Dating as a single mom

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Now, I can't just drop everything that I am doing to hang out with a man for hours at a time.Outside of the usual and already time-consuming date night prep (like, you know, shaving my legs...), I have to make sure that my kid is well-cared for while I'm out, since I'm not the only person at stake here.When you think of a single mom on the dating scene, visions of a 20-something who can barely balance her own checkbook (guilty) probably don’t come to mind.But, believe it or not, not all of us single moms are recent divorcées scrolling through silver fox profiles on Match.Whether you're six months post-divorce or six years, there is no "right" time to start dating. If you're dying to get out of the house, call your girlfriends for a night out. If you're looking to get your heart pounding, try some cardio."Perhaps a better question than when is why," says Christine Baumgartner, relationship coach at The Perfect Catch. Expecting dating to fulfill all your needs is unrealistic and might attract (or cause you to accept) people who aren't right for you.Children can take a lot out of you mentally as well as physically, so if there is ever a child-free moment in time, I typically prefer to spend it laying braless on my couch, binging on Netflix shows and drinking copious amounts of wine.But let's be real: There's most likely some serious housework that needs to be done.

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To that point, I really appreciate it when someone puts in the effort to try and make our time spent together well worth it...because there's nothing worse than thinking This isn't because I'm trying to be mean, it's just that I have a child to look out for.

So, I've scoured the interwebs for tips that should help when dating a single mom.

Here are eight rules that I think will lead you in the right direction.

Getting back into the dating game as a single parent can seem daunting. Our relationship experts help you navigate the single-parent dating scene. " Sometimes, Baumgartner says, the voids in your life may be better filled in ways other than dating.

How much should you tell your kids -- or the cutie across the table?

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