Sex and the Single Mom

Sharon McKenna, single mom (twin boys!) and author of Sex and the Single Mom, helps other single mothers figure out what they want from a relationship, how to rediscover their sexual confidence, and why being a parent makes it easier to find a partner.
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First: Kill the Guilt

Q. Why do you think the average single mom is "lost" in the dating world?
A. Many single moms are surprised to find that dating isn't at all like it was when they were single and childless. Now that they are parents, they need to consider a whole slew of things just to go out on a date, such as: are my kids going to be okay with this? Can I get a sitter for Saturday night? Where can I meet someone who likes kids and is responsible enough to date a woman who has them? All of these questions -- and so many more -- can overwhelm single moms so that they are tempted to just throw in the towel and stay home every Saturday night. They don't know how to start dating again, and they often feel bad about the failure of their marriage/relationship. They also may have lingering issues with the ex. All of this combined may make a single mom feel lost. She needs guidance -- a roadmap if you will -- and I've tried to provide that in my book.

Q. How can a single mom successfully balance her professional, home, and personal life?
A.
This is difficult for married moms, too. But for single mothers, the stress and responsibility is multiplied many times over. Not only do they have to bring home the bacon, they have to take out the trash and manage the family finances. I believe the key to staying sane is to not be too hard on yourself and to ask for help -- from friends, relatives, social workers -- anyone who can lend a hand during hard times. It's also important for single moms to build a strong social and support network with other single mothers AND single fathers -- it really takes another single parent to understand these struggles.

Q. Do you believe single moms feel guilty about having their own lives, aside from their children? Why or why not?
A.
Guilt was a theme that came up time and again from the single moms I spoke to. In my book, I recommend women "kill the guilt" before it kills them -- and their love lives. One way to do this is to keep track of all the time you spend on taking care of your kids, your job, your house, etc., and compare it to how much time you spend on yourself and your social life. Once you do that, chances are you'll feel a lot less guilty about taking a few hours out of every week for your romantic life. Plus, it's healthy for your children to see you having a life and friendships of your own -- they need to learn to respect Mommy's needs just as she respects theirs.

Continued on page 2:  Why Singles' Sex Is Better

 

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