Fortunately, single motherhood has come a long way since the 1977 movie The Goodbye Girl, about a divorced mother and her daughter who are forced to move in with an off-off-Broadway actor. And hopefully, we’ve overcome the “scandal” of Murphy Brown.
Still, it can still get complicated for a single mom who wants to have sex again. After all, married moms don’t have to worry about being judged if they’re having sex with their husbands. What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom, right?
BabyCenter recently asked its readers, “Should Single Moms Have a Sex Life?” Some of the comments on that story might shock you.
“When you choose to have a child, you commit to putting yourself second for at least the next eighteen years,” says Carolyn. “You made your choice long ago and you can start putting yourself first again when you’re an empty nester.”
Other readers agreed with her—that single moms should simply devote themselves to their kids and abstain from sex.
“Date, find the right person, and have sex when you’re married,” writes Nils. “Call me old fashioned … but sex is for husbands and wives, not people you meet and date.”
“Do I have a problem with single moms having a sex life?” adds Laree. “Yes I do.”
I couldn’t disagree more with these women.
Happy Mother Equals Happy Child
When my baby was seven months old, her father and I split up. He left the country to start a new life. I was a hormonal, heartbroken, twenty-eight-year-old. But two years later, in between working and mothering, I decided that I deserved to be loved again. Doesn’t everyone?
Of course, you’re the kind of mother who puts your kids’ needs first. You probably have lunches packed before bed. You might wake up thinking about what to cook for dinner. You dole out goodnight kisses without a quota and always find the energy to read just one more story. You pay the bills on time. You make sure that your kids’ homework is done on time—and done well. You have a savings account. You schedule dentist and doctor appointments.
But let’s face it, somewhere buried down deeply, there’s a woman. You miss being touched. You want to feel a hand on the small of your back. After packing the balanced school lunches and reading one more picture book, how about you?
“You’re entitled to a life after the kids go to bed,” says Dr. Leah Klungness, author of the bestselling book, The Complete Single Mother.
The key to dating again as a single mom is simple, according to Dr. Leah. “Keep [your] private life separate from your children’s lives.”
Single Mom Seeks Date
Motherhood, it turns out, makes the search for the right guy way simpler. How? Because dating as a single mom makes you more discriminating. The stakes are so high now because it’s not just about you.
Now that you’re a mom, you’ve learned how to trust your instincts. You recognize red flags and you know a deal breaker when you see one. Your time is precious. You’re not going to pay for a sitter just to share dinner with some self-centered fool.
Perhaps you’ve got your eye on someone and he’s looking back. Maybe another mom at school has offered to fix you up, which is a great way to “pre-screen” a guy. Now what?
There’s one magic word here: planning.
Behind Closed Doors
This means that you muster up every bit of patience to talk to your new “friend” on the phone after hours, behind closed doors. Share new developments about your new guy with your girlfriends—and not with your kid.
If you have a tween or teen, you might consider “sharing a simple word or two about this guy to start an important conversation,” says Dr. Leah. “It’s important to talk about your life with your older kids. No need to spill every last detail—or make your tween or teen a confidante.”
“This is the perfect opportunity to talk about our own attitudes and beliefs about dating, sex, and other hot button topics,” says Dr. Leah.
The bottom line is, have boundaries.
… Which Brings Us Back to Sex
Locking your bedroom door is often easier said than done. For many single moms, the idea of “locking” your kids out might make you feel guilty. Also, putting a new lock on your door—whether it’s fixing the doorknob to lock or adding a simple hook and eye latch—often simply never gets done.
But Dr. Leah encourages single parents to put locks on their doors. “Putting a lock on your bedroom door is plain old common sense. It’s the same safety precaution you use when kid-proofing latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors.”
You deserve to be satisfied, whether it’s with your Buzzy friend or with a man. You simply need to plan the rendezvous so it’s private and confidential. Maybe you and your new guy both have kids and need to get creative. (Sex in the car, anyone?) Lastly, make sure you always have protection. Enough said.
Originally published on SingleMomSeeking