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Pass the Gerber! Dating as a Single Mom Is Different Than Just Dating

Mother and Daughter Baby
Flickr Creative Commons.

The Single Life

Pass the Gerber! Dating as a Single Mom Is Different Than Just Dating

When you have to get back in the dating pool post baby you may want to put down the Gerber baby food.

There I was: back at my mother’s with my baby boy. I had dumped my ex a few months after our son arrived.  At Mamis, it was as if I had never left.

During the year I lived with my ex, I had run home so many times after arguments that most of my belongings were already there. I can’t say I wasn’t sad. I was more disappointed in myself, actually. I had been quite the pendeja in the name of love and at this point I was completely disillusioned. I had put up with too much and now I was connected to this guy forever. On top of that, the baby looks JUST like him – so I had to stare at some semblance of his face even when he wasn’t around. I had to deal with people saying, “Ay, pero se parece tanto a su papa,” to which I’d always frown and reply, “Bleh … bueno, he has mi nariz!”

PLUS: Love in the Time of Baby Wipes: Leaving My Father’s Son

Fortunately, dealing with the break-up wasn’t as gut-wrenchingly painful as when I was a younger woman. Now, I had a baby and I had no time to grieve like my “sans child” counterparts. Women without kids could pick up and go to the bar with friends to drink that man right out of their hair. I had to do it in between feedings, naps and Baby Einstein. I felt fat! I WAS fat! And not only was I done with love, but it was done with me. Finding romance wasn’t anywhere on my “to-do” list, and I frequently thought to myself, “Self, you’ll be lucky if you attract a walrus, much less a good man!” Frustrated, I became ever so cynical about men, love and relationships, preferring to concentrate all my energy on my baby.

My life went from shopping at Victoria’s Secret to shopping at Buy Buy Baby, from watching “Oprah” to watching “Little Bear,” and from eating arroz con pollo to sneaking bites of Gerber baby banana food. My poor make-up case was collecting dust and I still can’t speak about my neglected wardrobe without getting all misty-eyed. My love and personal life were in serious disrepair, but whatever, I had the cutest baby under el sol. And I had no interest in raising this baby with my ex or any man for that matter.

MORE: 7 Things to Savor Before Becoming a Mom

However, a year after staying home with the baby, boredom forced me to get a new outlook on life (and to get a new South Beach Diet book). I dropped all the baby weight and gained…a job interview. The best thing about this job interview was that cute Dominican guy I passed on the way out. Como en una película, his eyes found mine and the butterflies I thought were long gone were fluttering again.

Before I realized it, I had changed my mind about finding love again. And just like that…I was a single mother…ready to date.

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Nydia Mata is a photographer and single mom of a little boy who happily shares her journey to love...in the time of baby wipes.

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