“Dating with Kids”

It took me more than 2 years of being single to consider seriously dating. And by serious, I mean with the intention of building a relationship that has a goal of moving towards marriage. This is not to say I didn’t go on dates in between, but I was mostly just looking for company to pass time. Trust me, when the majority of your free time is spent watching children’s shows and explaining things to a toddler, you will be itching for some adult conversation that does not include explaining why the sun rises and why the moon isn’t sleep yet. In all honesty, this did not always lead to the healthiest adult interactions.

There were a few reasons why I was not in a rush to think about seriously dating. For one, I didn’t want to get into another relationship before I gave myself ample time to deal with the past. It was important to me that I fully process and acknowledge everything I had went through with my child’s father before I even considered taking that journey with another person again. Secondly, I wanted to make sure I was giving as much of myself to my son and I’s relationship as I could without adding a new person to his life who might eventually not make the cut. ¬†After what I went through, I realized I needed to first take care of what was most important to me: working on my spiritual, mental and emotional health and taking the best care of my child that I can.

Since I got on the journey of seriously dating, it has not been easy. Choosing to grow together with another person has inadvertently caused me to see who I truly am as well, not just as a mother, but also a woman. For the longest I avoided letting someone into my son and I’s little bubble of life. But now that I have, I don’t regret it at all. Dating with a child has been stressful, tedious, inconvenient, and disruptive to the way I had things planned out. It has also been fun, interesting, unique, and an experience that has pushed me to grow outside my box. It is still a struggle, the effort, the sacrifice, the investment of time with no guarantee of return. But I am ready for whatever may come, and I know who I am, and what I bring to the table.

Jay Smilez

I am a lover of Christ, her family, food, music, single malt scotch and motherhood! I discovered the joy in sharing my life, story and transparent truth with others through writing after going through an extremely difficult time in my life. The transition from single woman to single mother, and all the unexpected obstacles, brought me to what I thought was point of no return. It wasn't until after I made it past this point that I learned I was not the only one who had gone through (or will ever) it. What I am currently learning is my journey does not define me, I make it what it is. So as I continue on my journey, I will no longer define myself by my current status, but I will gladly share the accessory God gave when He created this example of His constant grace. My smile.

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