You don't have to choose between your love life and your kids.
As a single parent, the topic of single parents dating resonates with me, as I'm sure it does many of you. Single parenthood isn't easy and those who to do it should be commended. I can't say enough how much I appreciate all of the single mothers out there "making it happen" for their children.
The same goes for the single dads ... we're holding it down as well. You should receive the recognition you deserve for handling the situation to the best of your ability. We should all also be well aware, single parenthood should not be anyone's first choice. I don't want to glorify single parenthood. It should be the last resort.
Dating isn't easy when you don't have children. Add some little ones to the mix and you've got a complex situation.
So what should we do? Well, one thing we shouldn't do is stop dating altogether because children benefit from a two-parent home. Without one, children don't get to see how a good relationship is supposed to work. How then can we expect those children to become adults and create good relationships, when they don't have the tools or the models as examples for them to see while they are growing up? It won't happen.
I heard someone say that if you tell a child to clean iss/her room, but you haven't shown them how to clean it, they will clean it to the "best of their ability" and do whatever they think "cleaning the room" means, but it won't meet your expectations. It's the same with relationships. If you don't see a functional relationship at home, and many of your friends don't have one in their home either, you have no concept of what a successful relationship looks like. You will not have a point of reference to build a relationship if you haven't seen what a real, solid relationship looks like.
It's also important for our own peace of mind to be able to be happy and have people with whom we can have adult relationships. Also remember ... children leave home! In 18 years or so, there will not be someone who needs you to depend on, then in many cases people are looking for something or someone to find value in them.
Don't deprive yourself the opportunity for you to be happy and don't deprive your children the opportunity to see you happy and see how a successful relationship works. It's not easy, it's not magic, but building the cohesiveness and through your collective faith, you will find that dating with a purpose (thanks, Renee!) can be a beautiful breath of fresh air for single people and single parents alike!
© Jarvis J. Hurt/2012
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