***DISCLAIMER - I have not slept with/dated all of these men and introduced them to my child. This article is for ENTERTAINMENT purposes only!! If you are offended by anything you see here please refer to a dictionary and look up the word "entertainment." That being said it has an element of truth. You are not required to date all of these men and not all blondes are dumb. Thank you for your time.****
There are days as a single parent where you resign yourself to a lifetime of singledom. Those are the days where the fruits of your womb have destroyed the house or had an average of 2.5 tantrums per hour. There are days where you have to deal with the fact you have discovered urine in a cup (yes let's just be blunt here) or snot all over your leg. The toilet's backed up again because your darling angel decided to stick the entire cast of the Justice League down it. There are days where you just lock yourself in the bathroom and count the minutes until the CBeebies bedtime hour. As you dispose of bodily fluids, sick covered clothes, and scrub food off walls you can't help but wonder, "What kind of man would want to deal with this?!"
After a few google searches and Reddit threads entitled, "Do men like single mums?" You have decided that you are just going to have to be alone. After seeing the words "slut" and "gold digger" over and over you label yourself as an undesirable and encumbered hag, with stretch marks and a stomach flap that stores small items.
But wait. There's a day, where you put your makeup on and wear those skinnies that make your arse look great. The spawn are at nursery and you head into town. You start to notice men looking at you. What is this? You check behind you to make sure Pamela Anderson isn't there. No it's you sweetie, they are looking at YOU. Hooray! You ARE a real woman after all! With renewed confidence you see yourself getting back in the game. You can do this girl.
You tentatively download the latest dating app after the kids have gone to bed. Illuminated by the light of your phone in the darkness you scroll through the Gavins, the Harrys, the Jakes. "Micheal, 18, Unemployed" nope. "Gerry, 35, looking for fun," nope. "Dave, 27, all about the GAINZ!!" Nope.
Just as you are about to give up, there he is. Handsome, check. Career? Check. Witty quip in bio? Check. Not 18? Check, check. You swipe right. It's a match. Wow easy as that right? Wrong again girlfriend.
Here's what to expect from your dating adventure, from one single mother to another. Don't say I didn't warn you. 😉
At first you are relieved and excited to find out about that he doesn't care about your kids. In fact he seems keen to meet them! You date for a while and he eventually does meet them. He's on the floor playing with Hot Wheels, using words like "buddy" and "sport" and offering to watch your child while you go to yoga. Just what you've always wanted? No, the reality of insta-dad is his moves are designed purely to ingratiate himself with you. He thinks by winning over your child he wins you over too. Once he realises that the Daddy daycare routine doesn't fly with you he will ditch your kid faster than Speedy Gonzales. No loss, he was a creep anyway!
2. The Single Dad
For practically reasons, this one is a winner. The pressure is off and he totally understands if you just want to vegetate in your bed at 7pm. You can have fun days out with the kids and moan about the trials of parenthood and your terrible exes. You can go halves on a sitter and go out somewhere for the evening. Except, when you reach the bar, you find yourself shifting awkwardly in your seat. Oops... you have nothing in common with this guy except parenthood.
3. Mr. Funzo
This one takes you back in time to child free days. You dust off your heels and dance until 3am (thank goodness for grandmas). You discover that you can still do eight shots of tequila in a row and not throw up! (Close though.) Mr. Funzo is happy to foot the bill and you end up playing knock down ginger at the end of the night. When all is said and done you wake up, bleary eyed. You can do both? You deserve some fun girl! Except you can't, because the washing isn't done and you have to pick the kids up in half an hour. Mr. life and soul of the party is dribbling in a coma in his "fun guy" pants next to you. Your hair smells like kebab. You feel awash with guilt and shame. Your head thumps in the shower. Maybe try a night in? Mr. Fun agrees, but spends the whole night on his phone, bored. You're bored too. This guy has nothing to say without alcohol and wants to listen to dubstep at 1am. You just want to read your book and have a nice bath. Thanks but no thanks.
4. The "Dream" Man
He's perfect on paper, and after a string of duds you are quite relived to discover he is quite normal. He's handsome and a gentleman and is respectful of the fact that you have kids but doesn't pressure you into meeting them. Everything's going well except one thing. There's no chemistry. You want so badly to rip his clothes off but you can't. Typical.
5. The "I've almost had enough now I'm just getting myself a toyboy."
Ah, the innocent adoration of the early twenties guy. He's a little nervous around you which is adorable. You tell all his friends he's "mature" for his age and despite the advice of everyone continue to date him. He's totally cool with the fact you have kids and you feel like a lady for the first time in your life. You seek validation online through "age-gap" stories that have worked out. Then one day you look in the mirror. Is that a wrinkle? How did that happen? Your stomach seems more wobbly than ever, and your boobs aren't as firm as they used to be. You are suddenly disgustingly aware of your age, and his. Hold up a second, did he just talk about World of Warcraft? I'm outta here.
6. The Older Man
After your cradle snatching experience you seek solace in the arms of an older man. Those wrinkles aren't so apparent anymore, and what's a few grey hairs? This guy has no hair! He treats you like a princess and is great with the kids. So what he's older? Once again you look up "age-gap stories" that work out. Then one night, he gets up to go to the bathroom, and illuminated in the half light is his sagging ass as he pads into the hall. (A la Samantha in SATC.) The next day an unknowing cashier says of your child, "Aw he loves his grandad doesn't he?"
7. The Hit and Run
You know the guy, toxic, irresistible, usually a terrible human being with a fairly hot body. He uses words like "not ready to commit" and "let's just stay in." You've never been on an actual date. Every time you sleep together you wonder what the point of it all is. He's isn't nasty to your kid, but he isn't nice either. Soon you get tired of sleeping with him and hunger for something with a little more substance. He's the male answer the the dumb, hot blonde. Pretty to look at but all fluff underneath. You think you might be in love with him, but it's just chemistry. You cry buckets and snap at your kid. He's like crack cocaine. But when you finally let him go all you feel is relief. You bump into him a few years later and wonder what you ever saw in him. Oxytocin makes you crazy ladies.
8. The Red Herring
You think he's the one, everything slides into place effortlessly and soon you're talking marriage and baby plans. You become a bonafide Facebook official couple and your friends and family breathe a sigh of relief. Your kid adores him and you create that perfect unit. It lasts a few years and you start to notice he's a little distant. Then he pulls out a whopper of a line like "I'm not ready to be with someone who has kids." Well damn, it's been three years why didn't you say so? You know it's an excuse. You know he's got that little tart from accounting on Snapchat. It hurts like a bitch and you end up doing something crazy with your hair.
9. The Rebound
He's not your type but you can't be picky anymore. You met him on POF which is a nice change from Tinder. You smooth over the little annoyances and console yourself with "no one's perfect." He looks a bit like a deformed potato but that's okay, you've done the "hot guy" thing it's time to stop being so superficial. Next thing you know he's moved in and you cringe every time he puts his arm around you. You start to make compromises in your head "I can be with him if I can cheat. I'll just sign up for one of those affair websites." "I can have sex with the lights off for the rest of my life." "Looks fade." "He won't leave me." Eventually you tell him straight and resign once more to being forever single. Your child doesn't need any more "uncles" either.
10. Expect the Unexpected
He could be a someone you meet in a coffee shop (what a cliché) or your therapist. Just when you deleted all the dating apps he appears. He's just your type, and shares your interests. He likes you as a person and admires you as a mother. He loves your child as his own because he sees you as worth it. You take blissful holidays together (thanks again Grandma) and cuddle on the sofa.