Last week I blogged about a successful blind date and after watching MTV’s Teen Mom this week, I really started thinking about dating as a single mom. For those of you who don’t watch the show, Amber broke up with Gary for good and went on a date with some random guy she met at Walmart. I was pretty disturbed by Amber’s date (I’m pretty disturbed by Amber in general!)
Amber and her date went to a chain restaurant for dinner and as they chatted and got to know each other over fried food, her date revealed he was on work-release, as in out of jail to work, but has to go back. Go back to jail. Amber didn’t seem bothered by this and asked him if he cared that she was a mom—she wasn’t looking for “another dad,” but she wants to date someone who is up for the responsibility of caring for Leah, so she pretty much contradicted herself. Her date responded by saying, “I love it! I love that you’re a mom.” They kissed. Creepy. Do you care if I’m a mom? Uh, do you care a convict is going to be around your daughter?
I haven’t dated a lot over the past three years. Not only have I been busy with work, settling into single motherhood, moving four times in three years, but I’m also really nervous about dating because even though I don’t need a man to help take care of JD, I’m not rushing to say I don’t need a dad for him (or want to co-parent with someone), because obviously anyone that wants to be with me, has to want to be with JD. I mean, it’s fun to have a drink with a guy or go on a first date, but trust me, I’m sizing him up—sizing him up for JD. Going back to Gisele’s rant about needing a man to have a child—to look at it another way, she does have a point. It IS so much easier to have a child with someone you love and trust…trying to find that for you and your child isn’t easy.
One of my first dates as a single mom was a setup. The guy was rude and sarcastic, not so much to me, but to the waiter. It turned me off and I imagined for a moment, JD witnessing this behavior. My son says please, thank you and excuse me when he burps. I didn’t want to date this snarky guy so, obviously, OBVIOUSLY, I would never date someone on work release, who has to go back to jail for “doing something really bad,” like Amber’s date and I want to flick Amber in the forehead and tell her to wake-up. What is she thinking!? She shouldn't be dating. She should be getting her GED and focusing on education and work.
Her behavior as a mother is sickening (sorry to be harsh). I know we only see glimpses of her life on Teen Mom, but she’s always in bed and whining and worse—abusing Gary! It got so bad on a recent episode that Child Protective Services launched an investigation. They found that Leah was in no immediate danger and my guess is because she wasn’t being physically abused or starved, but swearing, screaming and hitting your child’s father IS damaging to a child—all of that takes place in front of Leah. Calling Gary “fat” is mean and I think Amber should check out the recent school bullying headlines, because she’s a bully and I wouldn’t be surprised if Leah grew up imitating her mother. She told Us Weekly she is addressing her anger issues, so hopefully things get better for Leah.
Seriously, I am so aware of my actions and words around JD. He sees and hears everything. The other day I dropped a coffee cup and it broke. I almost said “Oh sh*t!” but caught myself. JD came running over and said, “Mommy, it’s OK. Everybody has a steak!” (Kill me with the cuteness, he was saying “everybody makes mistakes,” because if he spills something I say that to him and we clean up together. See he’s imitating me! That means he'll imitate a boyfriend...kids learn by example.)
I’d love your thoughts on Amber Portwood and your experiences dating as a single parent. Do you find your standards are even higher because you have a child? Do you watch your words and actions around your kiddo? What advice would you give Amber?