Dating is mostly an American concept. The typical Hollywood rom-com inevitably includes the line “Hey, do you think we could go for coffee sometime?” and around 90 minutes later cue the happily-ever-after closing credits.
From a sociological standpoint dating is a great idea, seeing as so often people jump into serious commitments before getting to know each other, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to dating UK singles have followed suit.
But it can be difficult to balance being a parent with finding that special someone no matter which side of the Atlantic you live in. Many single mothers are looking for a man to provide love and support to their family, yet have not necessarily got the time – or the energy – to go on countless dates every Friday and Saturday night in the hope that one of these suitors may be the elusive Mr Right.
In large cities such as London, Manchester or Bristol dating is a lot more common than in the smaller towns of England, and many single parents have successfully turned to online services or speed-dating events to help them narrow down the choices more efficiently.
One of the most common reasons why single mums find it harder to date is because the stress of work and home life can at times be overwhelming. But there are ways to relax and enjoy the little free time there is.
Take a Yoga Class
Most towns have at least one centre which offers yoga classes for beginners. It is not an intensive sport, but an activity which will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated. The beauty of yoga is that it exercises the mind as well as the body, and helps to improve quality of life.
Give Yourself a Break
Having children in the house can make keeping things clean and tidy a lot harder. Employing a housekeeper for one or two hours a week needn’t be prohibitively expensive and means that there is an evening of order at home when you don’t have to worry about the state of the house.
Keep it Simple
Meal times can be stressful for single parents. Young children are often fussy about their food and trying to stay healthy without spending hours in the kitchen each day can be hard. Studies show that when children can’t see what they’re eating they are less likely to judge it so a food processor can be your best friend! Make yourself the veggies you fancy and just purée them up for the little ones. It saves time and avoids tantrums, leading to stress-free dinners.
Most single parents only enlist the help of grandparents or friends as babysitters for special occasions. But most people enjoy helping out, and sitting at home with a good DVD and a glass of wine is a great way to relax. The next day you will appreciate the time with your child even more and feel a lot more calm and pampered.