Beyond the Crazy Cat Lady: Is My Son Happy with a Single Mom?

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I think I have proven to myself and the world that I don't need anyone. I split with my ex-husband four-and-a-half years ago and in that time, I have been in an actual established monogamous relationship for exactly 10 months...combined. The rest of the time I was single. Did I mind? Not particularly. Even after seeing several friends get married, and attending their weddings dateless and single. Even after my ex-husband had remarried and our son had an official "step-mother" (although the ownership of the word mother and the Cinderella connotations took me about a year to get over on their own). I became quite content on my own. The only person I answer to is my son. My heart doesn't get broken, and I don't worry about anyone else'e influence on him.

Only recently has the reality of all this really started to sink in. The reason for this is simple: my son wants his mom to be happy.

I don't think anyone who knows me gets away from me gloating about how intelligent my son is. How well mannered and polite he is. How sweet, good-natured, and big-hearted he is. But it's hard for me to explain to anyone who does not have that closeness with a child how intuitive he is with me. He and I have always shared a close mental and emotional connection. Maybe every mom and son does... I don't know. But he can read me like and book. Sometimes, I think he knows things even before I do. Lately he has been telling me how he thinks I need someone in my life.

Every time one of those on-line dating website commercials comes on TV, my son tells me that I should sign up and do that. I usually laugh it off, but he is not laughing, and he tells me he is serious. So one day, genuinely curious as to the origin of this concept of his, I asked him why he says that. He explained very matter of factly to me, "Mom, I think you should do that because I want you to be happy." Of course now, my heart is melting and breaking in half.

I answer him with, "But honey, I am happy. You know, I don't need someone else in my life to be happy. I have you. I have Maggie the wonder dog. I have Lucky the weirdest cat in the world. I don't need to be dating someone to be happy."

"I know," he replies, "...but Daddy has Lindsay, and I want you to have someone too. You should have someone too."

My son is 6, going on 7.

These are big thoughts for a little man. Big thoughts that melt a mother's heart. Especially a mother like me whose entire world is her son.

What do I say to that? How do I reply? My son, who has had divorced parents for almost as long as he can remember, wants his mom to be remarried. I don't put these ideas in his head. He has met very few of the guys I have dated and most of the ones he did, he didn't know I was dating at all. I don't talk about dating with him. The last time he overheard me tell my mom I had a date, he asked me who would be moving.

"What?!" I asked...

"Well, when you get married, someone has to move. Will we move, or will he come live with us?" my son asked, very innocently.

I had to explain that I didn't even know this person. We would not be moving anywhere, and no one was moving in with us any time soon. He didn't react positively or negatively to this. He just said, "Oh. Ok then."

Is it TV? Is it talking to other kids in school? Where is all this coming from all of a sudden? Is it the age? Is he just observing a happiness in his father that he doesn't see in his mother? I can't figure it out.

Of course, then it starts me thinking. Should I have someone in my life? Would I be happier? I do date, and I generally get frustrated with the concept very quickly. Dating in your 30's, as I have said in previous blogs, is complicated. Some of us have been married, some of us have children. Some of us carry emotional baggage from previous relationships. I have learned that people who are not yet divorced or only recently divorced are usually a bad idea. They tend to either cling very quickly to you, are completely emotionally closed off, or have just forgotten how to court someone at all. I have learned that it's hard to date someone else with children because not everyone raises their kids the way I do, and it's hard to get close with someone when you don't agree with their parenting concepts and practices. I am not perfect, but my son's father and I work very hard to raise a mentally strong and compassionate person in our son, and I don't exactly want that tainted.

Maybe this makes me a judgmental jerk of sorts, but my son comes first. End of story. If I think you might be a negative impact on our lives, how I feel about you doesn't matter. You will not be in our lives. The reality of this is that I might always be alone.

I don't go out very much. I work a lot, and my free time belongs to my son before it belongs to anyone else. My time without him is usually spent catching up on housework or trying to make a few extra dollars in side jobs. So I have done the on-line dating thing before. I have actually made some very good friends that way. I have made a few small attempts at a relationship that way. Usually, one of the above concepts knocked that out pretty fast, and I feel relieved when it's done and I am back to my little world without someone else to complicate it.

But I am still alone.

Cute little kitten sitting on my laptopSo do I get back on dating websites and keep trying to meet people? Do I start stock-piling cats and and a shopping cart for when my son grows up and moves away to start his own life and I become that crazy lady in town? I am 33-years-old. I am not getting any younger. I don't meet a whole lot of people in my life. Is it ok to be alone? What about those times when I feel lonely and want someone to pay attention to me? Do other divorced moms go through this? When do you stop going through it and just accept being on your own? Do never-married, childless guys in their 30's actually want a divorced single mom? Do I look good for my age? Do I look as good as the other women out in the dating pool? The whole idea makes me self-conscious, and then I close off from it all again.

Is my son happy with a single mom?

 

Photo Credit: deerwooduk.

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