How To Survive Midlife Dating And Children
Midlife relationships have a unique twist for those raising children because typically women have more of the responsibility after divorce. This in turn leaves little free time for dating. While there are some parents who are able to share the duties 50/50, the most common arrangement isonce a week and every other weekend.
Over the years I’ve watched so many women create huge resentment over this dynamic which can largely affect relationship success. We can all agree that raising children is of utmost importance. However, doing it by yourself can be overwhelming. How can a single mom find the balance between caring for her children and carving out some time to pursue new relationships?
My readers (some of whom have 100% custody) have shared with me that things do get easier as the children get older and more independent. Family support is important but in reality, everyone does not have it. A woman may have to create her own “village” of supportive friends and neighbors for the support that she needs. A woman with sole custody who is also the sole breadwinner may not have the extra money to hire a baby sitter for that much needed sanity break.
You may have lost spontaneity but some creative time management can also help. Where there’s a will, there’s often a way. Use lunch breaks, your “off” weekends (if you have them), summer camp, etc. to spend that time on yourself and new friendships.
And for some, the demands of parenting and providing are so consuming that they may have to put dating on hold for a time. And that’s okay too. There’s no one right way for everyone and certainly no need to feel guilt for whatever path that you think is best for right now.
Remember that patience and understanding are of utmost importance when dating a single dad or mom. Their children (rightfully so) are a priority. There are always going to be emergencies and snafus of one kind or another and you’ll have to learn to roll with those uncertainties in order to make the relationship work. It’s more complicated than dating as a single in your twenties, now you are (potentially) becoming part of a new family group and the process of blending will take some time.