Being a single parent is not easy; luckily I have a good co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband, and we do our best to work together to cover for the other when something comes up. Putting aside scheduling issues, however, the fact remains that when you are a single parent the entire responsibility of managing your household falls on you. Balancing the demands of work with those of your children are your top two priorities. Sometimes, that leaves little room for much else, yet if you are ever going to find a second chance at falling in love, you are going to have to make time and allow for a third priority to come into play.
When juggling multiple priorities, I think seeing them as fluid makes a lot of sense. In other words, the order of priorities may change over time given the competing demands at that time. Reassuring our children that no matter what, they will always be a priority is the key to helping them learn patience, and actually the sooner they realize that the world does not entirely revolve around them is a good life lesson.
Just as we have to teach our children to be patient, sometimes we may have to help our partners acquire this virtue. Meeting someone later in life is hard for many reasons, not the least of which is the need to let go of a lot of images we have in our heads about what it should be like when you fall in love. When you are young, without kids and an established career, it is so easy to make someone you like a priority right away. That simply isn’t realistic as you get older. Perhaps embracing the notion of a slow, steady burn– especially if you are a single parent is far healthier than that dream of instant fireworks.