Written by Zamara Perri
People need to stop acting like single parents don’t deserve to date. Of course black lesbian women with children still date. Honestly the people who should have any say about what a single mother does with her time is the woman who plans on occupying it.
Yes, single mothers deserve a good woman, but know that their children need their mothers to have great partners too. And because of that, I think those who are thinking of dating women with children must to take extra precautions like:
1. Getting Comfortable With the Idea That Lesbians Can Have Kids.
Bisexual women of course can have kids but so can lesbians. I don’t know why in this day and time of artificial insemination, adoption, foster parenting, surrogate parenting etc., people don’t understand that there are many ways besides having sex with a man that lesbians can have children. And just because you may have had sex with a man, does not mean she is not a lesbian.
2. Don’t Microwave The Relationship.
I think one of the biggest challenges facing couples nowadays are the microwave relationships. We jump into relationships really quickly without considering the long term impact that it can have on everyone involved.
Sometimes we accelerate the speed of a relationship for the sake of convenience, but children can be VERY inconvenient.
You can’t find a babysitter, so you invite the new woman over. Bills are tight so the new woman moves in because it makes financial sense.
You can’t make it to pick up your child on time, so the new woman volunteers.
We were having a conversation about this on Facebook and one woman said she and her partner had been dating for a year and she only just introduced her child to her partner. She smartly reasoned that she wanted to make sure her relationship was stable before bringing somebody into her children’s life.
It’s tempting to create an insta-family. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to take your time and be honest about what you want in your future, but it’s worth it in the long run to take your time.
3. Set Clear Boundaries.
It helps to be clear about what you want out of the relationship. If it’s a fling you want, then as an adult, you and your cuddle buddy need to have this conversation and set up strong boundaries. If you’re not planning to stick around, don’t do permanent things like meet and spend time with her child.
Boundaries can become blurry to the point where women who played temporary stepmother feel an obligation to continue a relationship with the kid. And why not? It’s cruel to jump into a child’s life for a few months or years and then just disappear.
Haven’t our children had enough vanishing people in their lives? What lessons are we teaching them that will end up impacting them as they become adults? That they are not love-able? That they don’t deserve a commitment? That adults are temporary? That it’s okay to have random adults coming in and out of their lives?
Often after you and the mom breaks up, it gets awkward real quick.
How do you balance spending time with the child when the mother has a new relationship or when you have a new relationship?
4. Know Your Role.
“You are not the Daddy!” Said in my best Maury Povich voice. When the kid’s father or other mother isn’t in the picture, you may be tempted to start playing the daddy role. First of all, you can probably never fully replace the child’s other parent especially if the kid is old enough to remember that other parent, so don’t even try.
Talk with the child’s parent and the child themselves to find out what feels good for all of you.
Plus not every single mother is looking for a stud to play daddy. If the other parent is active in the child’s life, get a sense of what the relationship looks like. Sometimes there is baby mama or baby daddy drama. No one can ever really be prepared for this, but do you think you can handle it?
One of my good friends is currently going through hell right now dealing with her boyfriend’s ex-wife who is involving them in a really long custody battle.
If you think you really want to have a permanent relationship with mom, then ask the tough questions, meet the other parent and get clear on what role you are comfortable playing.
5. They are a Package Deal.
If you don’t like kids or don’t want to deal with kids, look for a woman who doesn’t have children. No kid deserves to feel like an outsider in their own family. Plus most mothers are not gonna deal with someone who treats their kids like an afterthought. And if you have children as well, don’t think you can get away doing certain things for your own children that you’re not willing to for your partner’s children. Kids never forget simple kindness.
6. Be Very Flexible.
Parenting is a tough job and is extremely time consuming especially if she is doing it alone. Kids should come first. Depending on how young her children are and what kind of support system she has, your dates may end up getting canceled. Be okay with understanding that you may not always be her first priority, in fact you shouldn’t expect to be.
Dating a mother also means that she can’t just up and do things with you without planning ahead to get a babysitter. So understand it can never be all about you, but if you are supportive and understanding, you can get really, really close.
7. Focus on Your Relationship With the Child’s Mother.
Most women really love and want children so they naturally start forming strong bonds with the child. It seems sweet and often comes from a good place, but before you do all that, please think about your future with the kid’s mother. The most important relationship that the kid needs you to focus on is the one with her mother, not the one with you.
We make the mistake of focusing on the child because it seems easy to love and support a child especially when there isn’t much of a community to hold the kid down. But trust me. You are doing that child a huge disservice. The mother will get over it if things don’t work out, but the kid won’t.
I have an ex who fell head over heels in love with her girlfriend’s child. The mother was a toxic and irresponsible parent and so she remained in the relationship way past the expiration date. When my ex and I were together, we talked seriously about taking the child in, but it didn’t work out.
For those who have been in this situation, it’s really tough. You don’t want to leave the kid with a bad parent, but then again, you are not their parent and you probably don’t have any legal rights to the child.
Like I said, focus on your relationship with the mother. The best gift you can give a child, is to show them what a loving, respectful, stable relationship looks like.
In conclusion, just know that black children can never ever have too many people loving them. So it you’re not trying to be one of those people, think twice before getting involved with their mama.