Single Dating Mom: The Day Before The DateChristine Coppa
Last week I admitted to the Internet that one of the hardest things about being a single mom is dating. I recently told my friend, Jemma, I feel like I am living two lives. There is the working single mommy life and the life with my friend. I haven’t introduced JD to him yet, because I’m still getting to know him myself and I need to make sure we work, before we can all work. So, I drive to him (he lives in a really cool city in NJ) and set JD up with safe, reliable overnight sitters. This probably reads like a cop out, right? I’m choosing not to parent and party instead. Read me out.
Some of the comments from last week’s blog insinuated that I have people to “take” JD and more help than most single moms. Correction: I have family that loves us. Dating or not, they would be up my a*s regardless. I am definitely fortunate that family is down to host sleepovers—it makes dating safer (drinking), easier (no sitter to pay) and fun! As for more help: I went to college and have a career. I have a pretty even level of “help” when it comes to parenting, compared to my mommy friends. I am completely independent and thrilled to be. Counting my blessings daily.
I’m kind of getting to do what JD’s father did after he promised to stick around: Date, spend a morning after with someone—function on somewhat of a normal single woman level. One commenter and fellow babble blogger, Amber Doty, said: “I’m married and it sounds like you get out more than I do. I don’t remember the last time my husband or I spent a night away from the kids that wasn’t on a business trip. I believe it was three months ago. I don’t think I’ve lounged on a Sunday and read the NYT since my son was born 6 years ago. And all the ‘hardest things’ you mention are hard in a two-parent household as well. Potty training, finding childcare, and 2 AM feedings are difficult for all parents, not just single moms.”
I luckily do get out more than her—and it’s because she’s already secured a partner, a husband and admitted to not having any sitters. Even when family can’t help, I have mature ladies in my phone that I rotate. I think dating, single or married comes down to one thing: Do you want to? Does your man wanna take you out? Are you down to get pretty and go dancing? See, I am—even after, yawn, working all week and raising JD solo.
My married friends Amy and Ed often drop their daughter who is JD’s age off at a Saturday parents survival night hosted by a local kiddy gym. Ed picks up takeout and comes home with it. Amy and Ed dine, have wine and watch a movie in somewhat peace (their one-year-old is home with them, but usually sleeping). I love seeing Ed’s Facebook statuses when he’s out with my bestie Amy. They say something like: “Dinner with my hottie.” My other married friends Lauri and Rob crack me up. Check out Lauri’s FB status from this past Friday: “Must be a serious date night – Rob vacuumed the car and washed the windows…” (They have 2 girls). I just think whatever your relationship status, you can squeeze a date in—and your kids will thank you for it.
“One of my fondest memories of my mom was watching her put her lipstick on before my dad took her on a date,” said Amy. “It was because she wanted to go out and was happy!” I too remember laying on my mom’s bed watching her get ready. My grandparents would come over and take us to The Hot Grill.
This doesn’t mean we’re not involved parents, or have more help, just because we date and get out without the kids. Take a look at my day before I went on my date. Prior to having a kid my day-before-the-date consisted of beauty rest, a mani/pedi, buying a new outfit, a disco nap, hair (sometimes a blowout at a salon) pre game cocktail at my apt … then off I went full of energy!
When I got to my date’s on Saturday I collapsed on his couch and demanded wine. We chilled and listened to music, then went to dinner and for drinks with friends. I yawned throughout. LOL. It was a great time and I felt ready to conquer life when I picked up JD the next afternoon.
Rise ‘n Shine 1 of 7JD woke up at 5:45 AM, sigh. He played with his iPod touch in my bed and watched cartoons. I fake slept and was dragged out of bed to play blocks (and drink massive amounts of coffee) at 7-ish.
Soccer! 2 of 7Nothing like soccer on a crisp Fall morning at 9 AM.
Sneaker Shopping 3 of 7We hit up Richard's in Wayne. My parents took my brothers and me there when we were kids. JD got Nikes and Converse. (His mother's child.)
Brunch 4 of 7Shoe shopping worked up an appetite. Off to Manhattan Bagel we went. Yum!
JD’s First Karate Class 5 of 7JD loved his Karate birthday party so much that I signed him up for classes! (He got the cutest uniform, too!)
Toy Store Run 6 of 7JD got a $40 gift card to Toys 'R Us from a classmate, so I let him go CRAZY!
Family Time 7 of 7My dad and his girlfriend, Karen had a sleepover with JD on Saturday so I could go on a ... date. I spent all afternoon with my son and family, eating, playing and relaxing—then I fled at around 5:30 PM to get ready. They ordered Chinese, played and watched cartoons. JD was passed out by 8 PM.
What is your day like before a date? Do you go on dates?