real life

'I have a child, I'm not contagious.'

Jacqui with her son

by JACQUI BARNES

One thing I have come to learn is that dating a mum isn’t for every man. Some men don’t want to know that the girl they are with has been in a relationship serious enough to produce a child. And they certainly don’t want to gaze down at this beautiful, sexy woman and be faced with stretch marks, the evidence of past stitches in intimate places and nasty purple c-section scars!

Some men believe that single mums can’t have a ‘single’ lifestyle and go out and away for weekends as they please (to be fair there are some women who may not be able to but I have an amazing support network). Am I a bad mother for dating? Am I allowed to look for a partner while I leave my son with loving carers?

Mothers are without a doubt the best organizers and planners you will ever meet, and if a lovely man asks me to go away for the weekend I will find a way to make it happen.

Some men believe that children are a burden or a problem. They don’t want to take it on – ladies if you meet a man like that, you don’t want him! Whatever the reason, dating a single mum is not for everyone – and that really is ok. Just be straight with me.

But if you see a stunning woman with a gorgeous smile and a real sparkle about her, you shouldn’t let the fact she has a child stop you from asking her out? You might have a real connection with her. She may be THE ONE. Don’t just walk away. Take a minute. And by the way…I’m not always husband-hunting. Sometimes I just want a good time too. Just buy me a drink or a meal. You don’t have to buy me a ring.

Having my gorgeous son is a huge part of my life and I cannot really remember a time before he was here (I mean I know it existed but it’s a hazy memory). But I still have a full and interesting life. I am who I am because of my view of the world, the people I surround myself with, the activities I am involved in, the books I read and the opinions I form. But mostly I am who I am because – in a dark moment lying in bed crying myself to sleep after my husband left me – I made a decision. I decided that I wasn’t going to be this pathetic creature. I was going to be happy and positive. I was going to be successful and a good mother. I was going to have a wonderful life and date and travel and do all the other things girls in their twenties do.

You may be a nice guy I date for a while. We might keep it casual. Or we might hang out for a little longer. But don’t worry, I don’t want you to arrive on my doorstep with a baseball glove and teach *Jimmy to play catch.

Yes I am a mother, but I’m also a single girl. Having a child isn’t all that I am. It is just a part of who I am (a very important part). But I can still date, have fun, let my hair down and have a few drinks.

Jacqui is mother to a gorgeous seven year old boy, a dater, wannabe world – traveller, blogger (and full time worker). You can follow her blog here and her Twitter here.

Are you single with children? What has your experience been?

Would you be taken aback if the person who you were dating had children?

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