If you’re a single parent, I would imagine that, like shacked-up people too, your kids are probably the most important part of your life. However, that doesn’t mean life should grind to a halt in all other areas. It’s bound to be difficult to find time for dating, heck, it’s difficult for anyone, really, even if there are no kids involved. Here are five ways to help you fit dating into a super-busy single parent life.
1. Open Up Your Dating Life Using Online Dating Apps
If you’re short of time as a busy single parent, then it only makes sense to make the most of your spare moments. Online dating is an excellent way of broadening your horizons, as you can search for promising candidates at a time to suit you. Only once you’ve found a potential date and exchanged a few emails do you need to free up time for a meeting. Most of the major dating sites have sections specifically for single parent dating, and many even have smartphone app options for extra convenience.
2. Enlist Help from Friends and Family – or Even Your Ex
Once you’re ready to set out for that scary-as-hell first date, see if you can enlist the help of friends or family for babysitting duties. If you have no family close by, maybe a fellow mum would be happy to care for your kids for a few hours while you take the plunge? That includes your ex if they’re available – you don’t necessarily have to tell them your dating plans, as that could be super-awks.
3. Good Babysitters Are Like Gold
Babysitters are a more expensive option, and it’s always at a little worrying to leave your kids in the care of a relative stranger. However, if you find a good sitter once you’ve done all the background checks, then treat them like gold and hold on to them. If you don’t know anyone suitable, try a local nursery – junior staff are reliable and often looking for a little extra cash.
4. Go On Child-Friendly Dates
There’s nothing to say you can’t combine a date with a kid-friendly activity, and take your children with you. A trip to a park on a sunny day is an ideal way to entertain your kids while spending a little time with a date in a safe public setting. If you’re worried about your potential date being put off by this, then don’t be: your kids come first, and if your date won’t accept this, there’s no future worth pursuing anyway!
5. Date In Your Lunch Hour
Lastly, who says a date needs to be spent dancing the night away? You could arrange to meet for a quick bite to eat or coffee during your lunch hour. Again, if this doesn’t suit your date, then it’s best for you to know from the get-go that they’re not willing to be flexible – this could save plenty of pain and heartache later on.
Although being a mum is always going to be your main focus, you’re still a person as well as a parent. You have every right to look for a little companionship or romance, and while this may be more difficult than for childless people, it can still be done. What’s more, if the idea of having someone to share your life with leaves you a more fulfilled person, you’ll end up being a far happier around your kids too.