If you are single with children, there can be much pressure on you to date. Family and friends constantly asking about your dating life. Whenever you say “no, I’m not dating” you can always see the immense disappointment in their face.
But what if you don’t want to date right now? Take heart. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to be single when your children are young.
In fact, there are advantages to staying single when your children are young. If this is you, here are 8 reasons to back you up next time that well-meaning family member tries to live vicariously through you.
8 Reasons to Stay Single When Your Children are Young
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1.So many changes happen in our children’s lives when there is a divorce. Having a steady home without introducing new people to the mix helps add stability for your children. My mom was a single mom when my parents got divorced when I was 14 and she never introduced any men into our lives. We had a steady home with her, we always knew we were her number one priority.
2. You are already doing all the things. Being a single mom is completely overwhelming. Single moms are 100% responsible for all the chores, finances, school activities, household malfunctions, car malfunctions, running the kids around, helping with homework (even the part you don’t understand), the yard work, the list seriously never ends! Add a sickness in there and it becomes impossible.
It can seem like a good idea to have a man around! But it’s actually one more thing on your plate. One more thing emotionally that distracts you from the kids. The fact is, our kids need us present more than we can possibly be there. We simply cannot do it all. But the less we have in the way of them, the easier it is.
3. Loneliness is a reason many choose to date. But as this article explains loneliness is normal for all humans – single and married. Rushing into relationships to relieve the loneliness isn’t always the answer.
4. Whenever you add one person to your family unit, it changes the mix. It doesn’t matter if this person is a grandparent along for a vacation or a new partner. The whole family dynamic changes. The way each person relates to each other naturally changes. Sometimes this is definitely for better. But the fact that your bond will change is a factor that needs to be evaluated.
5. Staying single when your children are young enforces for your children that they are the number one priority at this time. You are their safe zone.
6. Dating takes a lot of emotional energy. Energy that can be redirected into all.the.things. Things like running the house, kids, finances and the never-ending list of “single-mom life”. At the end of the day, I feel like I have very little emotional energy left for the kid who still won’t fall asleep!
7. It may be healthier to stay single after a divorce. We’ve all heard that it’s healthier for men to be married but what about women? A study from the Journal of Women’s Health shows the positive effects on women after their divorce compared to when they were married. Of course, take that with a grain of salt as the women in the study were obviously not in a good marriage the first time. However, it does show us how important this life decision really is. Are you and your children ready for you to put in all the time, energy and work required?
8. Some women don’t feel that longing for someone else right now. They dream of doing things with their kids and accomplishing dreams. This can be especially true if she has just come out of a draining relationship. Perhaps God has temporarily removed that desire for you right now to allow you to concentrate and enjoy your children. God’s timing is perfect. Not right now doesn’t mean no forever.
My favorite part of every day is the last 2 hours before sleeping. My kids and I lay in my bed and talk about the day, say prayers, and sometimes just read for the whole 2 hours. We have been doing this for 7 years now. They haven’t outgrown it yet. And I’ve had some seriously difficult times with my kids.
But at the end of the day, even if they aren’t speaking to me, this where they end up. Whenever I think of the future, all I know is I don’t want to disrupt this dynamic. This time is fleeting and they will tell me when it’s time to let go.