Spontaneity Lost: Dating & Single Motherhood

126993076Hey single mums! Do you know what both irks and entertains me? When a man asks me on a date with no notice. WT—

I need to disclose that I never really had "the rule" when it came to dating. You know what I'm talking about. If a guy asked me out on Monday for Friday, that was cool (and super sweet). If a guy texted me Friday for Friday night and I was free, I would totally go. Who cares! I loved spontaneous dating and the thought it could go anywhere! I once met a guy on the train on my way to work and we had brick oven pizza that night.

That all changed when I started dating as a single mum. Dating as a single mum is work—especially when you're a solo single mum, like me and your sweet pea child doesn't routinely see the other parent—which is ideally the best time to date.

Why? You have a free sitter and you don't feel guilty, because your child is with his dad. It's OK to go out, because your child is supposed to be somewhere else. In fact, if you didn't go out on date, or with your girlfriends, you'd probably be sitting home, thinking: Why the hell aren't I taking advantage of this?

I've had to turn off my brain when it came to thinking like that, because my situation isn't changing. My son's dad, married with kids, live four states away. He has no physical relationship with us.

All this really means is that I need a plan if I want to date. And I do want to date. However, gone are the days of spontaneous dating. And I cherish the days of "rando happy hr!"

This past Sunday I received a text message at approximately 10 am. I had already been up with my son for about FOUR HOURS. He was on his morning snack and I was on my third cup of coffee. The day was practically over, haha. When my phone "tinged" with a text I figured it was my dad reminding me about Sunday dinner. Surprise: It was my friend, Joey. 

"Hey, wanna go to brunch and have a super fun day of partying?" 

I read the text and put my phone down. I didn't even reply. This wasn't to be a bitch, it was just a snap reaction to the absurdity of the invitation (I later texted him and said I couldn't make it and added a big XO). 

If Joey texted me on Friday or even Saturday morning I might have been able to drop my son by Poppy's house and go eat eggs. But there's the other aspect of this day date: Partying. 

Joey is a handsome bachelor with no kids. He was likely in bed, sleepy-eyed at 10 AM when he sent me that text. And, by all means, sleep in buddy! I slept till noon on Sundays and enjoyed champagne brunches in SoHo before I became a mum. But my Sunday was already set in stone. 

My son and I spent the better part of the morning lounging around in our jammies watching cartoons and playing with Legos. After a cosy lunch of grilled cheese and soup (he decided he wanted that while he was eating his scrambled eggs at 7 am) we had Spring baseball signups. Then we were going to Barnes & Noble to use a gift card we've had since Christmas. After that, Sunday dinner at dad's that routinely includes good wine, good food and a Checkers showdown. And the rule that everyone wears "comfy clothes." 

By the time we get home it's time for JD to take a shower and go to bed. And it's time for me to watch Bey and Jay on the Grammy's, Girls, and Shameless—shamelessly in my bed by 8:15 in my coveted baggy college flannel PJ pants. 

That is my Sunday. Um, that is every Sunday.

I can't party on SunDAY. The kind of brunch I was being invited to was one where people show up tipsy from Saturday night, drink more, and dance to club music—on tables. 

Those days are mostly gone and here's why. I had an awesome childhood. My parents didn't go boozing and leave us with a sitter and money for a pizza on a SunDAY. 

I'm not knocking dating or even partying as a single mum. I date often! And I danced on a table to ring in my 32nd birthday in 2012. Here's the photo proof. (That's me in the beaded skirt. Cha-yeah!) 

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 9.39.29 AMBut nights like those are far and few between—and glorious. To accomplish such, I leave my son with a family member for a sleepover and plan to sleep out. I return the following morning by 10 AM. My kiddo is always smiling and happy when I find him. And why wouldn't he be? I have memories of dinner at Hot Grill, silver dollar pancakes, and learning to crochet when I slept over my grandparents. 

It's all about balance and being realistic. Sushi, cocktails, and home by 1 am to relieve the sitter: Sure. A well-deserved night of partying with girlfriends and a fun sleepover for my son: Fun. Day drinking on a Sunday? Not for me.

Chime in.