You work a 9-5, come home to cook dinner, help your kids with homework, put them to bed, and then maybe you’re fortunate enough to have some quality “Me” time before hitting the sack. This is what you do Monday through Friday, except on days when your 10-year old daughter has gymnastics and your 8-year old son has Tee-Ball practice. Those days are even more hectic. On the weekend, you don’t have to work, but your kids want to go to the park, to a movie, out to dinner, etc. Such is life as a single parent!
Try finding time to go out on dates with that kind of schedule! It’s almost impossible. But not absolutely impossible. It’s all about how you manage your time and how well you plan ahead. Most parents live off a regular, set schedule. You probably have set hours at your job, cook dinner at the same time each night and put the kids to bed around the same time. So here’s how you plan around that…
If possible, plan dates on nights you don’t have the kids
If the child’s father isn’t a deadbeat and cares for his children as much as you do, this is your best option. If you’re fortunate enough to have weekends free, it’s even better. Remember to factor in any scheduling conflicts of the person you’re dating. He/she may also have kids or a busy schedule, so be respectful of that. Don’t expect them to drop everything they’re doing just because you’re free on a certain night.
With that said, if he/she isn’t willing to compromise or make time for you, move on to someone that will. Sometimes sacrifices must be made to accommodate each other’s needs. Which brings me to my next point…
Be accommodating to his schedule
Yeah, I know…you have kids and can’t just drop what you’re doing all the time to go meet up with your lover. However, your relationship should not ONLY evolve around your schedule. Sometimes you have to be flexible and accommodating. If not, the relationship will never work. I always suggest single parents date other single parents because they can relate to each other’s busy schedules and maturity levels. But even so, sometimes you need to call a babysitter or take the kids over to a relatives house so you can go out on a date.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have friends and family that are always willing to watch the kids or can afford a hired babysitter while you go out. I understand that. You can find some time even with the busiest of schedules. Be creative with when you get together. My friend invites her boyfriend over after she puts the kids to bed at around 9:00. This isn’t an ideal situation but it’s better than nothing. When he comes over, they usually pop in a movie until they also fall asleep.
Your kids will always be #1 on your priority list. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time away from them so you can go out on a date. Plan as far in advance as possible (at least a couple of days). Use every babysitter option you can. If you can’t afford a sitter but are dating someone with kids, maybe you could take your kids over to the same place. It would even give the kids an opportunity to play with each other. Manage your time well, plan ahead, and I’m sure you can find some time to go out on a date.