After 3+ years of being a single mom, I’ve realized that people can be really judgmental. Honestly, that’s true with non-single moms too, but, for better or worse, single motherhood is sort of my specialty. Social media has intensified the judgment to a truly appalling level. It’s just sheer madness. The subject of dating as a single mom seems to be one that everyone has an opinion about. I’ve spent the past three and a half years over-thinking and over-analyzing every last thing I do or say {especially on social media} in order to avoid judgment from others when it comes to my dating life. As moms, everyone judges us. As single moms, it feels even worse, even if it really isn’t. Dating is just one of those things that we all do, and those who figured it out early on tend to weigh in on our dating lives more than maybe we’d like. This includes our friends, our friends of friends, and those random people who stumble across our Facebook posts because they knew a dude that dated some girl in college who was related to this person you know through four degrees of separation. Even our own family members judge us. It’s a really terrible feeling, and I think we’ve all witnessed it.In order to simplify matters, I’ve taken all of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and compiled it into a nice and neat list for you. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll remain unjudged as a single mom who is out in the dating world:

1. Don’t whine about your relationship. It’s so annoying. Pull yourself together. You’re having a tough time finding a good guy? Well, you should be glad there are guys out there who are open to dating women with kids. Unprovoked tantrums have your household feeling like a scene from The Purge? Get over yourself. Don’t you know we all have problems?! Post a smiling selfie on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and caption it with some over-the-top inspirational quote about love and motherhood.

2. Stop pretending to be so perfect. Look at you, with your perfect household and your perfect smile on your perfect face in every perfect photo you post with your perfect boyfriend. Those inspirational quotes aren’t fooling anyone. Clearly you’re Joan Crawford behind closed doors or something. You just have to be.

3. Lose some weight. You’re doing yourself no favors by carrying around those extra pounds since having your baby. By the way, how long ago was that? Now you’re just being lazy. What a shame, too. You used to be so pretty.

4. Stop being so skinny. Your poor kids. Good job neglecting them so you can go to the gym all the time and look like that. Plus, what kind of example are you setting for your kids? They have to be thin to be happy?! How awful. Real women have curves. Narcissists should never be allowed to have kids.

5. Only date other single parents. Who doesn’t love a good Brady Bunch story? I know I do. What a great way to have something in common with your significant other! Also, a built-in friend for your kid!

6. Don’t date dudes with kids. Stop dragging other kids into your dysfunction. It’s just so unfair bringing kids together like that when we all know you’re just going to end up breaking up. Haven’t your kids been through enough disappointment?

7. Date up. You want a family man. The only men you should date are ones who are older, make more money, and have better stuff than you. That’s the kind of man who will take care of you.

8. Stop being a gold digger. It’s so obvious you’re only dating that guy because he’s older, makes more money, and has better stuff than you. You should be ashamed of yourself. You don’t need a man to take care of you.

9. Get out and enjoy yourself. You should really go have some “me” time. It’ll be good for you to be away from your kids for a bit. Plus, no one likes a martyr.

10. Stop going out. All these posts on Facebook about you being out and about without your kid make me wonder why you even had one in the first place. Clearly you’d rather just worry about yourself.

11. Limit your number of suitors to one. Dating around is absolutely unacceptable for a woman with a child. You should find the perfect guy and stick with him, no matter what. None of this “shopping around” nonsense. Every time you start dating someone new, I lose a little more respect for you as a parent.

12. There are so many fish in the sea. You shouldn’t settle. You have a child to worry about, for Pete’s sake! You need to kiss a lot of frogs sometimes, you know?

13. Take time to go on dates without your kids. It’s good for you and your beau to get out and do things, just the two of you. That’s how you build a healthy relationship!

14. You should be taking your kid with you on dates as much as possible. This guy needs to know what he’s signing up for, and keeping the kids from him is basically the same as lying to him.

15. Stop worrying about what other people think. The Bible says something about throwing rocks at people and not sinning. There’s a glass house somewhere in there, too. I think. The point is, stop worrying about people judging you. They’re all jerks anyway.

16. OMG did you see who that mom is dating now?! I mean, honestly. Bad mom alert!! That guy is all the wrong decisions rolled into one person. Thank goodness you’re not that bad!

See? It’s really not that difficult to make everyone happy. I’m so glad I could make this easy for you. You’re very welcome.

Ridiculous, right? These are all messages that I’ve received from well-intentioned people over the years when I’ve asked for advice. I may have paraphrased a bit, but the scary part is, not as much as you would think.  None of these people meant for their advice to come off as harsh or rude, but sometimes we get so caught up in our own opinions about other people’s lives that we don’t realize how judgmental we’re being. When it’s all out there like that, it seems crazy, but we’re all guilty of it. Every one of us. A snide remark or sideways glance is all it takes sometimes for a mom to feel like she’s failed. Who really wants to be the reason someone else feels that way? Not me.

What I’ve really learned over the years is that people are going to judge. Whether you’re a single mom, a married mom, a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, you’re never going to do things exactly the way everyone wants you to do them. The best you can do is remain true to yourself, and do right by your child.

I heard somewhere once that haters are just going to hate. Hate, hate, hate, hate. Don’t be a hater, and don’t allow haters to dictate how you live your life or raise your family. Especially don’t let haters tell you how to date. Date, date, date, date. Thicken that skin, and do your best, Mom. That’s all you can do, and that’s how you’ll find happiness.


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