Yeah, I’m bitter…

“No fatties, No kids!”

“Should be willing to consider having children EVENTUALLY…”

“I’ve heard stories, so… no chicks with pre-existing kids, please. No offense.”

No offense? None taken. Ass.

So, i’ve been perusing the CL listings (as is my wont, whenever I need to assure myself that, yes, i will probably ALWAYS be better off “alone”)and I’m noticing a trend towards gents-who-are-seeking explicitly stating that they don’t want to date gals who are “encumbered.” This got me to thinking. What could possibly be going on that would make the very idea of “with-kids” a deal-breaker? Having nothing but time on my hands, I gave this some thought and came up with a few things that might be considered “challenges” to dating single moms…

1) We can’t be “spontaneous”. Yes. that’s true. Although we are somehow able to navigate a world that calls for getting the big kid’s homework to her at school which she forgot on our ex’s/her other parent’s livingroom couch, checking in with the little kid’s daycare because she may or may not have a fever but they want us to come pick her up anyway because “there’s been something going around” and “it’s better to be safe than sorry!” finding out that we are required to attend an emergency, mandatory board meeting at 6:00pm (which, co-incidentally enough, is when we are supposed to be picking up both children as well as the other kid we watch on Tuesdays so her mom can go back to school) “with drinks afterwards” — but, even so, invite us to “head out on Thursday after work” to go “hang out at the Lake!” so we can watch you and your buddies “get drunk all week-end!” and yeah… we’re probably gonna pass. I’ll let you in on a little secret though. It’s not because we can’t do it…

2) We have a very low threshold for assinine behavior/tolerating crap. Seriously. It’s our god-given/legally-mandated duty to ensure that the five-year-old in our care does not bite, kick, scratch, swear, run into things, jump off of things, break other people’s things, and/or drink so much of anything that they puke. Typically this type of behavior calls for either a time-out or a quick smack to the tushie. Expecting us to shift gears into some sort of resigned head-shaking combined with tolerant smile or even outright applause because you happen to be 38 when you do it… Probably not gonna happen.

3) We’re a lot less likely to “settle.” Now I know this one flies in the face of everything you’ve been taught about “desparate, single moms” looking for a “daddy” for thier kids but I’m out to shatter some myths. I’m a single mom. I’ve talked to alot of other single moms and I assure you, we’re not looking for someone to help raise our kids. We’re looking for someone to hang out with, who’s not gonna add to our current workload. Period. What that means is we’re looking for someone who’s a grown-up. We have the kid part already. If you want to stay at the table you must have enough of your shit together to at least be able to manage your side of your life because, for the most part, we’ve got the rest handled. Oh sure, we may occassionally need some help but honestly, a single non-parent friend of mine routinely makes the men she dates pick up her car for her after it’s been serviced and drop it off at her apartment so she can spend her lunch hour getting her reverse-french mani on! No mom I know, (not even those with reverse french manis) would demand this type of service without seriously thinking about what she would need to do in return in order to not feel horrifically guilty/beholden (a thought process which generally leads to her getting her own damn car becaue really, who has time to put out like that?) Most of the single, non-parenting, gals I know who are my age though, will do just about anything short of shaving their head and singing “god save the queen” to entice some guy into their hoping-to-be-matrimonial bed. I’m not saying they’re necessarily more willing to settle for whatever comes close to their idea of how a future mate should be, I’m just saying single moms have a little more to worry about than whether or not thier boyfriend brought them flowers on valentine’s day/is going to pop the question. If they do, great! if not, well o.k. something to think about but not nearly as alarming as the fact that we’ve just realized the “cover-up” sweater we brought to work just in case we find an otherwise overlooked stain on our “board meeting blouse” somehow got half a slice of wheat toast wrapped into it meaning both sleeves and part of the hem are now saturated with grease/jelly/crumb stains…. Oh. And there is a Santa Claus and he will find you wherever you are!

4) When we love you, we love you. We have been thrown up on, woken up repeatedly at 3am, screamed at, kicked and ordered to produce “lunch!” We’re also pretty good at knowing when to take it personally and when to just let it go. We’re not gonna get mad at you if you lose your job/your car/your hair. We’re more likely to pick you up, brush you off, give you a kiss on the elbow (or wherever else hurts) and send you back into the fray armed with a mostly-nutritious lunch. We may not love you because you drive a mini cooper but you’re sure as shootin’ a hell of a lot closer to getting loved for who you are.

So, I guess, the questions really isn’t “do you want to date a woman who has kids”, it’s more “are you man enough to?” and that’s not just not something your typical single mom can answer for you (partly because she’s busy but also because it might be kind of cute to see you figure it out on your own… Good JOB!)

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