Are you solo parenting but ready to enter the single parent dating scene? The following tips will help you to prepare for your first date.
1. Who will care for your kids?
Hopefully, you have a way to access free babysitting whether through family members or trading childcare duties with other families. If you don’t have this situation, you will need to find reliable babysitters. Try to find at least two so that you have back up if one is not available and be sure to use both regularly so that they see you as a steady client.
2. Who will you use for your emergency backup?
Always provide your sitter with another number of someone who could be there quickly in case of an emergency if you cannot be reached. If you have older children who can stay home alone, make sure they know who to call if you are not available.
3. When can you date?
Maybe the other parent takes your kids one night a week which would be ideal for a night out. Often, you will have to get creative about finding time. If you work, consider using your lunchtime or sneak in a quick meeting before or after work while your kids are still at childcare. If you have a child that attends sports practices or music lessons, you may be able to squeeze in adult time for the hour or more that your child is otherwise occupied. Visits to houses of friends and sleepovers can also offer opportunities.
4. Where will you meet?
Unless you have been seeing someone for awhile and are ready to get him or her involved with your kids, you will probably want to meet outside of your home if the kids are there. In the early days of being with someone new, meeting at your destination can be a good idea so you are not riding in a vehicle with a virtual stranger. Or, you may want to have him or her wait in your driveway rather than come into your home.
5. How much time will you devote to dating?
If you have met someone wonderful, you may be tempted to spend all of your free time with him or her. Your children still need your time and those undone household tasks can quickly get out of hand. Decide how much time is realistic to spend away from home and keep to it as much as possible even if your significant other pressures you for more time away from your kids. You will quickly grow to resent a new love interest if you end up neglecting your other responsibilities.
By following the tips above, you should be ready to begin your single parent dating adventure.