How to balance being a single mom and dating

I was a hormonal, heartbroken 28-year-old, and in between work hours spent editing textbooks, I nursed Mae and mashed up baby food. It didn't help that there were no single-mom role models in my life -- except, say, Madonna, who was also parenting solo at the time., I used to think, but I hardly had a superstar's life.Not to mention navigating the complex emotions surrounding solo-parenting, which can be just as tricky.There’s a novelty and awkwardness for many situations, like starting to date again or introducing a new partner to your children.When you think of a single mom on the dating scene, visions of a 20-something who can barely balance her own checkbook (guilty) probably don’t come to mind.But, believe it or not, not all of us single moms are recent divorcées scrolling through silver fox profiles on Match.However, there are a few things childless men should keep in mind when deciding whether they are ready to date a woman with a child, or children. Figure out if you like or want kids BEFORE dating a woman with children.

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He left the country -- without saying goodbye, I might add -- to start a new life.

I'm hoping to change all that, but the mere thought of entering the dating world in earnest is scary as can be. Waiting too long to start dating GIPHY As a single mom, you want to know that a prospective boyfriend can interact well with your children — but making the introduction is a tricky situation."Introducing the children too soon can set the stage for a modern tragedy," says Cantarella.

To remedy my fears, I turned to seasoned dating coaches, Julianne Cantarella, MSW, and Elisabeth Lamotte, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert, to figure out the biggest dating mistakes single moms make (and the smart moves that should replace them). "It's not only the woman who can be hurt if the relationship ends, but the children as well." A savvy single mom should wait as long as possible before introducing her kids to the potential boyfriend and never make the intro around the holidays, the experts advise."Women should gain a sense of her boyfriend's interaction based on how he treats her and possibly his own children if he has them," says Cantarella, who suggests erring on the side of caution.

While some supermoms make it look easy to balance a career and personal life with the awesome responsibility of raising another human others admit it’s exhausting.

Having a sounding board or advice from those who’ve been there before can be a real help. A number of them have taken to blogging to build communities and share their experiences, advice, strategies, and support.

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