Having A Child Doesn’t Make Me Undateable

Having A Child Doesn’t Make Me Undateable ©iStock/vgajic

Dating is harder than ever now that I’m a mom. I think I finally find someone who could be ‘The One’ and I spend most of my time navigating the path of, “Will it work? Won’t it? Are we really compatible? Do we have a future?” And if that isn’t hard enough, I need to add a child into the mix and we come as a package deal. That doesn’t make me undateable, but a lot of guys seem to have issues with the following:

  1. My Child Will Always Come First. There is no exception to this rule. I’ll always put my child ahead of anybody I date and form a relationship with. If our plans get in the way of my plans with my child then it’s our plans that will be put on the back burner. If I feel you’re not an appropriate role model to be around my child, then the odds aren’t in your favor for a second date. Capiche?
  2. There will be times I make last minute cancellations. Life with children can be unpredictable. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun and it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but it does mean that illness and injury can get in the way of other plans. I make no apologies for abandoning our plans last minute if my child needs me.
  3. Sleepovers Aren’t Negotiable. There’s no fast route to the bedroom here. If I allow you into my house and around my child, it means I see you as trustworthy, reliable and safe. Knowing you for five minutes isn’t going to give me that kind of reassurance, so unless you’re willing to put some time and effort into what we have, it’s probably best to keep walking.
  4. Our Dates Will Probably Be Interrupted By Phone Calls Home. Making phone calls mid-date is generally rude and I understand this, but I promise once I make that call and I’m reassured that everything is okay, I’ll relax and enjoy the rest of the night with you.
  5. You Just Have To Deal With The Fact That My Ex will Be A Permanent Fixture In My Life. I know this isn’t easy for a prospective beau to accept, but exes come as part of the package deal. Cutting my ex out of my life is not in the best interest of my child. In the early days, it’s easy to ignore this part of the relationship — it’s finding someone who can accept this long term is always going to be the challenge.
  6. If You’re The Type Of Guy That Needs All Of My Attention All The Time Then I’m Probably Not The Girl For You. I am not an affection scrooge by any stretch of the imagination, but I will have moments when I can’t reciprocate as soon as you want me to. If I have to choose between answering your latest text or pausing mid-conversation to settle my child, I’ll always choose the latter. If me doing this causes you to have second thoughts about my, or your, level of commitment then I’m probably not right for you.
  7. I May Forget That I Don’t Have To Parent You Too. I won’t lie, there’s a strong possibility that we may be out to dinner one night and I will suddenly reach across and cut your food for you. Please don’t take this as a sign that I think you’re incompetent — some habits are just hard to break. I spend countless hours cutting food and prepping it for another human being so it can easily be consumed, crossover into other parts of my life are a given. I promise to draw the line at wiping your nose.
  8. It Won’t Be A Walk In The Park. I won’t hide the fact that it’s going to get a little rough sometimes. It will seem like I am being selfish and not always considering the feelings of those around me. I might even come across as controlling and overbearing about what will and won’t happen, but I can promise that WE are worth it.
Maggie is a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia. When she isn't swigging wine straight from the bottle, she is busy procrastinating on her housework. Currently working on her first novel, she is also the creator of The Reverse Housewife and regular contributor to Hub Garden.