Many years ago now, I left my husband and became a custodial parent to an infant and preschooler. Having been a stay-at-home mom for the three previous years, I had to quickly go back to work full-time, navigate the legal system, and cope with an emotionally daunting transition. On top of it all, there was a sense that I had missed my chance at love.
Whether one is a single mom by chance or choice, life and love have gotten very complicated. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about dating and sex as a single mom and no real consensus. There is a lot of fear, shame, and confusion around this subject.
Should I date? When is it okay to introduce a significant other to my children? Is it okay to have someone spend the night? What will other people think? What if I introduce my children to a significant other and the relationship doesn’t work out? What if I don’t introduce them and later find out that my significant other is not a good fit for my children?
Dating, sex and love are beautiful and complex – they are emotional, physical, spiritual, cultural, social, political, and interpersonal. We bring our past experiences, desires, joys, hurts, expectations, beliefs, and hopes. It does get more complicated as we get older, have more experiences, and are raising children. We no longer have just ourselves to consider, but instead also the needs of our children. We have limited time and energy; and hiring babysitters can be both guilt-inducing and expensive. One mother from Single Mommas of the Triangle summed it up well when she said, “Living our best life, sexually and beyond, is challenging.” It can also be worth the effort.
Although there are no “one size fits all” rules for dating, love, and sex as a single parent, here is some basic tips for those just starting out.
Kate is a fully licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with Relationship Restoration and provides weekly clinical supervision to licensed clinical social work associates (LCSWA).
Focusing primarily on relationships, sexuality, and trauma, Kate seeks to meet ALL clients where they are. She has a range of experience in couple’s counseling, sex therapy, trauma work, and mental health treatment. She has a strong focus on issues related to relationship patterns and transitions; improvement in marital satisfaction; affair recovery; trauma; mismatched libido; and sexual pain and dysfunction. Clients with diverse gender expressions and sexual identities are welcomed and embraced. Kate is currently working on advanced sex therapy training through the Institute for Sexuality and Enlightenment’s Holistic Sex Therapy Certificate Program in Northampton, MA. She has completed training for EMDR and is currently working toward EMDR certification.
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