We mindful single mamas are a unique breed.
I say mindful mamas because not all single moms are on this path of growth, expansion and self-awareness. Mindful mamas are the ones who are out doing yoga, meditating, seeking deeper levels of consciousness, managing a career, balancing creativity and raising mindful kids. It’s not easy being a mindful mama and it’s also not easy winning our hearts.
As a mindful single mama myself who has the pleasure of being in a tribe with other mindful single mamas, here’s what we’d like you all to know.
- She doesn’t need you, she wants you. There is a difference between need and want and the mindful mama is well aware of the nuance. She needs food; she wants a partner. Because she doesn’t need you, but wants you, she will not automatically give you a leading man role. She will have her own life, pursuits and desires and will not give up on herself to keep you.
- She is self-aware but not perfect. The mindful mama has taken pains to become self-aware. She may have gone to therapy, coaching, personal growth seminars and spiritual development retreats. She probably meditates, burns sage and practices mantras. She is constantly working hard to improve herself but she is not perfect. Give her space to continue to grow.
- Respect her time. Mindful mamas run a tight ship because they have to. They are planning their lives and the lives of their children in ways best suited to keep all functioning and thriving. Even though she may be a wildhearted woman, she also takes her responsibilities seriously so don’t expect much spontaneity. She will also expect a man in her life to do the same—if you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re planning something, be on time. Remember that for her to even get out of the door to meet you, she’s likely already paying quite a bit in babysitting fees. Knowing that and respecting her time will go a long way in her book.
- Sh*t happens. When you’re dating a single mama, there will be times when she may have to cancel because something comes up with the kiddos. Don’t take it personally and please don’t get angry with her. Realize that her commitment to her kiddos is admirable and should you become a priority in her world, you’ll be on the receiving end of that same dedication.
- Please know that we are not looking for a substitute dad, and we are not necessarily looking to race to the altar. Mindful mamas know that if things progress, you will have a role in her kids lives but she’s not looking for you to fill some gap. Also, while she may be looking for a significant partnership, she’s likely gotten beyond the idea that “first comes love, then comes marriage.” She’s fine with allowing things to progress organically and without an agenda.
- Follow her lead when it comes to the kids. Mindful mamas know our kids—we know what they can handle, what they are comfortable with and what pace is best for them. Should we continue dating you, we may feel it’s appropriate to begin introductions and will suggest it. If you are not ready for that, please let her know honestly but trust her judgment about her children.
- She is a woman, first. Remember that while she is a mother, she is a woman first. Treat her like a woman when you’re with her—appeal to her sensuality, sexuality and the other expressions of her womanhood. Let her relax into your presence and be truly a woman.
- Yes, we are strong but…we are strong and independent because we have learned to be. We are masters of our domestic domains and even though we may not say it, we definitely crave a soft spot to land sometimes. If you disappear when things get tough, or are unreliable, we will likely see you as someone with whom we can’t surrender fully. You don’t have to save us but please be there when we need you.
- Don’t shoplift the pootie. This term comes to us courtesy of Jerry Maguire where the character Rod Tidwell tells Jerry that “a real man doesn’t shoplift the pootie from a single mother.” While it may seem thoughtful, talking a lot about the kids, buying them gifts or doing nice things for them before you’re fully ready to commit to the relationship in a serious manner is a slippery slope. Mindful mamas love our kids like crazy and when a suitor starts behaving as though he cares about the kids, it’s like kryptonite and it may send the wrong message. If you’re not sure that you’re ready to be involved with her or her children in a serious way, leave the kids out of it. Never, ever use being nice to the kids as a way to get to the mama.
Before getting involved with a single mom, remember that she gracefully juggles a lot already. She doesn’t need another thing to “manage.” While you may be drawn to her, consider your involvement with her carefully. Consider what it means to become involved with a single mom and determine if you are in a place to really meet her where she is.
If you have even a smidgen of doubt, don’t get involved. The last thing she needs to deal with is a challenging relationship or a heartbreak that could have been avoided by an honest self-evaluation. If you cannot be an asset and an added joy to her life, walk away quickly and kindly.
Author: Lisa Vallejos, PhD.
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Micah H./Unsplash