Dating a single mom with kids

"It's important to engage your village, friends, family who can support you with time-sharing and babysitting," Zane says.Parents who have a shared custody agreement may have evenings without the kids that they can use to schedule dates. You fill out a profile and it matches you with other like-minded mothers in your area." A potential friend and someone to swap babysitting with? Dating has changed since you were single, and so have you.Don't have shared custody or family or friends in the area? You're older now, hopefully wiser, and have kids to consider.You can't date the same way now as you did in your twenties, Baumgartner says."Not to say that one should abstain from this kind of activity, but it's best to do it when the kids are not in your custody or [are] at a friend's house." Still thinking of having your new love spend the night when the kids are home?"A good rule of thumb is to do a 'morning after' gut check," Boykin says."How would you feel if your kids came into your bedroom in the middle of the night with this person sleeping over?

It's worth being upfront about the fact you have kids, Zane says.

Whether you're six months post-divorce or six years, there is no "right" time to start dating. If you're dying to get out of the house, call your girlfriends for a night out. If you're looking to get your heart pounding, try some cardio.

"Perhaps a better question than when is why," says Christine Baumgartner, relationship coach at The Perfect Catch. Expecting dating to fulfill all your needs is unrealistic and might attract (or cause you to accept) people who aren't right for you.

And Baumgartner says that single parents need to consider that this may be true.

"I tell clients that having some time for 'just themselves' is important," she says.

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Baumgartner recommends relating it to friendships your child may have had.

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