After a few months of dating as a single mom, I learned the obvious: dating as a single mom is hard! I was still hanging out with the Dominican Cutie from Purchasing – and I still had a baby to take care of.
Things had definitely changed. My pre-baby prep time once included picking out a sexy-cute outfit, getting my hair done, getting the appropriate mani/pedi and applying flawless make-up. Prep time was usually a relaxing time. If I was really excited about the guy, it could take an entire day. If my feelings were lukewarm, it would be 3 hours give or take. Then entered baby and “prep time” transcended into another realm. A realm where there is no way of knowing when or IF you will leave the apartment in one, cohesive piesa.
My first date with DCP (Dominican Cutie from Purchasing) went a little like this:
- Beg Mami to babysit without any judgments.
- Convince my then 15-month-old to stop touching Mommy with those sticky fingers.
- Muster enough energy to go out and try not to feel overwhelmed by my crying baby or constantly having to carry my baby.
- Roll my eyes and take it when Mami, becoming frustrated herself, yells at me to feed and change him first.
- Maintain control after my then 15-month-old douses me in Gerber baby food.
- Fight back tears when I can’t find nothing else to wear. There are only baby onesie’s in my dresser!
- Get over the slight guilt and sadness of leaving the baby for the evening.
The list went on and on. Needless to say, my “prep-time” can be summed up to 5 hours of a lot of frustration. At the end of it all, I was too through! I just wanted to stay home and sleep alongside my little boy! Alas, I didn’t. I went on that first date and many more there after with DCP.
Thing is, when you’re a single mom, you have to change your outlook and approach to the whole “dating thing.” So, after our first initial dates, I learned to schedule my babysitting ahead of time – even convincing one of my older sisters to take the baby one night a week so I could spend extra quality time with DCP. I learned to have my outfit picked out and in a separate chest of drawers. I learned that I couldn’t have as much spontaneity as I once had and, most importantly, accepted that this was ok. Lastly, I learned that I needed to get over the stress or resign myself to being an old, lonely woman. And not just any old, lonely woman. But one that owned a hundred cats and smelled like mothballs! Besides, my baby boy didn’t seem to notice or care much if I left for an hour…or 24.
So, yes, the physical act of dating beat the shit out of me in the beginning. It seemed to go a lot easier in my head (and on “Sex and the City”), but I have a pretty good grasp on it now. It continues to be frustrating and something I’m constantly managing, but I’ve chosen to look at it as a means to an end.
Now, if I could only figure out what that “end” is…