According to the US Census Bureau, in 2000 there were 9.8 million single mothers in the United States. This means that now, several years later, there are millions of single women across the country that could be entering into new relationships or trying to.
Entering into the dating game with children in tow is a daunting proposition, not only because you are at risk for getting hurt, but so are your children.
After a divorce or death of a partner, it takes time to cope with feelings, heal heartache, and consider moving on to another relationship. Before establishing a new romance, it is crucial that women work through stages of loss and keep in mind that children too are feeling these emotions, sometimes without fully understanding what they are experiencing.
It is also important to remember that children experience time differently than adults, and if you put off telling your children you and your husband were separating until one of you moved out, then it can seem to your child like a very short time between you all living together as a family, and you suddenly dating other people.
Sarah McDonald, 32, is mother to six-year-old Jamie. She says that being a single mother is a lot harder than she thought it would be and she doesn't always feel like she knows the "right answers" to even her own questions. "When I meet someone, I never know whether or not to tell him I have a child straight away or not. There's the chance that he will turn and run immediately or, even worse, wait until he has actually met Jamie and then disappear."
McDonald says that friends in similar situations have advised she be upfront with her dates, always telling them right away that she has a son—and to act accordingly once she has gauged the date's reaction. If he is happy with the situation, they suggest she should continue seeing him, but to take things slowly and always remember that any decision she makes will impact on both her life and her son's.