A Single Mom's Letter to 'Single and Looking'

I am a full-time single mom. I currently have full custody which means my babies are with me 100 percent of the time. They are 1.5 and 4.5 years old.

This should be the warning sign that precedes meeting me. You know, the one you see before walking into a hazard zone: "Enter at your own risk."

Except it isn't just your risk, it's mine and my little people's. They have big hearts, and are open and receptive to love from just about anyone. Questionable types on the corner in front of the grocery store are called "my friends" by Atticus, so of course you -- who came bearing gifts, attention, offers to build train tracks and the FaceTime requests after you left -- were going to be welcomed with open arms by my little man.

Dating me is dating a package deal. Alexis, Atticus and Waverly. If one of us doesn't click with you, it won't work. I'm a co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding kind of mom. Why am I considering dating, you might ask? I have no time! I wonder the same thing, too. Then I look in the mirror, think "my God, I'm only 35." And "my, God, I'm 35!" At the exact same time.

These are my young years, my fun years, my wrinkle-free (well, sort of) years. And, I'm single, raising two tiny humans on my own. I still desire to have that once-in-a-lifetime love. The one where we stay up talking for hours and run around the house naked on a Sunday at noon. We all deserve that. I want to run around naked at noon before my ass is sagging and my hair turns grey. Ok, I want to do it then, too, but I'd like to start before then. But, back to the raising two humans on my own part. Running around naked at noon would likely result in a call to CPS from my all-too-interested neighbor.

My life is complicated and I'm a mess at times, but I love really well. Which leads me back to you.

Truth.

Yes, it hurt. Was I surprised? No. But I was hurt. It's been a bizarre year. Lots of ups and downs. New beginnings came after turbulent endings and none of that had to do with you. You were an idea, a possibility, in an otherwise murky time. In hoping for something better, something I was deserving of, I found you. And I went for it. Bold, brazen and unshy. (Is that even a word?)
Anyway, I'm glad I found you. I've never really pursued anyone before, so that was different. This dating thing is weird. And I'm admittedly bad at it. I have a hard time making time for me, so making time for dating in an all new environment was bizarre.

But that's me taking the load of guilt/blame for how things didn't take off. When in reality we had several liftoffs, we just never really sailed and that's nobody's fault. Some people just don't work. Timing is tricky and totally f*cked at times.

I'm annoyed at the timing of "Canada." I wish you would have met her before Thanksgiving so that you wouldn't have come here and I wouldn't have let you into the hearts of my little people. Watching Atticus' chin quiver as we drove away from the airport broke my heart. He really was invested in you. But he's 4 and he'll get over it. And I have learned to be more careful with his heart. And Waverly's. I don't want them to grow up falling in love with my prospects to then have to say goodbye. Again, that's my lesson and not your fault. But the timing sucked. And you should have told me in December, because wondering felt shitty.

This is my open letter to "you" and to anyone else out there who may be interested in dropping his hook in a single mom's waters. Tread lightly. Be intentional with your words and actions. And when/if you decide to go down a less complicated path, grow a set and use your voice to tell her, not your texts.