I met Ella last year at the 2013 Blogging While Brown Conference. It was my first time ever attending a blogger conference and I did not know what to expect. I met Ella during lunch and she was so open and approachable. We kept in touch and then lost touch…But at the 2014, we picked up where we left off and she shared with me such a thoughtful and insightful lesson that she learned about friendship, love, sisterhood, and being a dating mother within that year. Here is what she learned and what she taught me. -K
by Ella Rucker
It hurts when we lose our friends. I’ve lost a few recently and at a time when I happen to be looking to date. And not just date. Date as a single mother.
The danger of being a single, dating mother is that potential mates may meet my child and, if the relationship fails, any bond they would have formed will be severed and my daughter will be hurt.
Here’s the rub: we as singles have been given rules, guidelines and advice on when the best time to introduce our new relationships into our children’s lives.
I’m here to say, that’s bull. I may not date a lot, but I have plenty of regular friends, and no matter how long it took me to introduce them to my daughter, when they left, my daughter was a little confused, but not so much hurt.
My 4-year-old daughter has lost a lot in her life; our home, her grandmother, my friends. She’s been in two daycare centers she loved and misses her class she left a year and a half ago so much that she still asks if we are going to school and what her teacher, Ms. Vonn, is doing at any given moment. And now people want me as a single mom to worry about another loss.
The loss of my boyfriend, who, by the way, doesn’t even exist yet.
Single mothers – single parents – who date are supposed to ponder whether or not we should introduce our new potential mates to our children on the first date or the tenth or at the altar.
That question was answered for me when one of my friends, someone very close to Joelle and myself, cut our relationship off without a goodbye to my daughter. And then another acquaintance I saw daily who had children my daughter adored did the same thing.
Joelle’s relationship with these people was hers not mine and when she asks about them – where are they? what are they doing? is that them on the phone? – I haven’t really got any good answers. But you know what? She seems to be okay with it.
And that’s where the lightbulb has gone off.
I let all kinds of people into my daughter’s life. Why would I treat a man with the potential of being my life mate any differently?
Now I know everyone doesn’t parent – or friend – the way I do; I present myself in my world – to clients and new BFFs alike – as part of a package. Wouldn’t it be a bait and switch if I gave my new man or just all those applying half the package when they show up to check me out? And what about my daughter? Isn’t treating this new person differently just putting her on guard, saying that he is a bigger deal than he is? Also, it may be devaluing what I am trying to teach her:
• Everyone deserves a chance.
• People come and go.
• There’s a reason for some and a season for others.
They say you have to go through something to learn a lesson. Losing my friends hurt, but watching my daughter ask about them is a different kind of pain.
People will come and go in and out of Joelle’s life. And that’s life. The person who will eventually become my best friend, life mate, Joelle’s stepdad, and a part of the new package may not be found on date one, but from the very first date he is going to know I come with a very cute bonus.
Ella is currently the producer and director of operations for #MentorMonday with Paul C. Brunson. Together they are building a blueprint for entrepreneurs to grow and enrich their businesses and their lives with #MentorMondayMastermind. You can find her blogging at They Met Online, by following her tweets @ellalaverne or reading her in-the-works blog, BestBlogContent.com.
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