Re-entering into the dating world I’ve experienced something I never had before. Prior to 2004 it went sort of like, guy and girl meet, guy and girl like each other, guy and girl get together. Easy peasy. Now, I’m dating under a different set of circumstances and everything is not so cut and dry anymore. I’m bringing new things to the table. My life has taken on the some extra permanence in the form children.
Prior to becoming a mom, I never really thought of the possibility that I would endure dating exclusion on the basis of having a child. I mean, my mom had post-child relationships. I should be able to do the same. My brothers and I weren’t an issue to the men my mom dated. No big deal, right?
Welp, no big deal. Yup, I said it, no big deal.
See, I’ll never take issue with someone else’s preferences. Whether someone likes me or not is not my concern so long as they have an accurate perception of me. Once someone has the correct perception of me and chooses not to buy my brand, that’s perfectly fine with me. Save your money.
Now, things get twisted when it comes to the topic of children and the refusal to date women who have them. Usually when a man declares that he will not date a woman with children it’s followed by a myriad of blanket statements. Statements that I don’t appreciate because they are, for the most part, not attributable to me. One could easily counter that I could just keep it moving and ignore it because I know it doesn’t apply to me. I get that. But, I have a serious issue with being placed into a stereotypical box where I know I don’t belong. I expect to be judged on my individual character and not on the anticipated behaviors of others who fall under the category of “single mom.”
People who know me well know that I do not discuss my children at length with people I don’t really know. I also make it a point to NOT sell myself or my lifestyle to any interested, but skeptical men. If you’re feeling me, the me you’ve taken the time to get to know, I should not have to. And I never will.
Here I’m about to debunk a few common single mom stereotypes, assumptions and judgments that I’ve encountered.
1. Baby Daddy Drama
I am convinced that this is the #1 reason men avoid women who have children. What men don’t get is that, girls have baby daddy drama. Also, women who are still caught up on their baby daddy most likely have drama. Properly assess the situation and whom you are dealing with before proceeding. You can’t take one ratchet situation and apply it to the collective.
As for me, I don’t have a baby daddy. I may use the term in jest, but it is an inaccuracy as it pertains to my situation. I consider myself to be a woman and I loathe drama and dramatic situations so yea, no. Next!
2. Playing Daddy
If this is not the most VAIN assumption of them all? Now, I do believe that there exists a subset of women out there looking to be saved, and every dude she brings through the crib is some form of daddy or uncle to her kid. Do I believe that this is the majority? No. Let’s backtrack to the vanity part of this. I’d like to know what makes a man think that he would be chosen for such an integral role in the life of somebody’s kid?
I don’t even discuss my children with the men I meet because I consider my children to be a personal joy. I’m not going to spill my whole life story to someone I just met and essentially, these kids are my life. If I don’t even know if someone is a good match for me yet, WHY would I expose them to my children in any capacity? I have met men who have had the intention of getting closer to me by attempting to show an interest in meeting my children or by lauding my role as a mom. DO NOT try it. You WILL #fail.
Also, I may be a single mom because I am a mother who is single. But I avoid the term single parent because I am not solely parenting my children. Meaning, they have a father. So I don’t take nicely to allusions that I or they need saving. If we’re dating, just be my date and don’t worry about my spawn. Thanks in advance.
3. Damaged Goods
Uhm, yea, don’t insult me. I respect the men who say “I would like to start fresh with my own family.” I can dig it. I don’t attack people’s preferences. However, I don’t like being negatively labeled. Do not consider a single mom damaged goods because she made the decision to have her baby. If you are going to pass such judgment, I hope you are also judging women whom you are no longer with but who may have aborted your baby. I hope you are judging the “undamaged” woman you decide to be serious with who may not have a child solely because she’s had an abortion. I hope you are judging yourself also.
Women have the right to choose. If a woman chooses to not have her baby she shouldn’t be shunned in society and if a woman chooses to have her baby she shouldn’t be shunned in society. But if you are going to judge one, judge both.
4. Sons of Single Moms
If this isn’t the most confusing one of them all? I’ll repeat, I totally understand a childless man wanting to begin a fresh family. What I don’t understand is how men who are the product of single mom households could possibly consider a single mom damaged goods or “undateable.” To me, this says “my father isn’t around but because of me, my mom isn’t worth someone new coming into her life. I’m not worth having another man step in to try to do what my father couldn’t or wouldn’t because I exist.” Makes sense to you? Yea, me neither.
I believe we all place people into categories of where we want them in our lives. Normal stuff. Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend of men who say they will not seriously date a woman with children but they will have sex with one. As if that is all we are worth. So, I should just forget the fact that I managed to work a full time job, care for two children and still graduate college with honors? Oh OK. If a man thinks for one minute, that I’m just going to sleep with him because in his mind, he feels that I’m worthless and I should just be happy he’s entertaining me, he’s out of his mind. No need to pursue me for anything at all, the ratio is on your side.
Somebody once told me that a single mom should be happy that a man is even approaching her. It’s so funny that all of the people who make these asinine comments are childless; and a large portion of that group wish they had some.
I don’t envy them.