Disclaimer: This isn't related to a specific person. Nor am I trying to group everyone together. Also, I'm not saying that married mothers don't have these traits nor women without children aren't fantastic too! I've crushed on quite a few women without kids too. :)
1) They get it. Single parenting is freaking hard to explain. Just like so many things in life, you just have to go through it before you can really understand it. I don't claim to understand so many aspects or struggles of life, but single parenting is something that I think I really get. For example, my kids don't need a "new mom". There's a big difference in being kind and loving my kids vs jumping ahead of their own mother (no matter what state of their relationship at the moment, she's still their mom). Also, they understand the responsibility I'm under just being a parent. Emotionally it's rewarding but it can also be extremely draining. Financially, it's challenging. Even if child support is present, money is bound to be tight. I love people who budget and are wise with their money. Single moms are typically wise with their budget. Also, trying to explain my lack of time or how hectic our everyday life is to someone who isn't a parent is basically impossible. I don't have that much free time. Especially during the school year. Since quality time is one of my main love languages, it makes this a big challenge. I need someone who understands that my kids come first too (at least until we would ever get married, but that's a whole different situation). Not saying that a significant other doesn't deserve attention. It's important to make sacrifices to spend time together, it's just that I don't want those sacrifices to negatively affect my children. I'm willing to give up some sleep, personal hobbies, volunteer activities I enjoy, but taking away from my kids isn't something I'll ever be cool with. I like to see that in a partner. As much as I love quality time, I also strangely like to see someone sending me a "maybe next time" text because they are doing something fun with their kids. It shows integrity for someone to put their kids first before their own desires.
2) Single moms live in beast mode. I'm telling you... Those ladies get things DONE son. Being a single dad, I feel like a novelty. The idea of a full time single dad is still fun and somewhat unique. Hahahaha. I get cut so much slack by everyone. When me and my kids show up somewhere 10 minutes late in mismatched clothes, shoes on the wrong feet, and Chex Mix spilling out the van door with one kid carrying a frog and another with 2 day old face-paint still visible, people just laugh and say "Well... the Megows are here." Don't get me wrong, I freaking try my best but sometimes having everything perfectly done just isn't possible and I love the grace that's extended my way :D However, my point is that I feel that single moms aren't given this much leeway by our society. It's sad, but single motherhood is just engrained in our culture as a norm. Society expects them to still be "pro moms" without the support of a partner. And for the most part, they deliver. Single moms run circles around me. I know quite a few, and sometimes I just stand in awe of how they can dominate life's challenges. I freaking love it. One of their kid needs cupcakes for a soccer function and another needs a costume for a school event (both by the next day). A single mom will find time to get this stuff done along with keeping a clean house, staying on top of laundry, shopping, cooking, and being involved in church/community events (and a lot of times working outside the home on top of it all). Not only that but there's no "Honey Do" list for single moms. There's a "I have to do this list" they make for themselves. Fix the broken chair - their responsibility. Cut the grass - their responsibility. Get the oil changed in the car - their responsibility. Change out the dryer hose - their responsibility. It's just a constant cycle of being busy, tired, and putting their kids before themselves. I'm so attracted to self-sacrifice and hard work. Single moms are basically one of the best examples of that in my opinion.
3) Casual dating/hookups are out of the question. Hahahaha. First off, right now I've very happily single. I think the reason I feel like this is because dating as a single parent can be intense. Like I said earlier, I don't have much free time and the energy I spend in a relationship is an investment. I don't have the time/energy to just go out to dinner with a different girl a week. My kids and I have blanket forts to build, coloring books to finish, frogs to find, bedrooms to clean, video games to beat, and adventures to have. When I do commit to someone in a dating way, it's going to be a legit relationship. Because really, me seeing anyone involves my kids as well. They've experienced instability. They've experienced having their mom leave. I have to mindful of that when I'm thinking about a relationship. For the most part, single moms are pretty keen on that concept too. I really like being able to trust someone explicitly. That kind of thing takes time and commitment to a relationship. Being a single parent, you are basically forced to be mature in decisions since basically everything involves your children. I just think that's a perk with single moms.
4) They are normally cool with my kind of fun. While I can dominate a karaoke bar (seriously, I slay... hahaha), most of my fun is spent with my little crew. I love when people can jump right into planning an adventure or mapping out a treasure hunt with kids. Honestly, the most excited I was last week was going to a friend's house with the kids to let them make bedazzled bandannas for our dogs. We just brought some fun handkerchiefs, stick on jewels, and puff paint to let them just get out some creativity and fun. (Side note: Olive got sick so we had to immediately turn around and go home. I was more bummed that I was when plans fell through on kid-free nights.) I love when someone has some creativity and a child's sense of excitement about things.
5) They already have children. (It sounds obvious, I know. Just keep reading) I think this is a big one for me and probably the most important on this list. Also this might not make a lot of sense to some people, but it's just my personal opinion. I love the idea of a blended family. Honestly, I haven't experienced it yet, but I've heard how challenging it can be. However, I just think this situation is ideal for me. Here's why... Sometimes my kids freaking miss their mom. Some of my more sensitive children still get sad that they don't get to live with her anymore. If I get married again, you can take it the bank that I'm not going to have more natural kids with my wife. My kids have been through enough with their mom. I think it would so unfair to them for the new baby to grow up and have BOTH of his/her parents living in the same house. Forcing my kids to have a sibling who gets full access to both parents while they are left sad and missing their mom would just be bad parenting in my opinion. Events like Mother's Day, Christmas, Birthdays, etc. can be tough in my household. Having God kind of stitch a Brady Bunch situation would be my dream family setup. Again, I'm 100% that there are a TON of challenges with this type of household, so that's why I pray about things before committing to anything :) On a side note, I do think that if I got married then adoption would be a good option for our future if we all decided we wanted our family to grow.
Those were just some thoughts floating around my head. So next time you see a single mom or a mom with a deployed partner give them a big high five and some encouragement. I guarantee they are freaking tired and drained more than we can understand.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,