Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I am a single father of twin girls. What type of woman is right for me? Should I only date single Moms because of our shared responsibilities? How do I make time to date and not feel like I should be at home doing chores? Thank you!
Dear Single Pops:
I would think that mothers would be more supportive and understanding of your time constraints because they have the same issues and children to care for as well. Single women with no children often think life is about clubbing, shopping, hitting every party and hanging out, having all your attention focused on them, or having you spend all your money on them. So yes, I think dating a single parent with one child (a girl) slightly older or younger than your daughters is your best bet. Alternatively, a woman that has no children but shows a great interest in her nieces, cousins or other young children in her family (frequently picking them up to babysit, offering to take them places and spend time with them) would be a fabulous second choice. Why? Because she has already demonstrated that she can love and care for children that are not her own.
Have you ever gone to one of those Parents Without Partners meetings? They are nationwide. Meet-Up.Com offers many different types of gatherings for single men and women based on hobbies and interests, and can get you out there in an environment where you’ll at least feel comfortable with what’s going on. And if you take your daughters to kiddie events or the park you will usually see single Moms there with THEIR children. Strike up a conversation, or ask a woman for advice on raising girls or doing your daughter’s hair. You will be in like Flint!
I would suggest making time to date just one day a week to start. Get a babysitter and get the kids used to you going out on say every Friday night. Start with just going to a movie by yourself or to go have a few beers and watch the game with a buddy – the idea is to get the girls used to you being away from them regularly and for a set period of time.
Then you can expand that to going on a date and maybe dinner or lunch if a matinee. When you DO have a date, schedule it for that block that you’re usually gone and the kids won’t know the difference. Eventually you would get to the point where you and your lady would do things together WITH the kids on weekends, as well as during the week. Occasionally you will be able to get away for dinner in the week with the help of family and friends that will watch the kids for say 2 or 3 hours.
It won’t be easy, especially if your children are very young, but it CAN be done with some creative thinking, good time management, a crew of dependable babysitters that the girls adore (and backup babysitters), and open discussion with your children about how daddy is lonely and needs a lady friend to talk to and to be with other grownups sometimes.