dating

­Keeping up the momentum in today’s millennial dating culture is hard enough as it is, but being a single parent only adds another layer to the mess. Here are 8 reasons having kids straight up turns me off to the pursuit of love.

  1. That person may be a future stepdad. I’m not dating to recruit a new daddy for my kids, but this is just the reality of the situation. Whether or not it’s spoken upfront, it is in the back of my mind. I can’t just date thinking I’m only having fun and keeping a good time to myself. I have to be serious in knowing this person could eventually be, at the very least, a male influence in my children’s lives. It takes some of my focus off the immediate and into the long term, even from the very beginning.
  2. It costs a lot to go out. Family and friends aren’t always available, especially if it’s not an emergency or daytime thing. Most middle to older aged parents don’t want to be woken up at 3 a.m. from your late-night outing. The only other option if you have your kids that day is a paid babysitter and on a single mom’s budget, this is not fun to pull off. Not only do hair, nails, makeup, outfit, and transportation cost, it could also be an additional $10-15 an hour at least just to see your boo. It’s worse for the first initial three dates or so when you’re just screening a potential because you could end up spending $30 on a horrible time, complete dud, or worst-case scenario, someone who ends up ghosting you after. It’s a blow to your ego and your budget at the same time.
  3. Going with the flow doesn’t work. There’s little to no chance to be spontaneous, which is kind of an automatic buzzkill. Even if a guy has kids, most still don’t understand the limitations of mothers. Things could be going really well- vibes meshing, sparks flying, convo flowing, then he drops a “love to see you/let’s get coffee/I wanna take you out/I need to see you/etc.” Well, it’s not like you can just hop up and be out just like that. Arrangements have to be made every time and the moment could be lost. It’s even worse if the heat has been rising through sexting and heavy flirting, only to have to call it a night cause you’re on mommy duty.
  4. My patience is way less. Children do a lot of things that make you scratch your head and they don’t listen to save their lives. After being perpetually unheard and basically trying to reason with rocks all day, the last thing I want to do is tolerate poor communication skills, teach someone how to treat me, or be forgiving or immature or impulsive antics. I’m already someone else’s mom, so that’s a hard no, thanks.
  5. My schedule is overloaded. My time is valuable. I have a lot of commitments. I work a full-time job, I’m a full-time parent, and I’m fully exhausted. Staying up late to FaceTime or go on dates is not easy. I don’t have the option of sleeping in the next day and sometimes don’t even get to sleep the whole night without being woken up by someone. It takes a lot to fit someone in my schedule and they need to be worth it.
  6. I’ve lost the will to take risks. Being fun and in the moment is what turned me into a single mom in the first place. Toddlers are the best birth control ever and the thought of chancing more children is unappealing. It can put a damper on physical contact with someone else. I’m just not feeling as frisky as I used to before I had lifelong responsibilities as a result of my previous impulsivity.
  7. I can judge other parents first-hand. Before I had kids, I automatically thought guys who were dads were hot. It didn’t occur to me that they could’ve just had a baby but not actually be good at what comes after. Now that I deal with my own deadbeat situation and know firsthand what a parent, dads specifically, should be doing, I’m more critical towards guys. For example, one dude said his child lived far away while another made no attempt to increase visitation past every other weekend. My children are my world and I instantly lose respect now for people who don’t feel the same about their own.
  8. I’m weighed down by the obvious baggage. I’ve been majorly burned by another guy (my kids’ dad) and that’s hard to let go of. How do you trust again when you already had a whole future and image of a cohesive family unit in your mind and lost that? It’s hard to muster up enthusiasm for risking another big loss like that again.
I’m Cara, not to be confused with Carrie, although you could say I’m a Millennial Bradshaw of sorts. Pop culture connoisseur. Lover of all things creative and passionate about health and personal well-being. Follow me on IG @cara_vale_writer