. Life, oh life, you can plan so well, to bring up your children within a nuclear type of family. However, at times this doesnt come out as best as you hoped. There are several women who, in todays world, find themselves thrown into the responsibility of being both the mother and the father to their children. This happens for several reasons, some of which are not so pretty. There is often a lot of heartaches involved. It could be that it simply did not work out between the parents, or maybe, loss of life was involved. For a moment, a lot of women find a way to concentrate on their children. They close the doors on their own happiness and satisfaction and devote themselves fully to the happiness and well-being of their children. However, there comes a time in life, when all wounds should heal, even if they may leave scars. A lot of single mothers would want to move on and fall in love again, but well, once bitten, they are often shy. You meet a lot of enthusiastic men, who think that once a woman has given birth, either before marriage, or lost a partner, that she somehow becomes a rag that can be walked on, that she should be desperate for any man who will have her. A lot of men come dangling the I will marry you card. They chest thump, almost on how they will be a father to your children. Some even go as far as mentioning that they are ready to provide your sons with land in an almost pathetic attempt to get to the physical part of you. Sadly enough, a lot of single mothers are swayed by such sentiments. They do not realise that price of a single mother, should almost be as thrice as the single counterparts. Some of them find it hard to move on from the past, but here are just a few pointers, that we do hope, will help them realise that they too, deserve a second chance at happiness:
Balance your priorities: Sure, your children come first, but before that first, there is YOU. You are a priority, you deserve to be happy. You will definitely make a happier mother to your children if it stems from deep within. No one man is an island. So do find a balance that ensures you too, are taken care of.
Do not rush: Trust me they will come dangling all sorts of ideas on a possible future. Do not rush to these. Investigate the kind of partner who asks you out. The truth is that a lot of African men are still scared of raising another mans baby. They may have good intentions at first, but only the ones who truly love you will be ready to walk with you through the challenges and the scorn of society, especially if the man, is himself still without children. So, yeah, take your time. Breathe life, but take your time.
Focus on your date: Mothers do have anxious moments away from their children. We worry about what they are up to in our absence, if the nanny is doing a good job, if the children have been picked up from school. Nevertheless, by the time you accept to go on a date with someone you deem worthy of your time, do actually create time for them. Block out the worries for a while, stay off your phone. Focus on the man seated in front of you. Enjoy your date, even just for two hours.
Be discrete: Protect the children always. Dont tag along every man you meet to your home. Also, when on a date, avoid dishing out all about your children to your new spouse. Sure, there will be a time and a place for all that. It may be difficult separating your life from that of your children, but remember that the man in front of you should seduce you first, not your children. As much as in the end he may have a relationship with them, it is your heart that he should be impressing. Do not make it all about the children. Most of them could get scared that they will often come third in your life.
Glam it up: You are a mother, so what? You gave birth, developed a few stretch marks, lost your once slender waistline, but who says you have to look washed up. Who says you have to look as if the wind beat you up left right and centre. Look glamorous, feel it, walk with confidence. Let your strength shine through. You may have gone through a lot but when you are out there, look and feel as happy as you can be. Dress the part.
Understand roles: Do understand that your children may never accept your new man as their father. In fact, do not force this to happen. Sure, your new man can be as a father figure to your children, but always tell them the truth. With time, they will understand why it would never work out otherwise. Dont force it on the children. Bring them up well, that responsibility is yours, so do not let it slip. Be as you have always been. Be the disciplinarian. Explain to them the new member you are bringing in. Listen to their worries too, and dont let the scale of affection get so one sided that some people feel left out.
It takes more effort when youve got little bundles of joy beside you, but it can be done. You deserve as much love and happiness as every other woman dear single mother. Be cautious, yes, but always know that you can love again, and be loved in return.