Hello Rene -
I am a single mother of two boys. One is ten and the other is four. My children are by two different men. I have never been married but I desire to be.
I spend all of my time with my children because I have no babysitters (limited funds) and my children do not get to visit their dads often (father’s choices).
I don’t know how to be approachable without looking like the desperate mom who wants someone to share her life with someone. Dating has proved to be virtually non-existent. I feel like I will never get married.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s that I want to be married or that I just want to be okay with being alone.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Signed: Alone in Alabama
I’m glad you wrote because you have quite a bit of work to do. It won’t be impossible but it won’t be easy either and it starts by changing your focus. Instead of looking externally, time to turn the microscope inward.
WORK ON YOU: I’m starting with this one because this is the most important. I’m also ripping a page right out of our Good Enough Guy’s playbook but basically in order to GET a good catch you have to BE a good catch.
I hope I’m not overstepping here but you sound like you might be young, under 30 or so. With limited funds and the age of the youngest boy, I’m thinking you may not work outside the home. I’m also curious about your education. How much have you completed? Because let me just be really real here. Look at this from the man’s perspective. He’s a doctor or CEO; will he be attracted to a woman with two boys from two men who doesn’t work and has limited education? I’m not saying that’s the case because there are some parts of your story I don’t know. But you have to have something to offer, other than a great body (which you probably have if you’re young). That will keep a man for about the first 15 days. Then you’re going to need a whole lot more; wit, intelligence, sense of humor, compassion, the ability to carry on a conversation about things other than yourself.
SET GOALS AND BE CLEAR ON THEM: It doesn’t sound like you’re really even sure about what you want so start there. Do you want to be married with all of the bliss, coupled with the muck and mire? Because marriage is hard work, one of the hardest things you will ever do. Not to be a downer, but the statistics on divorce in second marriages or stepfamilies are not encouraging at all. For those reasons, you need to be REALLY clear, committed and certain about this step.
But back to setting goals. I know sometimes life can be overwhelming so it helps to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. I would start a list of big goals, those that will take years to accomplish, and little goals that can be accomplished in a day, week or month. Under big goals, you can put continue education, get a degree, get a good job, save for boys’ education and so on. Under the smaller goals (don’t laugh), they can be, get a shower and out of the house (hey, I know what its like with young children), go to the library, make calls about going back to school, check out childcare options and the like. I have said this before and I believe it; you can’t steer a still ship, so just get moving. Go in any direction and if it turns out to be the wrong one, you can course correct. But you have to start somewhere.
DON’T WAIT TO BE RESCUED: What if Prince Charming never comes along? There are some women who never get married. Will you wait for him, hoping he comes riding up to sweep you away from debt and despair or will you make it happen yourself? My advice; don’t wait. Assume right now that you will have to do it all on your own. You need to figure out a way to not only make it happen but you happy in the process. Lean on family, friends and neighbors for support. Get out on your own, develop a hobby, take a class, do some volunteer work whatever it is but work on you.
Before I go, let me add, it might be a good idea to look into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. if your boys do not have strong, male role models in their lives. And while you’re working on you, one more thing; no more babies by men you’re not married to okay?
Good luck mommy!
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