Dating as a Widowed Mother is hard. One of the hardest balancing acts in the world, and that is coming from someone who has dealt with a LOT of shit in 27 (and a bit) years.
With not only my own thoughts and feelings to consider, but the thoughts and feelings of three little people, who are also on their very own seesaw of emotion.
However, as a young woman, who isn’t totally disgusting to look at, who has needs the same as everyone else, having someone around is kind of nice occasionally.
I am writing this post to try and answer some FAQs about dating as a Widowed Mother of 3. Questions I have asked myself, and questions I have had from other people. I will let you work out for yourself which ones were asked by people with no tact!
***WARNING FOR MY DAD!!!!***
**For your sake, don’t read this, or we can never speak again**
Q: Is it too soon to date?
A: At any stage in life, it is nice to feel appreciated and desired. It is fun to meet new people, and get to know someone. Only I can decide if it is too painful for that person to not be Jason. Just because I am going on a date with a man or 5, doesn’t mean I am ready for a relatIonship, it just means that I am open to the possibility of not being single forever.
Q: Should you not be concentrating on your kids?
A: I am a stay at home Mother, who changes nappies and reads school books and volunteers her time at the local playgroup. I concentrate all of my time on my kids. Occasionally, it is nice to utilise my wonderful support network and get out of the house for some ‘me time’, where someone takes an interest in me, instead of shouting at me that they are hungry or need a poo.
Q: Do you feel bad for having sex with someone else?
A: I am so good at The Sex, that i would feel bad for keeping these amazing skills to myself. Can’t be selfish now, can I?!…Ok maybe that isn’t true (it is). Of course I felt an incredible amount of guilt the first time I wanted to sleep with someone after Jason died. I promised that I would be his, and only his. Until death. And he died. We had such a wonderful sex life that going from that, to nothing, was not easy! The desire to be intimate didn’t just get locked away forever. For a while, but not forever.
Q: Do you think you will only get weirdos wanting to date you?
A: Yes, but that has always been the case. As with anyone who is dating, you have a lot of sifting to do, before you find someone who ticks at least 50% of the boxes. I know that as a widow with three kids, I am the scrapings at the bottom of the dating barrel, only just above people on PoF (dating website) who are serving time in foreign jails. Sometimes, just sometimes though, you get someone who is willing to look past the fact that you may need an arctic lorry for your baggage, and they want to get to know you. They don’t mind that they have to wait two weeks to go on a date because you have used up your babysitting time for that week. They see that behind the hard hitting headline of WIDOW, there is still a nice, fun person there. Thank you to every weirdo who looks past that title, and wants to get to know the barrel scrapings regardless.
Q: When is the right time to introduce them to the kids?
A: This is the hardest one to answer. There is no right time. If you wait a long time, you run the risk of already having feelings for a person, who your children may end up not liking when they meet. In that case, you either end a relationship with someone for the sake of your children, or totally disregard your children’s feelings for the sake of a man. Neither would be easy. Or, you can introduce them as a friend at a time that feels comfortable, and eventually tell them that a relationship has been formed. My hugest fear is that a relationship won’t work though, and my children will lose someone else from their life. But I can’t live life worrying that months or years down the line, things could go wrong. I can’t hold back on life. If things feel comfortable, there is no need to hide anything. In my opinion, anyway!
Q: Are you trying to replace Jason?
A: No. Fuck you.
Q: “Jason would want you to be happy, wouldn’t he?”
A: Jason would want to be alive, watching his kids grow up. He would want to be taking me out for dinner, buying me flowers and sneaking a quickie on the sofa before bed. However, he always did whatever he could to make me happy. If he can somehow see me dating another man, I hope he knows that I miss him, and would never have chosen this, but I will continue to make the most of the life I have been blessed with, and will make sure I am not lonely, and that I am trying to be happy. And I am happy.
Q: When should you make it public knowledge that you are ‘in a relationship’?
A: It’s only a real relationship when it is Facebook official, everyone knows that! In all honesty, I am terrified of telling people that I am seeing someone. It adds so much pressure for things to work. Countless people judging your choices and asking you dumb ass questions. I have a niggling voice at the back of my mind telling me that I will look stupid if it doesn’t work out, that I am being selfish, and that maybe I should wait. But I have another voice at the forefront of my mind telling me that I deserve happiness. I deserve to be loved, and for my children to see me be treated so incredibly well by a man who I think the world of.
I will always love Jason. And am honoured that i am the last woman he ever loved, but I still have space in my heart to love again.