Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day, Single Parent Style

In honor of Valentines Day, the weekend edition of the Israeli paper Yidiot Achronot produced a magazine about Love. The edition featured an interview with four single parents from the Mercaz/ Tel Aviv area, all in their mid to late 40's, and dealt with the special considerations regarding dating and marriage with a child involved; a child who does not officially have a father.

While I seriously disagreed with the woman who stated that her son was more reliable and a better partner than any man could be in an adult partnership, for the most part I was relieved to hear that all these women had waited between six months and several years before starting dating again. They all spoke about the time constraints involved in working and caring for an infant, and the emotional turmoil connected to bringing a man into the life of their child, without knowing that he would stick around long enough to become a good husband or a good father.

They claimed that once a woman has a child, the "biological clock" issue becomes moot, and a man is more attracted to a woman who does not have a cloud of commitment stress hanging over her head. One woman now enjoys sex for sex's sake with younger men, relationships without strings or expectations. They also claimed that men prefer to date a woman with an uncomplicated story ie that there is no ex-husband or ex-lover involved in shared custody; that has not been my personal experience with men who have approached me since the birth of Raphaela.

The article closed with the corroborating statements of a psychologist, who reassured the readers that a two to three year hiatus before actively dating will harm neither the mother nor the child, and that ultimately, the child must know that the love he/she enjoys with their mother will not change when another adult enters the picture.

Apparently there are a lot of single parents by choice out there.


Abandoning Eden said...

this post reminds me, one of my fellow sociologists recently wrote a book on single mothers by choice in the's a sociology book, so talks a lot about trends and stuff (NOT an advice book or anything like that), but you might find it interesting, if you're interested in sociology at all.

Amy Charles said...

You might want to relax a little about this and just enjoy the chocolate. Finding a know, you might be disappointed by the reality. I get the impression that you have some ideal in mind, but men, really, are a tremendous amount of work, more so when you're a mother.

The odds are you'll find yourself mother to two children: a real baby, and the man who wants you to take care of him while you're working and raising a child (and yes, you'll continue to do most of that work, too). What's more, he'll get hero status because he'll be helping to raise a child who isn't his, and you'll be told to be more grateful, even if he's making more work for you than he's doing.

If you don't mind all that, and are willing to do the work, plus do whatever you have to do to get along with his family, plus change your habits somewhat to suit him better, then great. But you have to remember that men are really not strong and do not usually do the bulk of the work, overall, in households where children are growing up. So if you really feel like carrying more, now, then tally-ho...otherwise, don't worry so much about the dating.