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Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

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Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

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Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

Preface
About the Author
Alaina Sheer, aka Ms. Single Mama


Alaina Sleei, lnown as Ms. Single Mama io ile ieadeis of MsSingleMama.com,
became a single moilei in ile summei of :oo6, wlen lei son, Benjamin, was jusi
foui monils old. Sle siaiied wiiiing lei blog as Ms. Single Mama one yeai laiei.
Since ilen, lei blog las ieacled moie ilan i¸o,ooo ieadeis, wlo coniinue io come
bacl, noi only foi lei insigli inio daiing as a single mom, bui foi lei lonesi and
iefiesling aiiiiude iowaid life, no maiiei low clallenging ii becomes.

Hei daiing advice is based solely on lei own opinions and expeiiences and is in no
way validaied by piofessional psyclologisis oi ileiapisis, bui lei woids lave
inspiied ilousands of single moms io become lappy and fulfilled÷wleilei Piince
Claiming slows up oi noi.

Alaina iecenily quii lei day job io become a full-iime bloggei and wiiiei. Sle and
Benjamin, now iliee yeais old, live in Columbus, Olio.




Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

5

How to Read Ms. Single Mama Uncensored

I've oiganized ilis e-bool inio paiis coveiing ile iopics I lave found io be mosi
impoiiani io my single mom ieadeis. Eacl paii feaiuies ile mosi populai posis
fiom my blog (wiil ile oiiginal posi daies) as well as new conieni. If you see a
posi you iead wlen ii was oiiginally publisled online, don'i slip ii, because
clances aie ileie aie new iidbiis you could be missing. Many of ile posis fiom my
blog lave been expanded leie because I found iley deseived moie deiail.

Tle sioiies and posis in ilis e-bool aie noi in clionological oidei. Insiead, iley
aie caiegoiized by ielevance io eacl iopic. If you aie new io my blog, please caicl
up wiil ile claiaciei guide befoie ieading. If any of ile iopics you find leie
deseive moie conveisaiion, please feel fiee io siaii a iliead on my Single Moms
Foium ai www.MsSingleMama.com]single-moms.

Your satisfaction is incredibly important to me.
If foi any ieason you aie noi saiisfied wiil ile puiclase of ilis e-bool and would
lile a iefund, please coniaci me via e-mail ai mssinglemamaggmail.com. also In
addiiion, if you lave commenis oi would lile me io expand upon a ceiiain sioiy oi
iopic addiessed in ilis e-bool, please e-mail me wiil youi suggesiion. I am suie
ilis will be only ile fiisi of many ediiions.


















Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

6
Prince Charming Can Kiss My Ass

Once upon a iime, I was in love wiil my son's failei. In ile beginning, le made
me biealfasi eveiy moining. He leld me iiglily and wlispeied sweei noilings in
my eai. We couldn'i gei enougl of eacl oilei, and wlen le iold me wlai we lad
was "magic," I believed lim. I siill believe ilai.

Ii was magic because we weie supposed io male Benjamin, my liiile Piince
Claiming. Today, foi ile fiisi iime evei, Benjamin iold me le loves me.

"I uuvvv ooool, Mama," le said wiil lis iiny voice. I love you ioo, Benjamin. And
if I could do ii again, if I lad io do ii all ovei again, I would. Because you aie my
eveiyiling (and youi ioes aie pieiiy damn cuie ioo).

As single moms wlo alieady lave one piince oi maybe a piincess, can we ieally
male ioom foi anoilei one? Did you evei believe in Piince Claiming? I lnow I
did. I ilinl I siill do.

-----

To become a lappy and fulfilled single mom, you lave io siop waiiing foi a piince
io iescue you÷bui ilai doesn'i mean you lave io siop believing in one.




















Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

7
Character Guide

Tlis e-bool is a compilaiion of my besi daiing, sex, love, and ielaiionslip blog
posis. I've also added new sioiies and expanded upon old ones, all of wlicl span
ovei iliee yeais, fiom ile iime I became a single mom uniil now. Because I jump
aiound clionologically, I've included ilis landy claiaciei guide foi ieadeis new io
my blog.

!"#$%&'()*$!+,+: I am a ¸o-yeai-old divoiced single mom. Many of you lnow me
as Ms. Single Mama. Tlai name, as you'll find, isn'i only mine÷ii's youis, ioo. Ii
belongs io eveiy single mom oi single woman wlo is on a mission io find leiself
again.

-*'.+,&': my iliee-yeai-old son and ile love of my life. He is ile ieason foi
eveiyiling I do and eveiyiling I wiiie. I wani io be ile besi moilei I can be;
lence, I wiiie posis ilai exploie ile leaii and soul of us single moileis iiying io
navigaie ile daiing and ielaiionslip field wiil oui clildien's besi inieiesi always
ai ile foiefioni.

-*'.+,&'/"$ 0+12*3: my Fiencl-Canadian ex-lusband. He las lis faulis, bui le
loves Benjamin moie ilan anyiling. Typically le iales Benjamin one oi iwo niglis
a weel.

42*$-&5*3: my fiisi fling as a single mom. We all need a Bilei.

!6$738"2: my fiisi devasiaiing ciusl as a single mom. We all lave ilem.

93&": my fiisi posi-divoice boyfiiend. Kiis and I weie in a commiiied ielaiionslip
foi six monils and coniinued io see eacl oilei foi anoilei six monils afieiwaid.

7+:&'$ !+' ;+5+$ 9*''*<6=: a fun fling. Daiing Cabin Man was a clallenge and
foiced me io diiecily addiess ile issue of iniioducing ile lids io youi daie.

!3#$ !+': a boyfiiend I feli lesiiani aboui iiusiing. Wlen I finally did, six weels
inio oui ielaiionslip, le biole a piomise io me and I piompily licled lim io ile
cuib. As ii iuins oui, I wasn'i ciusled oi biolen afieiwaid. Daiing Mi. Man made
me iealize you can be in coniiol of youi daiing pail if you aie confideni and self-
assuied aboui wlo you aie and wlai you expeci fiom men.

42*$4&(*3: my fiisi ieal lovei. No commiimeni ai all, no feelings, jusi . well, you
gei ile idea.

>?2'$-*+3: my fiisi iiue love. As many of you lnow, ilis is jusi ile beginning. Siay
iuned io my blog io see low oui sioiy ends (alilougl I lope ii nevei does).
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

8

!&+: my besi giilfiiend. We lave been fiiends since we weie jusi five yeais old.
Recenily Mia became a single moilei leiself wlen lei boyfiiend of seven yeais
cleaied on lei wiil a iweniy-iliee-yeai-old baiiendei.

%6<'*6: Mia's five-yeai-old daugliei and Benjamin's besi fiiend.























Introduction

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

9
The Back Story
Why and how I became a single mother

Befoie you iead my daiing, sex, and love advice, ii's impoiiani you lnow ile
ciicumsiances ilai led me inio single moileilood. My maiiiage io my ex-lusband
was difficuli, io pui ii mildly. Tlai explains my lesiiaiion io iiusi men and also my
uige io peimanenily licl ilose bad boys io ile cuib.


Tle maiiiage, lile oui ielaiionslip, was a wliilwind.

Wlen ile INS ageni pulled us aside on oui way bacl inio ile Uniied Siaies, we
lad been iogeilei foi only nine weels. I lad bougli ile aiiplane iicleis io
Moniieal as a suipiise io cuie lis case lomesiclness. Being a naïve iweniy-five-
yeai-old, I lad no idea I was daiing an illegal alien.

Wlile iley quesiioned lim, I sai by oui suiicases and waiied. I iiied noi io lool ai
ile men on my iigli and my lefi, all of wlom lad dail slin and iuibans on ileii
lead. I couldn'i beai io lool inio ileii eyes, bui I could feel ileii feai jusi be
seeing ileii slaling lands and leaiing ileii incessanily iapping feei. We weie all
ai ile meicy of ile men belind ile couniei, and I didn'i lile ii one bii.

"Is sle wiil you?" iley asled my boyfiiend sieinly wlile poiniing ai me.

"Yes," le answeied quiclly. I lad nevei seen lim lile ilis befoie. Usually siiong
and suie of limself, now le was as neivous as ile oilei men in ile ioom. He lad
been in ile U.S. foi only iliee monils bui lad been woiling foi a local iesiauiani.
Tle ownei lad said ilai a woil visa was being piocessed, bui appaienily le lad
been lying because ile officeis belind ile iall couniei couldn'i find any iiace of
ile papeiwoil.

"You migli wani io go caicl youi fligli," one of ilem iold me, "because le's going
io be leie foi a wlile."

"I'm noi going anywleie wiiloui lim," I said slaiply. I decided ilai if ilese guys
wanied io iale away my sexy Fiencl Canadian boyfiiend, I wasn'i going io male ii
easy foi ilem. Wlile I siaied ilem down, I was biainsioiming lines aboui lawyeis
and a iicl and veiy poweiful failei. Wlen iley lei us go, iley siamped lis
passpoii and said, "He las io be bacl in Canada by }uly iS oi slow evidence of a
visa by ilen."

On ile fligli lome I siudied lis face wlile le slepi. His long eyelasles looled lile
cuiiains, wiil lis caiamel-biown eyes liding beneail ilem. His land leld mine
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

10
iiglily even in sleep, and I lnew ilen I didn'i wani lim io leave, noi yei. Tle nexi
moining I called an immigiaiion aiioiney and wiilin iliee louis we weie ai lis
office.

"Weie you ileie?" le asled me wlile lolding my boyfiiend's passpoii, siudying
ile siamp wiil ile menacing deadline and ilen landing ii io lis paiinei.

"Yeal."

"Tlai's wly," ile fiisi aiioiney said io ile one now lolding ile passpoii.

"Yep."

Tley lepi looling ai ileii noies and ile passpoii, and ilen one of ilem lified lis
lead and iold my boyfiiend, "We've nevei seen a siamp lile ilis befoie. My only
guess is iley lei you in because sle was wiil you. You'ie lucly io be leie."

Afiei less ilan iliiiy minuies of quesiions and answeis, ile aiioiney said, "Well, ii
lools lile ile only way io leep lim leie would be maiiiage."

"Really? Tleie isn'i any oilei way? Some lind of woil visa oi siudeni visa?"

"No, I'm afiaid noi," le said. "Lei us lnow if you do decide io gei maiiied, and
we'll be leie io fill oui ile papeiwoil foi you."

Wlen we walled ouiside io my cai, I feli nauseaied. As a liiile giil my daydieams
lad nevei included a lusband, a louse, and a wliie piclei fence. I lad always
dieami of living alone in ile ciiy, piefeiably in a ligl-iise condominium wiil
beauiiful diesses in ile closei. Maiiiage÷even ilen÷was scaiy as lell io me. Ii
was }une :(. Tle clocl was iicling.

"I don'i lave io siay," le iold me.

"I lnow, bui if you leave you won'i be able io come bacl. We would piobably
nevei see eacl oilei again." Tle ilougli of losing lim scaied me moie ilan ile
ilougli of maiiying lim. Bui ii lad been only nine weels. Was I losing my mind?

On ile day we mei, iain was pounding down ouiside, foicing me io iun inio ile
iesiauiani wiil my lead down, coveied by ile lood of my yellow iain jaclei. I was
meeiing a fiiend foi luncl ai one of my favoiiie iesiauianis. I lnew ile managei
wlo seaied me eveiy iime I came. Afiei my fiiend aiiived, I was slowing lei ile
open liiclen wlen I noiiced one of ile cools looling ai me. Oui eyes mei and we
boil smiled. I waicled lim iliougl oui appeiizeis, siudying ile way le laugled
wiil lis co-woileis. He lad a magneiic peisonaliiy and ii was pulling me in. I
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

11
asled my managei fiiend if le could iniioduce me, and wiilin minuies ile cool
was ai oui iable. He explained in lis leavy Fiencl acceni ilai le was jusi leaining
Englisl and lad yei io even go oui in lis new ciiy.

"Ol, no! Tlai's awful. You lave io go oui foi a nigli. I'd be lappy io iale you," I
insisied. He nodded piofusely, and I iool ilai as a good sign.

One weel laiei I called ile iesiauiani and asled ile cool if le would lile io join
me foi diinls ai a bai neaiby. We lad a few diinls and ilen danced. Ai one poini
le came up fiom belind and pui lis aims aiound my waisi. !"#$%& I ilougli, '&
()*++& ,"$,& -*$.+& "*& /01*+& -*2& Undeisianding lis biolen Englisl lad been
clallenging, bui undeisianding lis ioucl and ilen lis liss on ile balcony of ile
bai was easy. We speni ile nigli iogeilei ilai nigli and lad been viiiually
insepaiable evei since.

And now, jusi ovei iwo monils laiei, leie we weie, in a pailing loi of an
aiioiney's office. Him wiil lis land on my bacl asling me if I'm olay and me
neaily vomiiing in bioad dayligli ai ile idea of maiiying lim.

I'm noi suie low we came io ile decision io gei maiiied. Tleie was no pioposal,
jusi a seiies of conveisaiions debaiing wleilei oi noi we wanied io live wiiloui
eacl oilei. Ii was all a blui of lusi misialen foi love, wiil an added dasl of
youilful ignoiance. I do lnow we decided on a Tluisday io gei maiiied, iold my
family on a Saiuiday, and ilen weie aciually maiiied by Wednesday.

Tle wedding was beauiiful and beyond iomaniic, bui iealiiy didn'i waii long io
come ciasling down. Ten days afiei ile wedding we lad oui fiisi figli. Bui ii
wasn'i jusi a figli÷ileie was someiling belind my lusband's eyes and in lis
woids ilai scaied me. His angei diove me down my apaiimeni siaiis and inio ile
dail of ile nigli, wleie I siaiied walling and ilen iunning wlen I leaid lim
slouiing foi me. I managed io ducl down belind some busles and ilen sneal
inio ile fioni seai of my cai. I cluicled ile sieeiing wleel so laid my lnuclles
iuined wliie, and ilen I jusi siaiied sobbing. !"$,&"$3*&4#)&5#.*6 I ilougli. !"#&
0+&,"0+&()46&!"#&0+&"*6&7#)&5#.8,&*3*.&1.#9&"0-&$.5&.#9&4#)8:*&-$::0*5&,#&"0-2

Soon afiei ilai nigli my lusband iool a iiaveling job and came lome only one
weel oui of eveiy monil. So, foi ile mosi paii, we speni ile fiisi yeai of oui
maiiiage apaii. I iold my besi giilfiiend one nigli ovei diinls, "You lnow wlai? If
someiling lappened, if we jusi weien'i maiiied anymoie, I wouldn'i even miss
lim. I jusi don'i even lnow lim."

A few weels laiei I iold lim I couldn'i beai ilis mucl longei, ilai eiilei we gei io
lnow eacl oilei oi we gei a divoice. Less ilan iweniy-foui louis afiei le leaid
ilose woids, le quii lis job and caugli a fligli lome. Foui weels laiei I was
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

12
ialing a piegnancy iesi in ile bailioom afiei a laie peiiod and one insiance of
unpioiecied sex ecloing in my mind.

Despiie oui maiiial pioblems, and even ilougl ile piegnancy ladn'i been
planned, I didn'i even considei an aboiiion. I could feel my baby inside of me,
giowing eveiy day, and suddenly I lnew wly I lad mei my lusband. Desiiny wiil
lei INS siamps and iainy Wednesday luncles lad a liiile suipiise up lei sleeve:
ilis clild, I decided, was supposed io lappen.

Duiing my piegnancy, I focused solely on ile baby. I loved ile idea ilai my body
was iiansfoiming inio a vessel caiiying ile life of a iiny peison I lad yei io meei. I
ialled io lim in my quiei momenis, paiiing my siomacl and ielling lim
eveiyiling was going io be olay. Meanwlile, my ielaiionslip wiil my lusband
coniinued io deieiioiaie. Tle fiisi iime I seiiously consideied a divoice, I was jusi
eigli weels piegnani. He was unemployed again and speni lis days on ile coucl
waicling TV, iailei ilan looling foi woil.

"I'll gei a job wlen I need io, jusi siop ialling," le would say. Being ile daugliei of
a laidwoiling failei, I couldn'i even giasp ile idea of a lusband noi looling foi
woil wlen lis wife was expeciing, wlen le lad a son on ile way. And as foi lim
nevei, evei waniing io iall aboui anyiling÷ilai paii was seiiously siaiiing io gei
on my neives.

Insiead of leaving ilen, wlicl in ieiiospeci would lave been ile besi decision, I
licled lim oui. Two weels and iwo maiiiage counseling sessions laiei, I iool lim
bacl. Being ile iomaniic and soon-io-be moilei I was, I ieally didn'i wani io give
up ile clance÷a slim clance, bui siill a clance÷ilai le would be a beiiei
lusband once ile baby aiiived.

Some men do clange.

He didn'i.

Ii aciually jusi goi woise.

Wlen I was five monils piegnani, we moved inio a biggei apaiimeni. Boxes weie
eveiywleie. In full nesiing mode, I wanied eveiyiling unpacled.

I did wlai I could. Eveiy day afiei woil, I weni lome and unpacled. Eveniually, I
lad managed io cleai eveiy small box, scooi eveiy ligli piece of fuiniiuie, and
even decoiaie mosi of ile walls. Bui ileie weie siill piles and piles of boxes ioo
leavy foi me io lifi. Days weni by and ile boxes sai ileie. Eveiy nigli, I would asl
lim io move ilem, and eveiy moining I'd wale up and iley'd be in ile same spoi.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

13
Finally, I siaiied ciying, piaciically begging lim, "Can you please jusi move ilem?
I'll iell you wleie iley need io go."

"Wly? Wly iigli now? I'll gei io ii," le yelled.

I'm noi suie wlai I said bacl. Wlaievei ii was, ii pusled lim ovei ile edge. He
picled up a leavy box filled wiil movies and bools and iliew ii ai me. Hiiiing me
in ile lnees, ile box baiely missed my piegnani belly. I lepi my balance and,
slocled by wlai jusi lappened, feli a liiile scaied. I iealized ilai I aciually didn'i
lnow ilis man ai all. I didn'i lnow wlo le was wlen we goi maiiied and I didn'i
lnow lim now. Bui I was piegnani wiil lis clild.

"No," I iemembei ilinling, "ilis is noi lis clild. Tlis is my clild."

Tle figlis iniensified and, one nigli, le aciually pusled me, belly and face
foiwaid, inio ile siaiis. I caugli myself wiil my aims, saving my siomacl fiom ile
impaci. I lepi ilai sioiy io myself and wouldn'i iell a soul. I was aslamed, and I
lnew I couldn'i leave lim÷noi ilen, noi wlile I was piegnani. Insiead, I close io
play ile lappy liiile wife and lepi eveiyiling calm and ielaiively peaceful uniil ile
biiil.

Tliee monils afiei Benjamin was boin, my lusband came lome eaily fiom
woil÷ioo eaily.

"I goi fiied," le iold me.

Tleie would be no discussion. No conveisaiion aboui wlai io do nexi. Laiei ilai
weel, le iold me le wanied io be a siay-ai-lome dad÷ilai le wasn'i in ile mood
io woil anymoie. I lad jusi finisled iliee monils of unpaid maieiniiy leave, so
ilis was a financial impossibiliiy. My lusband lad officially become a buiden. On
iop of eveiyiling else, I now lad io suppoii lim.

I lad been playing ile guili caids delicaiely in my mind, avoiding iealiiy foi ioo
long and, in iuin, effeciively oveilooling ii all÷giving myself one ieason oi
anoilei io siay. And ilen, my momeni came. He was pounding on oui bedioom
dooi. My body was piessed up againsi ile wood, my cleel againsi ile giain.
Benjamin was nesiled in oui bedspiead lisiening io ii all. Even ilougl my baby
couldn'i undeisiand, ii dawned on me ilai eveniually le would. And if I siayed
wiil ilis man, Benjamin migli giow up leaining io iall io women ilis way.

I decided ilai foi Benjamin, noi laving a failei aiound would be beiiei ilan
laving ,"0+ failei aiound, in ilis losiile enviionmeni. As foi noi laving a
lusband, ilai was easy÷if ilis was wlai maiiiage was lile, ilen I'd iailei be
single. Was I ieally going io give up my eniiie life and any clance of lappiness jusi
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Preface

14
so my son could lave a failei in ile louse? Did I wani Benjamin io giow up wiil
miseiable paienis wlo weie iogeilei only foi lim? Foi some women, ilis is
possible. Foi me, unlappiness was noi, and nevei will be, an opiion.

Wlen I iold lim I was leaving, le looled defeaied. Foi a momeni, ile angei
beiween us was gone, and I iealized ilai I was doing ile iigli iling foi all iliee of
us. Tlis lad been a misiale fiom ile beginning and we boil lnew ii. Bui leaving
wouldn'i be easy. He iefused io leave ile apaiimeni, giving me no opiion oilei
ilan io upiooi oui lives and move wiil a newboin. I lefi my caieei, my fiiends,
and eveiyiling I lad woiled foi and moved in wiil my moilei, wlo lived louis
away in my lomeiown.

Tle fiisi nigli ai lei louse, I siaiied ciying lysieiically. A iocl up uniil ilai
momeni, I lad suddenly become oveiwlelmed wiil ile iealiiy of wlai I lad jusi
done. And my lusband, wlai would le do all alone in oui empiy apaiimeni? Ii's
funny now io ilinl I lad aciually woiiied aboui low le would male ii wiiloui
me. I lad no idea wlai I was aboui io go iliougl myself.

Now a single mom, I iool ii one day ai a iime. I didn'i ilinl aboui ile fuiuie oi
low I would gei bacl io ile ciiy and bacl io my caieei. I jusi buclled in foi ile
iide. Tleie aie no woids io desciibe ile yeai ilai followed. I suivived by facing my
feais bui nevei leiiing ilem consume me. My maieinal insiincis weie also in full
geai. I was siill bieasifeeding and all I could ilinl aboui was leeping my baby
lappy and lealily. Tlai lelped iale my mind off of eveiyiling else. We weie
libeinaiing, liding fiom ile woild, uniil I could gei us bacl io ii.

Somelow I would. }usi undei one yeai laiei, I found an even beiiei job in ile ciiy
and am now compleiely suppoiiing my liiile family of iwo.

I lnow ileie aie many women oui ileie in loiiible maiiiages, sucling ii up foi
ileii clildien oi foi financial ieasons. Ii's ilese women my leaii ieally goes oui io
÷ile maiiied single moms. Someiimes I lool ai my life in iwo alieinaie univeises
and ilinl, "Wlai if I lad siayed?"

I can'i even imagine.

Part 1: Dating as a Single Mom
!And you thought giving birth was hard!!








Conienis:
i. Tle Fiisi Yeai
:. Tle Law of Aiiiaciion
¸. Old Habiis Die Haid
(. Tle Single Mom Bomb
¸. Gei a Man, Alieady
6. Lasi Woids
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

16
Afiei you've lad a clild and a divoice, ile idea of daiing seems so foieign. Wly
wouldn'i ii? Mosi of us weie maiiied oi in veiy seiious ielaiionslips, ilinling we'd
nevei lave io dive bacl inio ilai big, bad daiing pond.

On iop of eveiyiling else÷woil, ile lids, oui lomes, ile bills, co-paieniing
ielaiionslips wiil exes÷we'ie expecied io aciually go oui on daies wiil siiangeis.
Seiiously? Bui wlile ile idea of daiing can be oveiwlelming ai fiisi, eveniually
many of us gei bacl oui ileie. We do ii because we aien'i jusi moileis, we aie
single women÷love, sex, and ielaiionslips aie paii of ile equaiion io living a
lealily and balanced life.

Oui desiie io daie doesn'i mean ii will be easy. Daiing is ofien one of ile mosi
clallenging fiisis any new single mom can face. Foi some of us, ii iales iime io
daie again. We'ie siill luii, and biinging a man inio ile piciuie can seem lile
moie lassle ilan ii's woiil.

Oileis, lile myself, cloose io daie duiing ile lealing piocess. Foi me, ii was a
necessaiy evil io exploie my new leaii. To find myself again, I lad io daie again÷
someiling I loved doing befoie becoming a moilei÷and ileie aie also oilei
ilings (alem, lile sex) ilai ilis single mama cannoi live wiiloui.

Wlile daiing as a single mom, I lave lii quiie a few bumps in ile ioad÷even
giani poiloles÷bui I've lived io iell aboui ilem. Fiom my expeiiences, I've
gaileied a solid lisi of iules of ilumb foi single mom daiing:

• Leain fiom eacl expeiience. Even if ii ends badly, ileie is always someiling
you can iale away io impiove upon youi picls in ile fuiuie.
• Keep a jouinal, if you can, and iemind youiself wlai you did oi did noi lile
aboui a poieniial maicl.
• Lisien io youi gui, always. Tlose luncles aie usually iigli.
• If le is noi maling you feel absoluiely wondeiful and filling youi life wiil joy
and lappiness (and believe me, ilis is veiy possible), ilen move on.
• You do noi need a man io be conieni÷iley'ie jusi icing on ile cale.
• A man will nevei be able io compleie you oi fill ilose loles in youi leaii. You
lave io do ilai on youi own.
• Lei go of ile laie you feel foi youi ex befoie you begin daiing. Ii can be ugly if
you don'i. To speed ilings up, leep all conveisaiions wiil lim aboui ile lids.
Sei youi boundaiies.
• Nevei foigei ilai you and youi clildien always come fiisi. If ilai means
luiiing a man's feelings, ilen so be ii. All adulis aie always secondaiy io a
clild's besi inieiesis. Tlai's wly we'ie ile adulis and iley aie ile clildien. If
le las a beef wiil ilis, ilen you may noi wani io be daiing lim anyway. You
slould nevei lave io apologize foi being a good mom io anyone. Tleie aie
legiiimaie iimes wlen a man daiing a single mom may need moie "daie" iime
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

17
oi one-on-one iime wiil lei, bui demanding moie aiieniion oveiall slould
male you quesiion wleilei oi noi le's ieady io be a siepfailei.
• Being single is noi ile end of ile woild. Alilougl ii is laid÷laidei ilan
anyiling you evei imagined÷ii does gei easiei. And youi clildien aie gaining
so mucl siiengil seeing you go on. Find lappiness wiilin youiself.
• Have fun. Always, always, always lave fun wlile daiing. And don'i beai
youiself up if you male a misiale oi iwo÷you'ie only luman.

Above all, give youiself ile ioom you need io adjusi io youi new life, youi new
single siaius, and youi new÷albeii limiied÷fieedom.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year


The First Year
No matter how hard you try, you can’t beat time

The Rapunzel Complex
Adjusting to being trapped in your tower

I walled iliougl my moilei's gaiden and lei my lands liglily ioucl ile floweis
suiiounding me, iunning my fingeiiips iliougl ileii sofi peials. I wondeied if I
could evei be so beauiiful and innoceni again. Benjamin was in lis sling, siill
siiiiing, bui jusi seconds away fiom finally falling asleep. A iesiless newboin, le
lad yei io sleep foi moie ilan six louis siiaigli. His failei lad occasionally ialen
lim fiom me in ile nigli, bui Benjamin's scieams would only iniensify. Minuies
laiei le would be bacl in my aims, my exaspeiaied lusband insisiing I iale ile
baby so le could sleep.

Now my lusband was gone. And I was fiee÷well, almosi. I siill lad Benjamin
siiapped io my clesi duiing all of my waling louis ouiside of woil. Tle piessuie
was immense and unieleniing, bui ile peace ilai came wiil ilai exiia few feei in
my bed, ile quiei, diama-fiee niglis, and being in coniiol of my desiiny÷no
maiiei low unceiiain ii seemed÷gave me lope ilai soon Benjamin and I would
be bacl on oui feei and siiongei ilan evei. Bui in ile meaniime, I wanied some
ielief, some niglis oui, some caiefiee slopping iiips÷anyiling ilai would give
me a minuie oi iwo io myself. I also wanied despeiaiely io exploie my newfound
singleness. Unfoiiunaiely, aciually doing so was nexi io impossible.

I was absoluiely biole, wiiloui a penny io spaie foi an evening babysiiiei. My
moilei's louse was so fai oui in ile woods ilai I was now ovei an loui and a lalf
away fiom my fiiends in ile ciiy; even if by some miiacle I could gei oui of ile
louse foi a momeni, my fieedom would iypically lave an expiiaiion daie÷ile
momeni wlen Benjamin would wale up scieaming foi me. I am ceiiain mosi new
moileis, especially young moileis wlo weien'i expeciing piegnancy, feel ilis
sense of eniiapmeni, bui being a single moilei gives you even fewei oppoiiuniiies
io iasie fieedom. Tle few escapes I managed weie usually iuns io ile gioceiy sioie
oi maybe one oi iwo diinls wiil fiiends.

Wiil no iepiieve and no end in sigli, I iesigned myself io ile faci ilai my life was
nevei going io be ile same÷a veiy laid pill io swallow. I decided in ile gaiden
ilai day ilai I would nevei be as innoceni as ile day lilies beiween my fingeis, bui
ilai le was oui ileie. Ii could be yeais befoie I would find lim, bui uniil ilen I
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

19
would daydieam aboui wlai ii would be lile io lave someone, someone wlo
aciually loved me, someone wlo would move planeis foi me (oi ai leasi jusi male
me dinnei). I also siaiied io envision ile end of ilis puigaioiy ai my moilei's.
Tlis wouldn'i be ile end of my sioiy, ii would be ile beginning, a new beginning.
And even ilougl I wanied ilis new beginning of mine io siaii immediaiely, ii
wouldn'i÷indeed, ii couldn'i. I was iiapped in my siiuaiion, iiapped cleaning up
ile pieces of my slaiieied maiiiage. I would lave io gei used io my iowei and
woil aiound my ciicumsiances io find new aciiviiies and new fieedoms wiilin ile
walls of my own lome.

Adjusiing io ile limiied fieedoms of being a single mom is by fai ile laidesi
adjusimeni we male. In ile louis afiei ile clildien do finally fall asleep÷wlen
you would lave been spending iime wiil youi lusband oi peilaps figliing wiil
lim oi ignoiing lim÷you aie suddenly lefi in ile silence of youi own lead wiil
noiling io do oilei ilan clean, cool, waicl TV, iead, oi call fiiends on ile plone.
You aie siucl belind ile walls of youi lome and youi leaii, wiil veiy few ways
oui.

Tle iiicl io finding peace wiilin youi iowei÷ile Rapunzel Complex÷is io find a
passion ilai you can puisue wiil ile lids oi ai nigli in youi lome. Mine was and
siill is my blog and my wiiiing. And once I moved bacl io ile ciiy, I was able io
inviie fiiends ovei io my place ai nigli afiei Benjamin weni io sleep. We lad quiie
a few faniasiic living ioom gei-iogeileis. Wleilei ii be masieiing ile aii of
enieiiaining people in youi lome, doing yoga, oi painiing, find youi passion,
peilaps someiling you lave always wanied io iiy. Replace youi ielaiionslip wiil
youi ex-lusband wiil a ielaiionslip wiil youiself. Once you find ilai passion, ile
biggesi pioblem you'll lave will be finding a siicl long enougl io fend off ile
inieiesied men.


The Biker
Discovering I still had it in me
Posied on }une S, :ooS

I'm noi suie wlicl scaied me moie, ile Bilei oi lis Hailey.

"C'mon, do you ilinl I'd evei lei anyiling lappen io you? And you'ie gonna love
ii!" He was veiy peisuasive foi a guy weaiing a leailei vesi and a bandana.

He'd been asling me io iale a iide foi monils and I'd been iefusing, uniil now.
Maybe ii was because eveiyiling÷lim, ilis place, and ilese feelings÷was all so
fiigliening, so diffeieni fiom ile life I'd lefi belind. Wlen I lefi my lusband, I
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

20
moved eveiyiling I owned inio a sioiage sled. Oui cuie liiile apaiimeni in ile
ciiy neiglboilood I lad loved so mucl was now baie, wiil ile excepiion of ile
TV, ile maiiiess, and ile liiclen supplies.

Wlen I mei ile Bilei, I was ialing Benjamin foi a wall down ile giavel ioad
leading io my moilei's louse. Insiead of siiolling pasi bouiiques and coffee slops,
I was now dodging bugs and cuising ile sileni foiesi suiiounding us. Eveniually, I
would leain io love ile couniiy and iecognize ile beauiy in ilai noisy silence, bui
ai ile iime, I was siill iiying io wiap my lead aiound ii all. I was sciaping ile soles
of my sloes on ile siiollei wleel, iiying io dislodge ile biis of giavel, wlen I
leaid voices÷male voices. Tlen ile dogs came.

Leaping oui of ile biusl, iley weie iunning siiaigli foi ile siiollei and Benjamin.
I diew a quicl bieail and managed a yelp oi iwo wlile jumping in fioni of ile
siiollei, biacing myself foi wlaievei ilese dogs weie aboui io do.

"Hey! Gei down÷.#9!"

Tle dogs came io an immediaie siop ai ile sound of ileii ownei's deep, lusly
voice. My baby's lead was iniaci, and sianding in fioni of us was a man wlo
looled lile le could lave squisled any of my ciiy boys inio a iin can. He woie
camouflage panis, a ied bandana, and a biown and blond beaid, wlicl lii jusi
above lis belly. ;# noi my iype.

"Soiiy," le said. As le commanded ile dogs bacl, I could see ile flames of a
campfiie in lis yaid. Aiound ii sai iliee oldei, giaying men in a ciicle, slaiing
iales. I glanced ai ile diiveway. Tliee biles.

Bileis. Tley weie ieal bileis.

"Hi," I said. "I'm Alaina÷I jusi moved in wiil my mom, down ile siieei."

"Wiil ile liiile guy's dad?" le asled.

"No, we'ie alone. His failei and I aie sepaiaied."

"Well, anyiime you wani io siop by and jusi clill, lei me lnow. I'm always leie
and, if I'm noi, ile dogs will be inside."

Laiei, my Bilei would iell me low ciazy ii lad been io see me walling down ilai
ioad, low siunning le lad ilougli I was, sianding ileie in my sweaipanis and
ponyiail. Bui, ai ile iime, I lad feli fai less ilan siunning, so I cui ile conveisaiion
sloii and lepi pusling Benjamin. I jusi loped ile Bilei ladn'i noiiced ile baby
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

21
goo siains all ovei my sliii. And, even ilougl le wasn'i my iype, I lad feli lis eyes
on me and I wanied io feel ilem again, io see ilem again.

Soon, Benjamin and I would be visiiing ile Bilei and lis campfiie ai leasi iliee oi
foui niglis a weel. I needed io escape my moilei's louse, and le needed some
company. We would lay Benjamin down on a blanlei and lei lim ciawl aiound, oi
ile Bilei would bounce lim on lis lnee and iell me low mucl le wanied a son of
lis own someday. Oui goodbyes ai ile end of eacl nigli lingeied, boil of us
unsuie low io asl ile oilei oui. I lad compleiely foigoiien low io do ilis and
didn'i even lnow if I could÷and ile Bilei could sense ii.

Afiei iliee monils of fiiendslip and awlwaid fliiiing, I came lome fiom woil
one day and found floweis waiiing foi me. Tle caid iead, "I'd lile io iale you oui
io dinnei, Beauiiful. Love, ile Bilei."

-----

"Wlai aie you waiiing foi? I'm noi going io biie." He paiied ile bacl of lis bile.

Oui dinnei lad come and gone and I was finally going io iide wiil lim. Wlen ile
bile iool off, I sliieled a liiile and wiapped my aims aiound lis clesi, cluicling
my lands iogeilei and piessing my lead inio lis bacl. I losi myself in lis sceni, in
ile wind splasling up againsi my face, and ilen, in ile sunsei.

"Lool, lool ai ile sly," le slouied ovei ile bile's ioai.

"Yeal, I see. Ii's unbelievable." And so was ilis momeni, jusi ile beginning of wlai
would be a long, long daiing ioad. Bui I was ieady foi ile iide.

The Rebound Year
Rush right in but be careful where you step
Posied on }uly :¸, :ooS

Afiei I lefi my lusband, I wanied a new one. '--*50$,*/4. Raising a newboin on
my own and woiling full-iime was noi easy, I needed lelp. Bui ilai wasn'i ii. I
wanied io meei lim÷my peifeci guy, ile man of my dieams. Wly wasn'i le leie
yei? And if le wasn'i my ex-lusband, ilen wlo was le and low long would ii iale
uniil le slowed up? I ilougli aboui lim, ilis idea of lim, all ile iime.

Blinded by my own despeiaiion, I ilougli I was ieady, and I'd clecl eveiy man's
lefi iing fingei, no maiiei wlo iley weie. Pizza deliveiy diiveis, mailmen, waiieis,
old men, young men÷I didn'i caie, I jusi wanied one.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

22

I wanied io be iescued.

Bui ileie would be no iescue. Tle faci ilai I feli I needed a man so despeiaiely
scaied all of ile good ones away. Ii iool one yeai befoie I iealized ilai I jusi
wasn'i ieady foi a seiious ielaiionslip. Only ilen, wiil ilai iealizaiion, did ile
ieal lealing begin.

Unfoiiunaiely foi my fiiends and family, I did daie duiing ile fiisi yeai. Afiei eacl
daie, I would iun ile play-by-play of ile nigli by wloevei would lisien and ilen
obsessively waii by ile plone foi lim io call. I was even annoying myself. And
ilen one of my fiiends, a single mom leiself, gave me advice I didn'i wani io leai.

"You'ie noi ieady."

"I lnow, I lnow. Bui I wani a man so badly."

"}usi lisien io youiself. You'ie ioo despeiaie. You need one yeai befoie you'll
aciually be able io lave a ielaiionslip. Uniil ilen, eveiyiling slould be casual and
fun, noiling moie."

"No, no, no. I can'i waii ilai long. I am ieady. I am."

Sle was iigli, bui I didn'i lisien. I lepi daiing only io be sloi down ovei and ovei
again by men wlo could smell my despeiaiion. I lnow you'll piobably jump oui
ileie and daie befoie youi yeai is up as well, so please leep ilese ilouglis and
iips in mind:

• You piobably aien'i ieady. Accepi ii and you may avoid luiiing youiself oi
someone else.
• Be lonesi wiil any men wlo fall foi you, bui don'i scaie ilem off wiil ioo
mucl discussion aboui wleilei oi noi you aie ieady. Tlis is a ielliale sign ilai
you aien'i.
• Be fiiends fiisi. Tale ii as slow as you can.
• Spaie youi fiiends ile agony of ile posi-daie play-by-play. Siaii a jouinal oi
blog io veni aboui youi daiing expeiiences.
• Do noi iall aboui youi baggage wiil youi daies. I ilinl ilis goes wiiloui
saying, bui iiusi me÷iigli now, ii's besi io waii uniil you'ie veiy comfoiiable
wiil a guy befoie biinging ilese ilings oui of ile closei.

And, lasily, don'i slooi ile messengei. }usi iiusi me wlen I say ilai ile fiisi yeai
lolds some land mines you can avoid if you leep ile above in mind.
Unfoiiunaiely, I leained ile laid way.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

23
The Crush
Why losing your heart as a new single mom is not an option

Wlen I fiisi saw lim, I couldn'i siop siaiing, bui I iiied. I siaiied ieaiianging
ilings on my desl, soiiing papeis, and placing all of ile eiiani papei clips bacl in
ileii liiile bunny baslei. Tle desl decoiaiions weien'i mine; iley weie all land-
me-downs lefi by ile secieiaiy befoie me. Tle desl iiself was ai leasi iliiiy yeais
old, giani and leavy wiil meial edges woin and aciually iusiing in spois.

Six weels befoie, I lad been an accouni assisiani ai a bouiique ad agency in ile
ciiy and now I was leie, ai ile iadio siaiion I lad inieined foi in ligl sclool. Tle
job lad miiaculously opened up jusi days befoie I'd called, fianiically looling foi
woil so I could leave my lusband. Ii paid jusi enougl io covei my bills wiil a liiile
lefi ovei foi some gioceiies. Railei ilan feeling aslamed foi ialing sucl a luge
siep bacl, I speni my days laugling wiil my old co-woileis, slaiing memoiies,
and escaping fiom ile iealiiy ilai awaiied me ai my moilei's louse. I missed
Benjamin ieiiibly duiing ile days, bui I needed ile eigli-loui bieal.

Eveiy weel, one of ile siaiion's slows would feaiuie a guesi fiom ile communiiy,
an upsianding ciiizen oi someone wlo wanied io piomoie an upcoming eveni
sucl as a conceii, fesiival, oi aii faii. Wlen le walled in, ile dooi snapped slui
belind lim, I looled up, bui le lepi walling and iool a seai on ile bencl in ile
lallway. Cleaily, le lad been leie befoie. His biown panis maicled an equally
bland sliii and lis beaid looled sciuffy aiound lis sofi cleels and dail eyes. His
boois weie woin, and le iapped lis fooi a bii befoie ciossing lis aims ovei lis
ilicl clesi.

"Hi," I said. "I'm Alaina."

"Veiy nice io meei you, Alaina," le said. His voice lad a lindness aboui ii, a waim
geneiosiiy, bui lis eyes weie liding some lind of pain.

"Wly aie you leie?" I asled.

"My band las a few slows coming up. You?"

"You'ie up," ile slow losi said. Tle woids biole oui conveisaiion, and wiil ilai
ile man siood up, nodded poliiely ai me, and ilen ducled inio ile siudio. I
ielaxed bacl inio my claii and iuined ile iadio up so I could leai lis woids
flowing iliougl ile spealeis. He was ialling aboui lis nonpiofii oiganizaiion and
lis band, bui all I leaid was love, passion, fiie÷ile voice of someone wlo caied
aboui life and lis communiiy. I imagined wlai ii would be lile io be on ile
ieceiving end of ilai passion.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

24

We wouldn'i see eacl oilei again uniil seveial monils÷and one Bilei÷laiei.
And wlile le ladn'i clanged, I lad. My piegnancy weigli was now deliglifully
gone and I lad a new job ai ile local visiiois' buieau. As one of oui couniy's
iouiisi aiiiaciions, lis nonpiofii was one of ile many desiinaiions I was claiged
wiil piomoiing and maileiing, wlicl meani I now lad pleniy of ieasons, oi
excuses, io iall io lim. Tle fiisi came afiei a meeiing le lad been in wiil my
boss. Wlen ii ended le popped lis lead in iliougl my open office dooi.

"Hey, Alaina. How aie you?"

"I'm gieai, you?" I said, iiying io pieiend ilai I ladn'i been down in ile bailioom
siiaigliening my laii and maleup wlile le'd been in lis meeiing.

"Awesome. Nice office."

"Tlanls. I lile ii."

"Is ilai youi son?" He poinied io a piciuie of Benjamin I lad on my desl.

"Yes, ilis is Benjamin, ile love of my life."

Tle ciusl in my imaginaiion would lave ialen ile piciuie oui of my lands and
siudied eveiy deiail wlile asling me quesiion afiei quesiion aboui wlai Benjamin
was lile. Insiead, le asled me a few of ile siandaid follow-up quesiions and I
filled ile space wiil ile usual answeis. Bui we ialled aboui music, my lomeiown,
and even poliiics. I ilougli I feli ile clemisiiy flowing boil ways bui I couldn'i be
suie. A few monils laiei I finally goi up ile neive io asl lim oui. We lad been
ialling fiequenily aboui woil issues, and again I could sweai I feli some lind of
clicl beiween us. Afiei caiefully ciafiing a casual e-mail asling lim if le wanied io
giab a diinl ilai weelend, I lii ile send buiion and wlispeied io myself, "}usi pui
me oui of my miseiy. Ai leasi I'll lnow."

His iesponse came on Monday moining, and ii was vague, saying le was soiiy le
lad missed my e-mail on Fiiday, and ilen le asled foi a iain clecl. I lei lim iale
one, and a few weels laiei le iold me aboui a slow lis band was playing ai a local
bai. I speni louis geiiing ieady, and even moie louis daydieaming aboui wlai ii
would be lile io see lim up on ile siage. Somelow I lad managed io compleiely
conjuie up a daydieam of us aciually daiing, of ilis man wlo obviously caied veiy
liiile aboui me beginning io caie. I was deliiious, and wlen I saw lim ilai nigli
ile deliiium was nowleie neai subsiding.

Afiei ile band's lasi song, seveial slois of iequila, and a daie fiom iwo oilei men
ai ile bai wlo lad pioclaimed, "Tell lim low you feel!" I walled iigli up io lim.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

25

"So wlen aie you going io liss me?" I demanded, "Because I've been waiiing foi
monils now, and I'm noi suie low mucl longei I can iale ilis." And ilen le
leaned foiwaid, pulled me inio lis clesi, iilied my clin iowaid lis face, and lissed
me. Wlen we siopped, I couldn'i iall oi even bieaile. Ii lad finally lappened and
I was on iop of ile moon. I called my sisiei on ile way lome, "I can'i even believe
ii, I'm suie we'ie going io daie now. Rigli?" Sle didn'i lnow wlai io say. Happily
maiiied, my sisiei lnew ilen wlai I lnow now so cleaily: if le ieally liled me and
caied foi me, we would lave been daiing long ago.

I wole up ile nexi moining io ile sound of Benjamin in lis ciib. Being a single
mom meani I nevei, evei slepi in, noi even wlen iiemendously lung ovei. Despiie
my wieicled leadacle and ciying baby, I bounced oui of bed, siill feeling ile ligl
of ilai liss and ile ioucl of ilai man. Afiei biealfasi and a few exciied plone
calls io my fiiends, ielling ilem all of ile deiails down io ile good-bye liss ouiside
of ile bai, I sai down io clecl my e-mail.

Tle subjeci line said, "Hey."

I expecied io open ii and iead someiling aboui plans foi oui fiisi daie. Tle liss
lad been so passionaie, wiil all of ilai peni-up clemisiiy finally ieleased. Bui
insiead of ieading my daydieam e-mail, my eyes quiclly slimmed ovei ile woids
"can'i," "apologize," and "belavioi." I slowed down and iead eveiy painful woid:

"I lave io semi-apologize foi my belavioi. Noi ilai ii was bad oi inappiopiiaie,
bui jusi noi my noimal pioceduie. I wani io be veiy cleai and upfioni ilai I can'i
gei even mildly iniiigued wiil someone]anyone iigli now. Noi even foi jusi good
ol' faslioned fun, ilougl fun ii would be."

I iemembei ile feelings as iley suifaced up inio my eyes as luge, cascading ieais.
I feli compleiely biolen, luii, and embaiiassed foi imagining someiling ilai
cleaily wasn'i ileie. Afiei wiiiing lim bacl an apology e-mail of my own and
wisling lim well in figuiing oui wly le can'i even jusi lave fun wiil someone, I
collapsed on ile coucl and lay ileie, baiely able io move, foi ile eniiie afieinoon.
I goi up only io feed Benjamin oi io pui in anoilei DVD foi lim io waicl. Ai one
poini, le siaiied ciying oui foi me, needing me and waniing my aiieniion, bui I
couldn'i move. My mind lad ialen coniiol of my body. Afiei wlai seemed lile
louis, bui in iealiiy was only five minuies, I sai up and weni io lim. I pulled lim
inio my clesi, ciadling ile only iling I lnew io be iiue, and piomised lim ii
would nevei lappen again, ilai mommy would nevei be disabled by lei emoiions
on accouni of a man oi a bad daiing expeiience÷*3*:2

Being ciusled by my ciusl was jusi one siep in my jouiney io iiuly discoveiing
myself again and building up my self-esieem. My ciusl lad delicaiely lei me down
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

26
and, ilanlfully, lad noi ialen advaniage of me, an inciedibly vulneiable woman. I
will foievei be giaieful foi lis giace and maiuiiiy aboui ile eniiie mess. I would
iealize, many monils and many daies laiei, ilai I lad been focusing my menial
eneigy on a peison wlo was emoiionally unavailable, jusi as my ex-lusband lad
been. And ilai ile ciusl lad eveiyiling io do wiil me and veiy liiile io do wiil
lim.

Would You Date Yourself?
The first step to becoming relationship ready
Posied on Febiuaiy (, :ooq

Tle nigli I mei Mi. Man, my moilei and I weie polisling oui faces and cloosing
ouifiis in lei ioom. We weie jusi a few feei away fiom ile bed wleie my failei
died, ile same bed I lad found myself in ovei iwo and a lalf yeais eailiei on a loi
summei nigli in :oo6 wlen my son, jusi foui monils old, was cuiled up inio my
clesi, waniing io eai bui finding no mill. Tle siiess of ile day lad lefi me diy, my
bieasis compleiely empiy.

A few louis eailiei, I lad said good-bye io my lusband. Benjamin, nesiled in lis
cai seai, was compleiely suiiounded by boxes and laundiy basleis filled wiil ile
only ilings I could fii inio ile iwo bediooms waiiing foi us ai my moilei's. I lad
pacled up eveiyiling else inio a U-Haul. I sealed eveiy box and wioie "sioiage"
acioss ile iop, noi lnowing wlen I would see iis conienis again. Eveiyiling I'd
woiled foi, eveiyiling I owned÷ii was all gone. Tle ieais weie impiessive ilai
nigli, and so weie ile immense feelings of feai and slocl.

"How in ile lell am I going io do ilis?" I wondeied oui loud beiween sobs. I lad
lefi ii all belind: my job, my apaiimeni, and my fiiends. I lad no money and, now,
no bieasi mill. Somelow, ile nexi moining, I wole up wiil some lope and some
mill÷noi mucl, bui jusi enougl. And even ilougl I iiied io clannel ile spiiii of
my failei wlo lad ialen lis lasi bieail in ile same spoi afiei a six-monil baiile
wiil cancei, I couldn'i imagine evei geiiing oui of ilis mess, evei being lappy
again.

On ilis nigli, neaily iliee yeais laiei, I caugli a glimpse of myself in ile miiioi
and smiled. Suie, ile baby weigli was gone (all eigliy pounds of ii), bui I lad also
losi ile biiiei feelings÷ile iegiei, self-loailing, and woiiy. I feli, foi ile fiisi iime,
ilai I lad finally become wlo I wanied io be. I was a moilei, bui also a woman
wlo could iale jusi aboui anyiling life lad in sioie.

As I pui on my mom's ied leailei coai and lei ile exciiemeni of ile impending
nigli oui iusl ovei me, I ilougli, '8-& ,#,$//4& 5$,0.(& -4+*/<& $.5& '& /01*& -*%& '& /01*&
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The First Year

27
-4+*/<& $($0.2 I'll nevei foigei ilai momeni÷*3*:. I lad made ii. And foi ile fiisi
iime since becoming single, I feli iiuly ieady io be in a ielaiionslip.


Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Law of Attraction


The Law of Attraction
Love yourself first and the men will follow

Want Men to Fall From the Sky?
Forget about them
Posied on }une i, :ooS

Tle wine lad seiiled ioo fasi.

I siaied ai ile faces of ile men, all looling foi someone oi someiling. Declaiing
ilai iley weie "finally ieady" foi ile "iigli woman." I lei my land slip off of my
mouse, leaned bacl inio my claii and sigled. Wlai was I doing leie? Wlai was I
looling foi? Tley all looled ile same. I lad lefi my ex-lusband because I decided
I'd iailei be alone ilan wiil lim, bui I also lad lope ilai someday I would meei a
man wlo would be ile lusband I lad always dieamed of laving.

Tlis imaginaiy dieam lusband siaiied walling iliougl my lead duiing my
maiiiage, wlen all I wanied was a man wlo would lelp me clean up ile liiclen if
I asled oi lisien io my fiusiiaiions aboui woil oi my day. I wanied a slouldei io
ciy on and someone io laugl wiil. I also wanied someone wlo wanied me,
someone wlo wouldn'i siave off my ioucl oi deny me iniimacy as my ex-lusband
lad done all ioo ofien. Bui would I find lim leie? Ii didn'i feel iigli io be
seaicling foi lim wiil so mucl uigency.

Yei anoilei guy I'd been wiil lad jusi diopped me cold afiei I'd become way ioo
clingy, way ioo fasi. I didn'i lnow low io do ilis÷io daie, as a moilei. Oi maybe
I jusi wasn'i ieady. I iiaced my fingei aiound ile boiiom of my wine glass io wipe
up ile iing ii lad lefi on my desl. I siaied inio ilai glass foi wlai feli lile louis
and ilen lified my lead wiil an idea: foigei ilese men, foigei online daiing, and
use ile iime io do someiling inciedibly fulfilling . io wiiie. And ilai's wlen I
opened my Woidpiess.com accouni. Wlen ile iegisiiaiion scieen asled foi my
usei name, "Ms. Single Mama" flew fiom my fingeis and onio ile scieen.

="$,8+&,"*&>*:<*?,&.$-*&,#&5*+?:0@*&-*%&I ilougli. ',8+&+*A4&$.5&+-$:,.

Tlen I siaiied wiiiing. I lad found a passion, someiling io occupy ilose louis in
ile nigli afiei Benjamin weni io bed, someiling ilai was also pioduciive and
fulfilling. Somewleie along ile way, ile men siaiied appeaiing, eveiy wlicl way,
all waniing io daie me, io wlicl I always ieplied, "Maybe, bui I'm supei busy,
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Law of Attraction

29
could we lang oui nexi weel oi ile weel afiei?" Busy is good, bui being exciied
aboui someiling ilai las noiling io do wiil youi lids oi youi job (unless youi job
is exciiing, wlicl is gieai) is ile seciei io finding conienimeni as a single mom.
You can caiiy youi passion wiil you as you eniei a new ielaiionslip, leeping
ilings lealily and leeping youi sense of self siiongly iniaci.

And wlile finding a passion won'i lappen oveinigli, leie aie some baby sieps ilai
will gei you leaded in ile iigli diieciion:

@*1$+$)&A*B$6?83$?C'$)&A*# Fill youi days wiil aciiviiies oi ouiings. Benjamin
and I iaiely spend moie ilan iwo louis ai a iime in ile louse. Even on woil days,
I gei lome and ilen we'ie off÷io ile boolsioie, ile libiaiy, ile pail, ile coffee
slop, oi a fiiend's louse. Bui once ile lids aie asleep, ii's "you" iime. Find a lobby
(foi me, ii's my blog) oi iead a gieai bool. Tiy noi io waicl ioo mucl TV oi iead
magazines filled wiil lappy couple sioiies; iley can give you a disioiied view of
iealiiy. I find media cleanses inciedibly lelpful wlen I need io ceniei myself.
Spend youi "you" iime on you÷ieading, wiiiing, ciafiing, cooling, cieaiing÷and
give youi biain some exeicise.

%8D5$ &1$ 8E#$ You'ie a single mom. Ii's noi going io clange anyiime soon.
Even if you do meei a man, you slould daie lim foi ai leasi a few yeais befoie you
move in iogeilei, iigli? So, buclle down and sucl ii up. My iiicl? Afiei ile fiisi
yeai, I siopped daydieaming aboui lelp fiom a man. Lile anyiling else, you
eveniually adapi io youi new lifesiyle. And ilen wlen you do meei a man, you
won'i need lim io save you. You'll lave youi liiile slip iunning on couise, wleilei
le's ileie oi noi. Help fiom lim will be a bonus, noi a iequiiemeni.

%833?8'<$6?83"*)A$C&12$A3&*'<"# On aveiage, Benjamin and I spend iliee
niglis oui of ile weel visiiing oi langing oui wiil oui fiiends. I don'i lave any
family in iown, so my fiiends piovide suppoii. If you don'i lave many fiiends, gei
oui ileie! Nexi iime you meei a gieai mom oi dad ai ile pail oi ai a fesiival, gei
ileii numbei, inviie ilem ovei, oi male anoilei daie io meei in ile pail. If ilai
doesn'i woil, iiy MeeiUp.com, a gieai websiie wiil local gioups of paienis (ileie
aie single paieni Meei Ups in mosi majoi ciiies).

!+5*$+'$*AA?31$&'$6?83$+EE*+3+'D*# I am sucl a giil. I love looling cuie,
boyfiiend oi noi. Use ilis iime, wlile you'ie single, io focus on you and youi body.
Ii's all connecied. On ilose afieinoon ouiings, wall io youi desiinaiion if you can.
Diinl lois and lois of waiei all day, eveiy day. You'll siaii glowing fiom ile inside
oui. Fall in love wiil youiself again . ii's someiling mosi moms, single oi noi,
lave io aciually focus on posi-biiil, because ii's so easy io pui youiself lasi.

F?G*$ 126"*)A# My iuining poini÷fiom despeiaiion io single fieedom÷
came wlen I asled on my blog, "Do I need ileiapy?" Tle posi aiiiacied commenis
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Law of Attraction

30
fiom my peisonal angel, Tim Claid. Boiiom line: You need io love youiself fiisi,
even befoie youi own clildien. If you don'i, you won'i be able io fully love ile
people in youi life. (See my nexi posi foi moie on ilis eye-opening ileoiy.)

Wly ilis is so inciedibly impoiiani:

Daiing slould be an added bonus io youi alieady fabulous life, noi ile means io
aclieving ii. I lnow daiing as a moilei can gei confusing, bui jusi leep ile faci
ilai ii slould always be fun in ile bacl of you mind, lile a sweei liiile eclo, and
you'll iemembei io pui youiself and youi clildien fiisi. If a man falls oui of ile
sly, gieai! If noi, wlo caies? Eiilei way, you can'i lose.

Do You Love Yourself?
If you don’t, loving others may be a challenge
Posied on Febiuaiy :y, :ooq

I can'i say ilai I iiuly do love myself yei, bui I am geiiing closei.

A few monils ago I lad siaiied pusling Kiis away. I was aciing biicly and
demanding, closing myself off fiom lim and beginning io saboiage ile eniiie
ielaiionslip. I lnew I was doing ii÷I lad done ii befoie÷bui I didn'i lnow wly.

I decided ilai if I dumped Kiis, wlen le was cleaily sucl a sweei boyfiiend and
jusi wlai ilis mama needed, ilai ii would mean I officially lad issues. Insiead of
fiealing oui, I scleduled a luncl wiil my besi fiiend, Abby, and iold lei aboui my
feais and ilouglis of an impending biealup wiil Kiis.

"Have you evei ilougli aboui ileiapy?" sle asled. "I mean, wiil youi failei dying
and youi divoice, maybe you lave some ilings you need io siiaiglien oui up
ileie."

I lad ilougli aboui ileiapy and definiiely wasn'i opposed io ile idea, bui being a
single mom wlo can'i even iale iime off foi a deniisi appoinimeni, lei alone louis
on a ileiapy coucl eveiy weel, I wioie a posi insiead. I iiiled ii, "Do I Need
Tleiapy?"

I explained my feai of commiimeni and my feai of losing someone and ilen
emoiional ileiapisi Tim Claid of TimClaid.com slowed up. His commenis
flipped some lind of a swiicl in my lead, and I lave been looling ai my emoiional
aciions and ieaciions diffeienily evei since.

Heie aie some pieces of ile advice Tim slaied wiil me:

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Law of Attraction

31
4&,: I would say fiom ieading youi commenis ilai you laven'i ieally siopped in
youi life io asl youiself aboui youiself. Ii migli sound silly bui ialing "iime oui"
can lelp. Foi ilis io be beneficial you need io be alone. No lids, no ielaiives,
fiiends eic. You also need some iime. If a few days is oui of ile quesiion ilen low
aboui i]: - i an loui a day foi a weel. Asl youiself ilese quesiions: Wlai do I
feai? Wlo do I love? Lisi youi iop ¸ foi boil. Bui don'i posi ilem. No one needs
io see ilem. Wlen you lave done ilai, you will be ieady foi siep iwo.

!*H My feais aie deep. My feais aboui ile fuiuie, aboui losing someone else,
aboui low my son will judge oui siiuaiion in ile fuiuie. How do you come io
ieims wiil youi feais? I wioie ile lisis. Tle feais came quiclly. Tle people I loved
ile mosi weie laidei.

4&,H Feais (my definiiion: a lacl of lnowledge) can be oveicome by gaining
lnowledge. Ii is impossible io gain lnowledge of ile fuiuie, bui we can lay a veiy
good foundaiion io enable us io coniiol ii. Feai is one of ile biggesi coniiibuiois
io menial exlausiion. e.g. Feai of noi maling enougl money io suivive, feai of
noi being able io aclieve goals, feai of losing loved ones. Undeisianding oui feais
ieveals so mucl aboui oui emoiional siaie ilai we can ilen iale ile sieps io be
emoiionally in coniiol.

As fai as ile love lisi, if you weie noi ai ile iop of ilai lisi, ilen ii would be
difficuli io love oileis. Wiiie youi lisi again and pui youiself ai ile iop. Afiei
wiiiing ilai lisi, wiiie anoilei wiil all ile ieasons wly you love youiself.

Love (my definiiion: ile desiie io please) is ile mosi impoiiani facioi in being
able io move alead in life, wleilei jusi gei io iomoiiow oi io ieacl a goal in ¸
yeais. Befoie you can please anyone else you musi please youiself. If you do noi
love youiself you cannoi love youi son.

(Tlis slocled me ai fiisi÷and ilen I iealized le was iigli!)

Obviously you musi love youi son and so you lave love foi youiself, bui I believe
ilai people in geneial don'i lnow enougl aboui ilemselves in ilis ciazy fasi-
paced woild io love enougl. Youi son will judge youi siiuaiion based on low you
landle ii. Wlile no one is in a posiiion io iell you low io deal wiil ii, being
objeciive in landling ii is a good place io siaii. Having empaily foi youi son will
ieveal many answeis also . you see, as youi son geis oldei and begins maling
cloices of lis own, le will iemembei ways ilai you deali wiil siiuaiions and le
will ieplicaie ilose. So iemembei ilai blaming anoilei is a good excuse foi noi
ialing iesponsibiliiy.

If you only lnow io% of youiself, low can you expeci io lnow moie ilan io% of
anoilei peison? Relaiionslips of any lind aie bound by iules. If a man was io iiy
and gei io lnow you and you only lnow a liiile aboui youiself, le can only lave a
ielaiionslip wiil ile liiile le lnows of you. If you iuin ilai aiound, would you be
inieiesied in a laving a ielaiionslip wiil anyone if you lnew ilai you could only
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Law of Attraction

32
gei io lnow io% oi even ¸o% of ilai peison? Ii would noi be wise. We ofien lide
ile woisi iill lasi.

Tle ieason you need lisis is foi evaluaiion. Eacl iime you wiiie a lisi ii will
clange. Noie ilese clanges io youiself. Recognizing youis feais is ile fiisi siep io
addiessing ilem, by gaining lnowledge. A dail ioom is scaiy uniil we iuin ile
ligli on.

My ligli is on now and I'm definiiely cleaning louse. Ii's noi easy, bui ii's an
emoiional jouiney I lave io iale if I evei wani io lave a successful ielaiionslip
wiil a man÷oi, foi ilai maiiei, Benjamin.


Single Moms and the Men Who Love Us
In the eyes of many men your glass is definitely half full
Posied on Maicl 6, :ooS

I wani io biing youi aiieniion io a gieai commeni fiom one of my male ieadeis.
Tlis one is fiom Fincl, one of ilousands of men wlo lave now iead my posi on
"How io Daie a Single Mom."

Daiing a single mom nevei even ciossed my mind uniil my cuiieni ielaiionslip
jusi fell inio my lap. Now I couldn'i be lappiei. We've only been daiing iwo
monils and I've alieady fallen laid foi lei. And lei iliee-yeai-old daugliei?
Icing on ile cale! Tlis ielaiionslip aciually made me iealize I love lids! And yes,
one iling I love aboui lei moie ilan anyiling is ile compleie lacl of bullslii
games ilai youngei women iypically play. I'm noi looling ai a fale plasiic masl,
I'm looling ai lei. }usi lei. Tlai's a biggei iuin-on ilan anyiling.

Wlai Fincl says pioves ilai wlen ile iigli guy comes along, ile faci ilai you'ie a
single mom doesn'i mean squai. Clances aie youi single mom siaius may be
laidei foi you io accepi ilan foi ile man you'ie daiing. Accoiding io mosi men,
single moms aie noi only loi bui compleiely daieable.

Men answeiing a Yaloo Peisonals poll gave ile following ieasons foi wly iley
find single moms sexy:

• You lnow sle's siiong if sle can landle ile iesponsibiliiies of single
paienilood.
• Sle's noi going io gamble lei clild's lappiness on jusi any man÷so by daiing
you, sle's paying you a complimeni.
• Wlen you do gei iogeilei, sle'll male ii woiil youi wlile.
• Sle enjoys lei iime oui moie ilan women wlo can come and go as iley
please.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Law of Attraction

33
• No spui-of-ile-momeni daies÷you lave io plan. Bui planning eniails
aniicipaiion . and ilai's cool.

See? Isn'i ilai nice io leai?

I ilinl one of ile besi peils io being a single mom is ilai we gei io weed oui ile
jeils quiclly. Wleilei we wani ilem io oi noi, ile playeis iun away scieaming
wlile ile good guys siicl aiound.

Pieiiy sweei bonus foi all of oui laid woil, don'i you ilinl?

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Old Habits Die Hard

Old Habits Die Hard
On shaking those bad boys and jerks

The Bad Boy Complex
Cracking the code to the sexiest men on Earth
Posied on Augusi i¸, :ooS

I jusi don'i gei ii. Wly can'i I slale ile bad boys?

My ex-lusband was definiiely a bad boy, wiil ile emoiional unavailabiliiy and bad
labiis io piove ii. Tle woisi iling aboui bad boys is ilai iley can disguise
ilemselves iempoiaiily, only io ieveal ileii iiue inieniions ai ile end wlen iley
iiie of you. Some siaii oui waim and sweei, wiil lois of complimenis, eacl of
wlicl las been slillfully loned ovei iime iliougl expeiiences wiil many women.
Oi, lile my ciusl, iley aie compleiely iougl fiom ile siaii÷spaiing in ileii
complimenis and leaving you ciaving moie.

Regaidless of low iley pieseni ilemselves and eniei youi life oi youi bed, ile bad
boys aie laid io licl. Peisonally, I laie ilai I'm aiiiacied io ilem. Recenily
Vanessa fiom YouCanGeiileGuy.com lefi ilis faniasiic commeni:

OMG - ile bad boy complex! Do you lnow HOW many women aie absoluiely
wiecled by ilis same iling? I lnow I suffeied fiom ii foi many yeais (and now
considei myself in iemission!).

You lnow wlai I ilinl ii is? Ii's all aboui aiiiaciion. We say we WANT ile nice
guy, bui we aie ATTRACTED io ile bad boy. Ii's lile ii's evoluiion-based. Suivival
of ile fiiiesi, you lnow? Tle bad boy aciually iepiesenis wlai we wani oui
geneiics io BE. He is ile "alpla male", ile siiong one, ile suivivoi and ile
winnei. Tle "nice guy" - wlo we wani menially, is noi necessaiily ile siiongesi.

I lile io ilinl ilai, lile Vanessa, I am in Bad Boy Remission, ilai I am maling
piogiess iowaid being ioially bad boy fiee. Wlen I fiisi siaiied daiing Mi. Man, I
iold my ileiapisi someiling feli off.

"You may feel lile someiling is missing," sle said of oui budding ielaiionslip.
"Tlis is piobably because, in ile pasi, you've only been wiil emoiionally
unavailable men."

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Old Habits Die Hard

35
I ladn'i iold lei of my bad boy complex yei. Sle lad figuied ilai oui leiself,
based on some oilei issues I'm facing, lile ile loss of my failei (uninieniional
abandonmeni) and my giieving moilei (emoiional abandonmeni).

"You may even be boied wiil lim," sle weni on.

Ai ilis poini I nodded in agieemeni, siunned ai lei abiliiy io iead me lile a bool.

"I'm noi all giddy, ciazy, lead-in-ile-clouds in love wiil lim lile I noimally am
wiil men. Insiead, we'ie jusi slowly developing ilis deep fiiendslip and I feel veiy
calm."

"Tlai's olay. Ii's noimal and veiy aduli. You jusi need io ie-leain some ilings÷ie-
leain low you see ilings and feel ilings, ilai's all. You deseive a man wlo iiuly
loves you and you'ie jusi noi used io ii. Insiead you'ie used io guys wlo jusi don'i
caie aboui you."

÷÷-

A few days eailiei, Mi. Man and I weie siieicled oui in my moilei's loi iub. My
lead was iilied bacl ovei ile edge so I could siaie inio ile dail nigli sly, wlicl
was doiied wiil ile biigliesi siais I'd seen in monils. I couldn'i find siais lile
ilese in ile ciiy, no maiiei low laid I iiied. I missed ii oui leie in ilis peaceful,
noisy silence, and now leie I was wiil a man, a man I was finally beginning io
iiusi. I lad mei lim a monil befoieland wlen I weni oui wiil my moilei. Evei
since I lad been slowly leaining io iiusi lim, io open my leaii. To see lim I lad
io male iiips down io Ailens, wlicl was nice because I goi io spend iime wiil
lim wlile Benjamin goi io see Giandma.

"I wani io see a slooiing siai," I said. "I laven'i seen one in yeais."

My woids floaied in ile quiei aii and ilen Mi. Man siaiied singing. I siiained io
leai ile woids io ile song, bui I couldn'i. Insiead, ile loi iub jeis weie filling my
eais wiil ileii buisis and bubbles. I iool my eyes off of ile siais and siaied ai
lim. He was giowing moie beauiiful eveiy iime we weie iogeilei. Tle laidei I fell
foi lim÷foi lis spiiii, lis siiengil and lis abiliiy io see ile posiiive in
eveiyiling÷ile moie aiiiaciive le became.

"Ol! I jusi saw one! Ii was a quicl one, bui I saw one!" le slouied.

"Damn ii!" I splasled ile waiei.

"No wondei you nevei see any," le laugled. "You nevei iale ile iime io lool."

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Old Habits Die Hard

36
÷÷

All of us, as single moms, single women, oi iecoveiing bad boy addicis, need io
iale ile iime io lool foi ile good ones.

Ai fiisi, someiling lad feli lile ii was missing wiil Mi. Man, bui soon ile missing
gaps lad filled up wiil someiling solid, someiling I'd siaiied io believe in. If
someiling feels veiy wiong aboui a man, gei ile lell away. Bui if someiling is
"missing," asl youiself wlai ii is.

Foi me, ii was ile faci ilai le picled up ile plone eveiy single iime I called. He
didn'i blow me off oi cancel plans. And le gave me genuine complimenis and
spole of ile fuiuie ofien (and siill does). Tle men in my pasi lave always been
emoiionally oi plysically unavailable÷giving me ile cold slouldei, playing plone
iag, oi leading me on, only io diop me wiiloui a ilougli oi caie monils oi yeais
laiei.

So wlai was I missing in Mi. Man? Tle bad boy.

"Feai," said my ileiapisi, "aciually iiiggeis aiousal in oui bodies. So wlen ile men
aie mean io ileii women, ile women immediaiely wani io fix ii÷ileii bodies
wani io male ii iigli." Yep, you leaid ilai iigli. We wani io cuie ileii angei by
laving sex wiil ilem. Bad boys aciually iuin women on.

Hey, lnowing wlai we'ie up againsi is lalf ile baiile, iigli? Tlai session wiil my
ileiapisi, wlom I now call "Wondei Woman," lefi me wiil wlai feli lile a life-
clanging epiplany. I lad finally ciacled ile bad boy code. And wlen Mi. Man
biole a piomise io me jusi a few weels laiei, I would lave ile siiengil io
piompily dump lim on lis bad boy ass.


Man Shopping
Taking control of your dating destiny
Posied on May i¸, :ooq

Wlen you'ie a moilei and daiing, ilings can gei iiicly. Eveiy once in a wlile youi
mind plays iiicls on you as you develop ioially unlealily ciusles oi siaii daiing a
guy you jusi lnow isn'i iigli.

Ii's wly, moie ilan evei, I lave been uiilizing a liiile ileoiy I ciafied bacl in my
single and clildless days io male suie I iemain in coniiol of my daiing life. Tleie
lave been bumps in ile ioad, an eiiani bad boy oi iwo, and a few ieais. Bui, foi
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Old Habits Die Hard

37
ile mosi paii, since becoming a single moilei, I lave done veiy well by siicling io
ile idea ilai daiing is lile slopping÷oi, as I lile io call ii, "man slopping." Ii's a
simple ileoiy, ieally. If women view daiing as iley do slopping, iley will lave
mucl lappiei and fulfilling daiing expeiiences.

Imagine you aie slopping foi a paii of sloes. Wlai do you do? You mingle, you
mix, and ilen you slip on a paii, iesiing ii foi comfoii and, of couise, low ii males
you feel. You asl youiself a few quesiions. One of ile mosi impoiiani is low does
ile sloe male you feel÷sexy, piofessional, lip, ailleiic, absoluiely magnificeni?
Only you lnow ile answei because iley'ie youi sloes.

If you lisien io youi fiiends, you may wind up ai lome a few louis laiei siaiing ai
a sloe you jusi don'i love. If you lisien io youi leaii, you may end up biiing off
way moie ilan you can clew and spending ioo mucl. Bui, if you lisien io youi
mind, you aie paiieni, iesponsible, and iloiougl.

If ile sloe doesn'i quiie fii on youi feei oi wiilin youi budgei, you sei ile paii
bacl down, no maiiei low iiiesisiible, and say, "I can waii. I'll find a beiiei paii ai
anoilei sioie oi on anoilei day." So wly is ii ilai many of us women aie so quicl
io ielinquisl coniiol wlen ii comes io cloosing a man? We do ilis by ofien
waiiing foi ilem io asl us oui oi male ile fiisi move. We aie ai ileii wlim. I
believe ii slould be ile oilei way aiound, oi ai leasi somewleie in ile middle.

Cloosing a man, unlile a paii of sloes, is one of ile mosi impoiiani decisions we
will male in oui lifeiimes. Is le a suppoiiive and loving paiinei? And low does le
male you feel? If we daied men as if iley weie sloes, we'd piobably be quiclei io
ioss ile jeils bacl onio ile cleaiance iacl.

I ilinl of a sweei giil in ile bacl of a bai. Sle is glancing aiound, fumbling wiil
lei sliii, and looling up ofien io see if a man is coming lei way. Wlai if sle siood
up and walled aiound ilai bai and pieiended sle was slopping foi a paii of
sloes? Sle would mix, sle would mingle, and peilaps sle would iiy on lei
favoiiie man io see if le fii. If le didn'i, sle would move on. Tle eniiie iime, sle
would be in coniiol. And jusi io be cleai, I'm noi ialling aboui coniiolling ile men
in youi life. I'm ialling aboui coniiolling youi own daiing desiiny.

Wlen I lasi ialled io ile Tigei, a fiiend of a fiiend wlo lad iecenily iuined inio
my lovei afiei a ciazy nigli on my iliiiieil biiilday, I iold lim we'd lave io siop
seeing eacl oilei because I lad jusi mei }oln Beai.

"I ieally lile lim and I ilinl ileie's some majoi poieniial," I said. Tle lasi iime I
lad seen ile Tigei, le was in my diiveway. We weie saying good-bye and le lad
leaned in foi a liss. I was suipiised. Ii was ile fiisi iime le lad lissed me wiiloui
ii leading io sex. Cleaily noi single mom daiing maieiial, ile Tigei was jusi in ii foi
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Old Habits Die Hard

38
fun, and so was I. Even ilougl ile plysical clemisiiy beiween us was laid io
deny, le jusi wasn'i ile iigli fii.

"I give ii lile a monil and a lalf," ile Tigei iold me.

"Really? Wly?" I laugled.

"Ol, I don'i lnow. Tlai's youi siyle, iigli? You go iliougl men so quiclly."

"No, I don'i go iliougl ilem quiclly÷I eliminaie ilem quiclly."

Ii sounds laisl, bui ii's iiue. Tleie's someiling aboui laving been maiiied once
ilai leeps me fiom siaying in a ielaiionslip oi daiing scenaiio ilai doesn'i feel
iigli. In my eyes, eliminaiing ile paiis ilai don'i fii isn'i wiong, ii's jusi piaciical.
Dump ilose bad boys, ladies÷you lave beiiei ilings io do.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Single Mom Bomb



The Single Mom Bomb
When and how to drop the news

When Do You Tell Him?
On dropping the single mom bomb
Posied on Novembei 6, :ooy

My fiiend Abby las been a single mom foi ovei iliee yeais now. One nigli, wlen
we weie on a ciazy giils nigli oui, I lad siiucl up a conveisaiion wiil a claiming
deniisi. He seemed inieiesied, so I ilougli, B*,,*:&(*,&0,&#),&#.&,"*&,$@/*2 I iool a
deep bieail and waiied foi a pause in oui conveisaiion. Tlen, as I looled down
inio my diinl, langing my lead in a cloal of slame, I said, "Well, you'll nevei
aciually be able io daie me."

He looled suipiised and asled, "Wly noi?"

"Because I lave a baby."

"Ol! Well, ilai musi be fun." He asled me aboui Benjamin and low long I lad
been a single moilei. He even asled aboui lis failei. And wiil eacl answei, I
coniinued painiing a negaiive piciuie of my single moileilood.

I ian up io Abby. "Tlai guy jusi vanisled afiei I iold lim aboui Benjamin!" Sle
pulled me aside and wlispeied, "Ol, no. You can'i iell ilem ilai iigli away.
You've goi io waii uniil ai leasi a couple of daies."

"Wlai? You'ie lidding, iigli?" I was flooied ai ile idea of jusi noi ielling ilem.

"Tley lave io fall foi you fiisi," sle insisied, "and ilen ile baby iling is jusi lile
an added bonus÷an 'ol, by ile way, I do all of ilis and I'm an amazing single
mom.' Ii woils!"

I was slepiical of lei ileoiy ilen and I siill am. Heie's wly: if ile baby iling is ioo
mucl foi a guy io landle, I would iailei find oui befoie I'm iwo daies in. And
besides, isn'i lei meilod compleiely misleading? If I weie oui on daie numbei iwo
oi iliee wiil a man and le iold me le was a single dad, I would definiiely pin lim
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Single Mom Bomb

40
as an uniiusiwoiily peison. I may be peisuaded io ilinl oileiwise, bui ii would
be an uplill baiile foi lim. To ile iigli guy, ile single mom bomb won'i be a
bomb ai all÷ii will jusi be paii of wlo you aie.

Heie aie my iules foi ielling men you aie a single mom: If you aie oui foi a nigli
filled wiil muliiple encounieis wiil men on ile dance flooi oi belind a bai,
ileie's no need io meniion youi single mom siaius unless you wani io slaie a
sioiy ilai comes up in conveisaiion. Bui if one of ilese men giabs youi aiieniion
and you ilinl ileie may be poieniial foi a daie, ilen iell lim ilai you aie a single
mom . bui be suie io fiame ii as an assei, noi a buiden.

Tle deniisi was scaied off because of ile way I fiamed my single moileilood.
Railei ilan saying, "You'll nevei aciually be able io daie me because I lave a
baby," I slould lave said, "So ileie's ilis liiile, iiny bonus io daiing me . and le
weigls aboui :o pounds." Having a baby oi a clild in youi life is a iiuly iemailable
iling and ii males you ilai mucl moie of an amazing peison. So wlen you iell a
man aboui youi siaius as a single mom, smile fully and lei ilai piide come slining
iliougl. And wlile being a mom may scaie off some men, ilose aie ile guys you
don'i wani io be daiing anyway, iiusi me. If a guy is ieally inio you, le won'i caie
ilai you'ie a single mom.

Always iemembei, laving a clild is as big a deal as you male ii.

No Worries
My theory tested on a frequent flyer
Posied on Febiuaiy ¸, :ooq

Tlai's wlai ile man fiom ile plane iold me.

On Wednesday moining, I found a blinling voicemail on my office plone. I nevei
goi calls ai woil, so I lnew ii was lim, ile man I'd mei on ile plane on Sunday.
Afiei we'd speni ile eniiie fligli claiiing, I gave lim my business caid and
suggesied we go oui÷bui I lad foigoiien io iell lim ilai I was a single moilei.

"Hi, ii's (man yei io be named) fiom ile plane," le said on ile voicemail. "I jusi
wanied io see low you weie. And I'd lile io iale you io dinnei on Tluisday nigli,
so if you'ie inieiesied, jusi give me a call."

Ii was a sweei message, bui Tluisday nigli was oui of ile quesiion, along wiil
eveiy oilei nigli of ile weel, excepi foi Tuesday, ile one nigli Benjamin is ai lis
failei's. He would lave io waii neaily one weel io see me again, and I'd lave io
iell lim wly.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Single Mom Bomb

41

"I'd love io lave dinnei wiil you," I said wlen I called, "bui Tluisday nigli won'i
woil foi me, ii will lave io be Tuesday. My scledule is lind of weiid. I didn'i
iealize uniil we'd gone oui sepaiaie ways ai ile aiipoii, bui I compleiely foigoi io
iell you ilai I'm a single mom. I lave a iliee-yeai-old son."

I lnow my voice was glowing wlen I said ilose lasi iliee woids. Tlen, I coniinued
ialing linis fiom my own playbool.

"I ilinl ii's quiie awesome, aciually, bui you nevei lnow."

"Ol, no woiiies," le said. "So, low aboui y:oo on Tuesday nigli?"

C#&9#::0*+2 }usi lile ilai and wiiloui any lesiiaiion. Lile I've always said, if a man
is inieiesied, le will noi caie ilai you'ie a single mom. And if le does, le's noi
woiil youi iime.

Oh Boy
Because one boy is enough
Posied on Febiuaiy ii, :ooq

He's only iweniy-five. Afiei daiing Kiis, ilis one may as well be weaiing diapeis
because I am definiiely noi going ,"*:* again.

We weie ialling siiangei iall and I was fumbling iliougl ile menu, iiying io gei
my neives (and my siomacl) undei coniiol wlen I asled lim lis age. Tle spaille
in lis eyes and ile blissfully ignoiani naiveie of youil lad given lim away on ile
cai iide ovei.

"Tlai's wly you'ie siill single," I said, afiei le iold me le was only iweniy-five.
"You'll definiiely be snaicled up soon enougl."

I loped ilis would disiiaci lim fiom my ieaciion, suie ilai my face was a dead
giveaway io my ilouglis, all of wlicl involved me noi being ieady foi anoilei
young one, anoilei Kiis, anoilei man wlo wasn'i quiie yei a man. I was also
laugling ai myself foi noi asling lim lis age on ile plane and foi noi iealizing ii
uniil afiei one weel of geiiing exciied and spending an eniiie evening piepping foi
ile daie.

"Tlai's funny you say ilai I'll be ialen because÷well, I slould save ii uniil we've
lad a few moie glasses of wine."

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Single Mom Bomb

42
"Ii's olay÷I lave a few sioiies ioo."

"Yeal," le said. "You lave a son. So wlai's ile sioiy wiil lis failei?"

Knowing ileie was a slim clance ilis daie would iuin inio a second daie, I biole
ile fiisi daie iule of nevei meniioning ile ex and iold lim eveiyiling aboui my
impulsive pasi and ile sweei liiile boy I now can'i live wiiloui. He lisiened
inienily and ilen I said, "Olay, now youi iuin. Wlai's youi issue?"

"Well, I jusi biole up wiil my giilfiiend a few monils ago. And ii's funny you say I
migli be snaicled up because ilis leeps lappening io me. I jusi leep biealing
ileii leaiis."

Ii was as if I could see lis fuiuie in a ciysial ball, and ii looled a loi lile mine.
Suddenly, age diffeiences aside, we weie on ile same page. Two single souls wlo
leep eliminaiing ile wiong people.

"Tleie's noiling wiong wiil ilai," I iold lim. "Noiling ai all. Sle jusi wasn'i ile
iigli fii, and you'ie ioo young noi io lisien io ilai gui. In all lonesiy, you'ie
piobably jusi noi ieady io seiile down yei."

Afiei dinnei, we weni io play pool ai a bai neaiby.

"Youi mind is going a million miles an loui," le said. "I can see ii in youi face."

Ii's an obseivaiion many men lave made befoie. Bui, unlile ile oileis, le didn'i
asl wlai I was ilinling aboui. If le lad, I'm noi suie I would lave lad an answei.
Wlen le diopped me off, I dasled up io my fioni dooi. My babysiiiei was waiiing.

"How was Benjamin?" I piessed. "Did le go io sleep olay?"

"Yeal, le was so lappy ile eniiie iime bui iigli befoie bed, le asled foi you lile
five iimes."

"Five iimes? Really?"

Tlen I feli ilem: buiieiflies, alilougl noi quiie ile buiieiflies I was expeciing.
Tlese weie ile besi lind of buiieiflies: mommy buiieiflies.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Get a Man, Already


Get a Man, Already
On how to find men then ask them out

Top Spots to Meet Men
Kid tested and single mama approved
Posied on }anuaiy S, :ooS

Befoie you can daie men, you lave io find ilem. Foi single moms, ilis is one of
ile laidesi paiis aboui daiing. We'ie iaiely away fiom oui lids and if we aie,
we'ie woiling. Clances aie, if we meei a man oiganically, we'll be wiil oui lids.
And ileie's definiiely noiling wiong wiil ilis. Ii's olay foi oui lids io see us
meeiing and maling new fiiends.

My Top Places io Meei Men (all lid-iesied and mama appioved)

• 0*"1&G+)"$ ?3$ D?'D*31". Tle men ai fesiivals and conceiis aie one siep above
ile men you'll meei ai a bai. Tley enjoy good music and culiuie and aie aciive
membeis in ileii communiiy.
• 7?,,8'&16$"?D&+)$(3?8E". Clecl oui Ciaigslisi.com oi Meeiup.com; ileie's a
woild of gioups oui ileie. Tiy a communiiy lile÷liles give you ions of
conveisaiion siaiieis and ile lids will love ii.
• 42*$ (3?D*36$ "1?3*$ ;?'$ +$ !?'<+6$ '&(21=. If you laven'i noiiced yei, gioceiy
sioies aie clocl full of single men on Monday niglis. Noi suie wly. Piobably
because ile sioies aie nice and quiei. Men laie slopping, so iley ofien don'i
pui ii on ile iop of ileii lisi ovei a weelend.
• 42*$ :??5"1?3*$ ?3$ 12*$ )&:3+36. Conveisaiion siaiieis galoie. "Is ilai a good
bool?" "Have you iiied ile coffee leie?" Eic.
• 42*$E+35. I've aciually mei seveial men wlile ai ile pail wiil Benjamin. Boil
weie single dads and iley weie awesome. Didn'i woil oui, bui feli gieai
lnowing ilai ileie aie men oui ileie.
• 42*$ "&<*C+)5. If le's ieally loi, you could accidenially bump inio lim wiil
ile siiollei. I've been veiy, veiy iempied io do ilis a few iimes bui lave always
cliclened oui.
• 42*$ D?AA**$ "2?E. Ai my local coffee slop, ileie's a lids' play aiea. Benjamin
loves io iun aiound ile place, iliowing balls io men. Tley usually play along.
Ii's adoiable and le does ile woil foi me.
• I')&'*. Tleie aie a loi of men io meei in cybeispace. And wlile I lave yei io
lave a good expeiience fiom online daiing, many of my fiiends lave. If you do
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Get a Man, Already

44
wani io iiy ii, cloose a siie lile Yaloo Peisonals, Maicl, oi Pleniy of Fisl,
wleie you can seaicl ile men foi fiee. Oi, beiiei yei, use Facebool oi Twiiiei
io seaicl iliougl fiiends of fiiends.

How to Ask Men Out
It’s so much easier than you think
Posied on Apiil ::, :ooS

I lnow ii's a luge pain in ile ass io daie, bui don'i you miss ii? Aie ileie any guys
you lave liiile ciusles on? Could ile feeling be muiual? Find oui. Asl lim. Pui
youiself oui of youi miseiy and jusi do ii.

I'm a luge advocaie of women ialing ile plunge and asling men oui. I've always
been ile one io asl my men oui on daies. Veiy iaiely do men even asl me oui.
Maybe ii's because I live in ile Midwesi, wleie I've leaid ile men aie quiie sly.
Bui, iegaidless of wleie you live on ilis planei, we all lave ilose momenis wlen
we see a guy oi spail a conveisaiion. We jusi wani io do ii÷io asl lim oui÷bui
we can'i, we clam up, we can'i find ile woids . uliimaiely, we'ie jusi scaied of
iejeciion. I've always piefeiied io jusi iip ilai Band-Aid off quiclly. I'd iailei jusi
lnow ilan wall away wondeiing. And wlai lave you goi io lose? You'ie a single
mom, you've suivived a divoice oi sepaiaiion÷asling a guy oui is cale.

And leie's a liiile seciei foi you: if you asl a man oui, ile odds aie ligl ilai le'll
say "yes." Heie's wly:

• Men love being asled oui. Ii's flaiieiing.
• You seem confideni and sexy, wlicl io a dude is a veiy good iling.
• Youi gui is iaiely wiong. If le's been fliiiing wiil you oi jusi smiling ai you in
ile coffee slop, le's piobably inio you. He's giving you ile gieen ligli.
• Some men aie lazy wlen ii comes io iomance. Tley piefei ii if we do ile
woil÷and ilai includes asling ilem oui.
• (If iley'ie aciually single) iley iaiely say "No."

So low do you asl lim oui?

Simple. }usi asl lim wlai le's up io nexi weelend. Tlai's a quicl way io find oui
if le's inieiesied. Tlis gives lim ile clance io iall aboui lis giilfiiend, if le las
one, oi io inviie you along if le's doing anyiling fun. If le doesn'i inviie you along,
don'i woiiy, le piobably siill lasn'i goiien ile lini ilai you'ie inieiesied. So inviie
youiself and youi fiiends by saying someiling lile, "Tlai sounds lile so mucl fun.
I'll asl ile giils if iley wani io go ioo oi maybe I'll jusi see you ileie."

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Get a Man, Already

45
He'll piobably say, "Cool. Tlai would be gieai."

Tlen, you can say, "Lei me giab youi numbei, jusi in case I gei losi oi someiling."
One big lini I can slaie: nevei, evei give ilem youi numbei. Always iale ileiis.
Tlis way you'ie in coniiol and you'ie noi siiiing by ile plone waiiing foi ilem io
call.

Done and done.

If le doesn'i iespond waimly io ile idea of you iwo langing oui, ilen foigei aboui
lim. Any single man wlo would say no io a confideni woman asling lim oui
piobably las issues you wani noiling io do wiil, oi le's jusi noi inio you, wlicl
lappens. Eiilei way, ii's noi aboui you÷ii's aboui lim. Asling men oui is a gieai
exeicise in siaiiing io iale coniiol of youi daiing desiiny.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Last Words


Last Words
Some parting dating tips

Does Romance Even Exist?
Re-thinking the age-old idea of romance
Posied on Febiuaiy S, :ooS

As Valeniine's Day appioacles, ii las goi me ilinling aboui iomance and ile idea
of iomance. Wlen ii comes io iomance, ile ball is usually in ile man's couii,
because socieiy iells us ii slould be. Bui peisonally, I can couni on my lands ile
numbei of men wlo lave aciually done anyiling "iomaniic" foi me.

Somewleie along ile line, I jusi siopped expeciing floweis, clocolaies, oi sweei
noilings÷leaving ilose faniasies of iomaniic gesiuies belind wiil my youilful
opiimism. Bui wlen you'ie a woman, ii's noi easy io lowei youi expeciaiions. And
slould we? Oi slould we jusi iale a lool ai oui definiiion of iomance?

Eveiy woman las a daydieam iucled away deep inside, ile dieam of a man
wlisling us off of oui feei. And even wlen we ejeci ii fiom oui conscious ilougli,
ile dieam is siill ileie, lingeiing deep down. Tle idea of ile lnigli in slining
aimoi las been ingiained in oui leads fiom day one, ilanls io endless sioiies and
movies aboui Piince Claiming iescuing ile piincess. And ilen as we enieied oui
ieenage yeais, especially in ile 'Sos, ilings jusi goi woise÷movies lile ;0A,**.&
D$.5/*+, ;$4& E.4,"0.(, and ="*& F:0.?*++& B:05* made iomance seem lile an
eveiyday occuiience.

I giew up in a louse wleie ieal iomance did exisi.

Eveiy day, my failei would come lome fiom woil and immediaiely seel oui my
moilei so le could see lei, liss lei, and say lello io lei. He was in love wiil lei
fiom ile momeni le mei lei uniil ile day le died, eigli yeais ago. A weel
wouldn'i go by wiiloui my failei biinging floweis lome io my moilei oi buying
lei clocolaie. And a day nevei weni by wiiloui ile iwo of ilem cuddling on ile
coucl and jusi enjoying eacl oilei's company.

Wiil ilai said, I lave decided io clange my definiiion of iomance so ilai I don'i
lold ile men I daie up againsi an impossible siandaid.


Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Last Words

47

Here’s my definition of romance.

Romance is being in love. Romance is lolding eacl oilei iigli duiing a
ilundeisioim. Romance is smelling eacl oilei's slin and noi waniing io lei go.
Romance is maling eacl oilei laugl. Romance is lolding a clild's land. Romance
is cuddling in bed wiil a good bool. Romance is ligliing candles. Romance is
ialing a bubble bail. Romance is passion. Romance is a midnigli wall in an old
ciiy. Romance is a iusling iivei, fall leaves, and spiing floweis. Romance is a
moilei's love foi lei clild.

Single oi noi, iomance is all aiound us, eveiy day.

Men? I lope you'ie lisiening. And single mamas . a lnigli would be lucly io lave
you, bui don'i waii aiound foi lim. Find iomance on youi own fiisi.


Single Mom Dating Tips
One of my very first posts that still rings true
Posied on Novembei ¸, :ooy

I've been oui and aboui in ile single mom daiing woild foi ovei a yeai now. I've
lad ups, downs, and ile spins! Heie aie a few of ile iips I feel compelled io pass
on.

J+1*$ 2&,$ ?')6$ &A$ 6?8$ +3*$ 138)6$ 2+EE&*3$ C&12$ 2&,# Remembei ilai you
and youi clild(ien) can be compleiely saiisfied and lappy wiiloui a man in youi
life. If a man wanis in, le las io eain ii.

K+1D2$ A?3$ 3*<$ A)+("# Do you deieci a lacl of goals, laziness, faleness,
cocliness, selfislness, oi ile inabiliiy io male you laugl? Eveiy woman las lei
own sei of waining bells. Lisien io youis.

J?'/1$,+5*$+$:&($<*+)$?81$?A$'?12&'(# Leain io diffeieniiaie beiween ied
flags and ilai nice liiile "pusl lim away" ieflex you've developed now ilai you
lave a clild. Leain io iecognize wlen you aie siaiiing io iesi lim unfaiily. Men
aie men. Tley need iime io digesi ile iealiiy of oui lives.

J?'/1$ A3*+5$ 2&,$ ?81# Give lim lis own space io figuie oui youi iealiiy.
Male suie le lnows you undeisiand ilai ilis is a loi foi lim io iale in. If le says,
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Last Words

48
"Ol, ii's no big deal. A baby can'i be ilai bad," jusi couni io ien and smile. Lei ile
liiile ilings go÷ile big ilings will follow in ileii own iime.

-*$ E+1&*'1# He will noi insianily undeisiand youi life oi be able io
empailize wiil youi siiuaiion. Tlai would be impossible. Be iaiional aboui ii and
waicl foi signs ilai le is iiying io undeisiand. Is le ieally waicling? Is le ieally
lisiening?

4?""$ ?81$ 12*$ (+3:+(*$ L8&D5)6# If le's noi calling you fiequenily oi noi
maling fuiuie daies, diicl lim immediaiely. You don'i lave iime foi iiffiaff.

!*'$+3*$12*$"+,*# We lave jusi clanged. Someiimes ilis one liis me lile
a slap in ile face. Tley'ie siill compleiely able io fall madly in love wiil you and
commii io you, bui iley'ie also siill able io luii you wiiloui even lnowing ii.

M1$ C&))$ (*1$ *+"&*3# I've been a single daiing mom foi fifieen monils. Eacl
iound geis easiei. Eacl one geis beiiei. As long as you'ie maling impiovemenis on
cloosing men, ilai's piogiess! And ii will gei easiei io quiclly disiinguisl ile fiogs
fiom ile piinces.

9**E$ 6?83"*)A$ ?81$ 12*3*# Don'i iiy once oi iwice and give up. You aie
slopping. Don'i iell me you would nevei go sloe slopping again if you bougli a
few uncomfoiiable paiis. Wiil ilai said, I lave pleniy of daiing single mom
fiiends wlo lnow wlen ii's iime io jusi iale a bieal. So nevei foice ile issue jusi
because youi fiiends oi ielaiives ilinl you slould be daiing.

-*$E?"&1&G*# Youi single moileilood is wlai you male of ii. Even if a man
cleaied on you and lefi you and youi clildien in ile cold (one of ile mosi
despicable acis any luman can do), you aie beiiei off wiiloui lim in youi life.
Hopefully, you lave ciossed ilai biidge, ai ile veiy leasi, and can see youi single
moileilood as ile beauiiful iling ii is. Tiuly, you aie fiee of lim now and ilai is
an inciedible iling.


Part 2: Sex as a Single Mom
!Welcome to an entirely new frontier!








Conienis

Bacl in ile Saddle
On Loveis 8 Flings
Cabin Fevei

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Last Words

50

I iiy noi io wiiie aboui sex on my blog foi vaiious ieasons, ile fiisi being ilai my
moilei ieads ii along wiil my liiile bioilei, my auni, and jusi aboui eveiyone I
lnow. Bui lolding bacl on ilis inciedibly impoiiani iopic, I've found, is a
disseivice io my ieadeis wlo aie looling foi advice aboui and insigli inio all
aspecis of single moileilood. Sex is definiiely one of ilem. So, wiil ilai said, if
you lnow me in ieal life and we aie ielaied oi lave a business ielaiionslip of any
lind, please siop ieading ilis now. $

Tle iesi of you can move iigli along..
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle


Back in the Saddle
Why you should get back out there (eventually)

Let It Be Known
Sex is good for you and other reasons to get back in the saddle.

Youi body needs and desiies a lealily sex life. Tlis is a faci.

Youi mind, on ile oilei land, may lave an agenda of iis own. Wlile you may be
plysically ciaving sex, you'll need io lnocl down ile menial ioadblocls you've sei
up fiisi. Recenily, a new single mom fiiend of mine came ovei foi a play daie. Sle
iold me ii las been foui yeais since sle's lad sex. And alilougl sle lad an
oppoiiuniiy io sleep wiil a man, sle lad siopped leiself because, as sle pui ii, "Ii
was jusi so laid io imagine anoilei man seeing me naled."

Someiimes oui feais aie simple ones.

Tle feai of being seen naled by a siiangei oi ile feai of being bad in bed aie jusi a
few. Bui as single moileis, ilese feais aie jusi ile beginning. Wlai if we fall foi a
man only io find le doesn'i feel ile same way? How do we pui ouiselves oui ileie
again wlen we'ie siill lealing fiom oui failed maiiiage oi ielaiionslip?

I iiy io addiess ilese feais and conquei ilem iliougloui my blog posis on daiing
and love, bui in ilis seciion we'ie ialling aboui sex. }usi sex. My besi advice wlen
ii comes io sex as a single mom is io pui youi feais aside and jusi gei bacl on ilai
bile. Bui iale ile piessuie off of youiself and youi new paiinei by going in wiil
few expeciaiions oilei ilan io enjoy youiself and exploie wlo you've become
wiiloui youi ex. Ii's scaiy, yes, bui ile benefiis of laving a fulfilling sex life again
fai ouiweigl ile negaiives. You may also be pleasanily suipiised ai low libeiaiing
ii feels io be wiil someone wlo caies again, someone wlo wanis you.

Heie aie my ieasons wly eveiy single mom slould lave an aciive and lealily sex
life:

• You will be a lappiei and moie ielaxed moilei.
• You will feel desiied again, a ciucial siep on ile ioad io finding a lasiing
ielaiionslip.
• You will discovei ilai you aie in coniiol as long as you siay in ilai diivei's seai.
• Sex does noi mean you need io maiiy ile guy. Tlis is a libeiaiing iealizaiion
foi many single moms.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle

52
• You only live once. Don'i lei someiling lile wlai you lool lile naled pieveni
you fiom being wiil someone you desiie.
• If you aie depiiving youiself of sex wlen you do eniei a new ielaiionslip wiil a
new man, youi body may easily misiale lusi foi love.

Wiil all of ilai said, leie aie a few iules of ilumb foi any sexually aciive daiing
single mom:

• Wlile I advocaie mainiaining a lealily sex life, I do noi advocaie biinging
ilese men inio and oui of youi clildien's lives oi youi own.
• Tlis one slould go wiiloui saying, bui ii is moie impoiiani now ilan evei io
use pioieciion againsi noi jusi piegnancy bui STDs. Believe me, as a single
mom, ile lasi iling you wani is an STD÷noi only because ii can pui a seiious
ciamp in youi siyle, bui also because iley can be cosily and iime consuming io
iecovei fiom. Mucl las clanged oui ileie since ile lasi iime you weie sexually
aciive and many, many moie men aie caiiieis of STDs iley may noi even lnow
iley lave. Use pioieciion÷$/9$4+.
• If ileie is diama of any lind, sucl as lies oi ie-suifacing ex-giilfiiends, oi if le
is cieaiing moie pioblems ilan le's woiil, end ile ielaiionslip. You'ie a single
mom; above all youi lappiness and youi clildien's iale piecedence ovei sex.

So low do you find and mainiain a sex life wiiloui losing youi mind oi
peimanenily scaiiing youi lids? Ii's noi easy, bui ii's definiiely possible. Tle
feelings we caiiy as paienis wlile laving sex, maling love, and eveiyiling in
beiween aie inexplicable, bui if we aci lile adulis and always leep ile besi inieiesi
of oui clildien in mind, eveiyiling will be olay. Use youi besi judgmeni, be
spaiing in wlo you slaie youi bed wiil by only cloosing good, qualiiy guys, and if
you do mess up, file ii away in ile lesson leained foldei. And, iemembei, ii could
be woise÷ai leasi you didn'i maiiy lim!









Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle

53
Mommy’s Maintenance Man
Food for thought or for your bedroom
Posied on Augusi :y, :ooS

Pionunciaiion: Mommy's Main-ien-ance Man
Funciion: Noun
Puipose: To seive and io please

i. A man a single moilei calls foi any iepaiis aiound ile louse oi in ile bedioom.

:. Ciucial foi single mom suivival.

¸. Can be boyfiiend, lovei, ex-boyfiiend, neiglboi, oi fiiend wiil benefiis.

(. Teim is only used as a jole beiween adulis (usually ile mainienance man and
mommy), noi wiil clildien.


Diving In
How to bite that bullet and sleep with another man already

Wiilin jusi a few weels of being away fiom my lusband, I siaiied ilinling aboui
daiing and sex. Ii lad been yeais since I'd expeiienced anyiling close io a
saiisfying sex life and now, suddenly single, my mind naiuially weni io ile idea of
sleeping wiil anoilei man, oi even men. Bui low would ii lappen? If I could meei
a man÷a seemingly impossible feai because I was living wiil my moilei in ile
middle of a foiesi÷low would I even find ile iime io daie lim, lei alone sleep
wiil lim?

Tleie weie no iepiieves and no oppoiiuniiies foi sex in my life. In addiiion io
iecoveiing fiom my sepaiaiion and impending divoice, I also lad a foui-monil-
old and a full-iime job. My days siaiied ai ¸:oo a.m. and didn'i end uniil io:oo p.m.
wlen ile lasi disl lad been sciubbed. Ai ile iime, I lad io pui ile idea of sex on
ile bacl buinei and focus on ile iasl ai land: iegaining my fooiing, nuiiuiing
and loving my son, and suiviving single moileilood in one piece.

Wlen I did meei my fiisi posi-divoice lovei, ile Bilei, ii iool iliee monils of
fiiendslip befoie I even lei lim liss me. We weie cuddled up on a coucl in my
moilei's basemeni. I lad been wiil my lusband foi iwo yeais and, laving been
maiiied, I nevei ilougli I would evei be lissing anyone again, lei alone a man
wiil biceps ile size of canialoupes and iaiioos ilai spiead acioss lis bacl and
onio lis foieaims. Bui le woislipped me and piobably would lave liieially
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle

54
pulveiized anyone wlo iiied io luii me. Ai ile iime, ilai's all I wanied and
needed: someone wlo wanied me iniensely and made me feel safe and pioiecied. I
was giasping foi aii, iiying io suivive. My life lad been blown apaii and I jusi
wanied someone io caie aboui me, if even foi a momeni.

My lead was iesiing on lis clesi and lis aims weie wiapped aiound my bacl and
waisi. I lnew if I looled up ai jusi ile iigli angle ilai le would liss me. I jusi lad
io lifi my lead. Bui I couldn'i. Insiead I lepi my lead down, ilinling, lile a
scloolgiil would, of wlai ii would feel lile, low I would do ii, and wlai would
lappen afieiwaid? Eveniually, le would wani io iale my sliii off, and ilen le
would see my posi-biiil body.

Having jusi finisled nuising, my bieasis weie now noiling moie ilan empiy folds
of slin, compleiely deflaied. My siomacl siill lad a lealily poocl. I was
absoluiely ceiiain le would be disappoinied wiil wlai le would find÷I lad
convinced myself ilai any man would be. My lusband lad iefused io ioucl me
afiei laving Benjamin. Wly would ile Bilei be any diffeieni? Tlen I iold myself,
"You lave io do ilis. You lave io liss someone new. You'll jusi lave io gei used io
ilis new body."

I lified my lead and lei ile Bilei iale my face in lis lands and liss me÷laid. Tle
voiaciiy of lis sexual appeiiie was difficuli io coniain. He immediaiely used lis
siiong aims io lifi me so I was siiiing up in lis lap and facing lim. My laii fell oui
of iis ponyiail, ovei lis lead, and le moved lis lands up my siomacl, and ilen
undeineail my bia wlile lissing me passionaiely, so lungiy, so iliisiy÷foi me.
My posi-biiil body, I iealized, was absoluiely beauiiful io lim; my flai clesi,
siieicl mails, and iummy weie ile lasi iling on lis mind.

Suddenly, I iemembeied wlai ii feli lile io be in ile aims of a man wlo lnows
wlai le wanis. Foi a few momenis, eveiyiling else÷my son, my divoice, my new
and uncomfoiiable body, my financial siiesses÷disappeaied. I lnew ile Bilei
couldn'i iale my pioblems away oi male my leaii leal any fasiei, bui le was
filling a need: my desiie io be desiied. I lei lim iale me away io a place I'd noi
been io in wlai seemed lile a lifeiime, and ii feli amazing.

Afiei ilai nigli, I dove in and elevaied wlai lad been a fliiiaiious fiiendslip inio
a mini-ielaiionslip. We would clai wlile I was ai woil, le'd iide up on lis Hailey
io meei me foi luncl, and eveniually le would iell me le was falling in love wiil
me. I, of couise, couldn'i say ii bacl. In ile evenings, my moilei would waicl ovei
my sleeping Benjamin so I could sneal up ile diiveway and ovei ile lill and ilen
wall ile giavel ioad foi a few minuies uniil I ended up ai ile Bilei's dooisiep÷
lnocling and waniing.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle

55
Siiiing on ile iop of a iidge, lis louse lad ligl open windows. Tle moonligli
would be cascading inio lis living ioom as we wandeied down ile lall inio lis
bedioom. Wiilin ile ioom's foui deep ied walls, I could escape eveiyiling ouiside
of ilem. Afiei we made love, I would cuil up undei lis leavy down comfoiiei, pull
lis aims even iigliei aiound my waisi and inio my clesi, and ilen lei my mind go
blanl.

I'd pieiend ilai eveiyiling was going io be olay, even ilougl I didn'i lnow low ii
could be. I lad an infani. I lived wiil my moilei. And I could baiely affoid diapeis
foi my son, even ilougl I woiled full-iime.

"Don'i woiiy so mucl," le'd say as le iiied io iub ile lnois oui of my necl and
my bacl. "Eveiyiling will woil oui."

We would lie ileie iogeilei lile ilai uniil ile plone call ielling me ilai Benjamin
lad wolen up. Lile cloclwoil, Benjamin would wale up iigli aiound midnigli,
eveiy nigli, lowling foi me. My moilei, unable io ease lim bacl down, would call
me wiilin minuies. Lile Cindeiella, I would dasl off inio ile nigli, spiiniing wiil
ile Bilei's flaslligli io guide my way uniil I lad Benjamin in my aims.

Tle Bilei was iigli. Eveniually, eveiyiling would woil oui, bui le and I didn'i. Ii
ended in my moilei's living ioom. Tlings lad been awlwaid foi a few weels, and
I couldn'i quiie pui a fingei on ii, so I said, "Have we slipped bacl inio ile fiiend
zone?"

Appaienily, ilai was all ii iool io send a bilei bacl io lis bile. He snapped ai me
and sioimed oui of ile louse, mumbling someiling aboui women being "moie
iiouble ilan iley'ie woiil." And ilai was ilai.

Wiil ilose woids and ilai aiiiiude, le lad jusi peimanenily lnocled limself
cleai inio ile fiiend zone, wlicl made ii mucl easiei io move on and foigei ilai
le lad evei lappened. I quiclly found ilai my gui as a single moilei, was mucl
moie peicepiive ilan ile gui I'd lad in my single and clildless days. In faci, I
didn'i even miss ile Bilei. Tlis was a new feeling foi me. In ile pasi I lad always
feli some lind of iemoise if a sexual ielaiionslip ended. Bui now, as a moilei, I
lad moie impoiiani piioiiiies, ile fiisi one being my son wlo was coming up on
lis fiisi biiilday.

Tlanls io ile Bilei, I discoveied ilai sex as a moilei was noi only possible bui
also immensely saiisfying. I also found oui ilai wlen men wani you, iley don'i
give a looi aboui youi siieicl mails, lefiy iligls, bulging iummy, oi even youi
deflaied bieasis.

If you feel sexy, you aie sexy. Peiiod.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle

56

It’s All About You (for Now)
When you know you’re up to no good

If you'ie a single mom, clances aie you lave jusi speni yeais of youi life iiying io
please one man, wlo may oi may noi lave ieiuined ile favoi. I lnow if my
lusband lad been even an ounce oi iwo moie sensiiive and caiing aboui my
feelings, we would siill be iogeilei. Bui, alas, le wasn'i. Wlen you'ie bacl oui
ileie again, you may be siiucl by an odd desiie io jusi be 90," a man, bui noi io
be wiil lim emoiionally. You may even ilinl, "To lell wiil lis emoiions, ilis is
all aboui me."

Mia iold me ilis befoie leading oui of ile dooi cluicling a cuie diess sle was
aboui io weai oui on a daie wiil a man sle'd mei iliougl a fiiend of a fiiend.
Tley'd found in eacl oilei an inciedible sexual clemisiiy and also a fiiendslip
and a muiual iespeci foi eacl oilei, bui ii siopped sloii of a iomaniic oi
emoiional conneciion. Foi now, ii was siiicily all aboui sex. "You lnow wlai's
funny?" sle said, "Tlis is jusi foi me, all of ii. I jusi wani io be wiil a man wlo
finds me ioially aiiiaciive, a man wlo males me feel special."

Tlen sle paused, "Bui does ilai mean someiling is wiong wiil me? Wlai if I siay
lile ilis foievei? I mean, I lnow ii's noi lealily."

"You won'i siay lile ilis," I said. "Ii's jusi one of youi siages, one of ile single mom
siages we all go iliougl. Ii's a sign ilai you aie giowing, ilai you aie clanging
and lealing. Tiusi me÷ii won'i lasi foievei."

Hei woids sounded so familiai io me. I lad feli ilai same way on many occasions
befoie, as ilougl I couldn'i caie less aboui a guy's feelings. Wlen you'ie a woiling
single mom wiil so mucl on youi plaie, low can you caie aboui a man, especially
wlen you've finally iid youiself of ile lasi one? Bui ile feeling of noi waniing a
man evei again will pass.

Uniil ilen, enjoy enjoying men, because iley can be quiie enieiiaining. And guys,
if you'ie ieading ilis, don'i iell me you laven'i feli ile same way aboui women
befoie. If you lave found a man lile Mia las, leie aie some poinieis io lelp you
gei ieady foi youi nigli oui wiil lim:

• If you clange youi mind, ii is peifecily olay. Remembei, you don'i lave io do
anyiling you don'i wani io, evei. You aie in coniiol.
• He may be neivous÷veiy neivous÷because men can ofien be caugli off guaid
by confideni women. Tiy noi io come off ioo siiong oi you may scaie lim off.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Back in the Saddle

57
• Weai someiling ilai males you feel invincible. Head io a iliifi sioie if you
lave io, bui buy youiself a new daie nigli ouifii ilai males you feel lile ile
sexiesi iling on youi side of ile Mississippi.
• Have a glass of wine befoie le geis ileie, bui noi ioo many÷you don'i wani io
lose youi abiliiy io judge lis claiaciei oi male sound decisions.
• Have lim come io youi place on a nigli wlen youi clildien aie wiil ileii
failei, oi ai a fiiend's louse. You don'i wani lids in ile louse foi ilis lind of
aciion.

Above all, be lonesi wiil lim aboui youi inieniions if you sense le may wani
moie oui of ile ielaiionslip. Daiing laima can come bacl io biie you oileiwise.
And don'i feel guiliy foi laving some aduli fun. Tlis is aboui you, iemembei?
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings


On Lovers and Flings
When single moms just want to have fun

Mr. Right Now (aka My Confession)
When an ex-boyfriend turns into a lover
Posied on Sepiembei i, :ooS

I'm noi aslamed.

I don'i even ilinl anyiling I'm aboui io iell you is "bad."

Ii's jusi ilai I've been leeping ii fiom you, and ilai in iiself is ile confession. I iiy
io be as lonesi as I can leie. Tle piice foi my lonesiy is a small one io pay, if my
fellow single moileis leain oi gain fiom my daiing expeiiences.

Heie ii is:

I lave a mainienance man . oi a Mi. Rigli Now.

I can'i quii lim and I'm consianily ioin. Can I ieally be wiil someone wlo isn'i
ieally ilai inio me? Is ilis bad foi Benjamin? Tlen I iemembei low laid ii is oui
ileie÷low laid ii is io find ilai elusive clemisiiy, low laid ii is io find a man
wlo geis me. Bui (and ii's a big "bui") if I'm fanning ile flames wiil Mi. Rigli
Now, will I miss Mi. Rigli?

I've been iiying noi io lei ilese feais gei io me, because eveiy iime iley do, iley
iuin oui io be compleiely boiiomless. Wlai's ile poini? So wlo is my Mi. Rigli
Now? He is someone all my long-iime ieadeis lnow. Ii's Kiis.

We mei, neaily a yeai ago, on a nigli wlen I'd decided io compleiely wiiie off
men. I was finally conieni wiil being single and ilen le walled inio ile bai. One
weel laiei, as we lay nexi io eacl oilei, le ciadled me in lis aims, squeezed me
iigli, and ilen wlispeied in my eais, "I ilinl you'ie my giil."

I smiled io myself in ile dail. Ii was adoiable, absoluiely adoiable. And ii was ile
way le said ii, ilis iweniy-iliee-yeai-old wlo lad nevei ieally been in love befoie,
now falling foi÷of all people÷a single moilei. He lad no idea wlai was in sioie.
And neiilei did I.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

59
My feai ilen was ilai le would iun away once le goi a iasie of my ieal life. Bui le
didn'i. We only fell deepei. I was compleiely ielaxed, as I'd nevei been befoie. Foi
ile fiisi iime, I leained low io jusi lave fun wiil someone, io leave my
expeciaiions and feais ai ile dooi and jusi enjoy ile momeni.

In ile end, we biole up÷noi once, bui iwice. Tley weien'i angiy, diamaiic
biealups, jusi biiieisweei. And since ile big biealup in Maicl, we've been seeing
eacl oilei on and off. I've also been seeing oilei men . oi iiying io. Bui eacl
daiing expeiience ineviiably ends wiil a few awlwaid lisses and ilen me ielling
ile guy, "I jusi can'i."

If I didn'i lave a Mi. Rigli Now, would ilose daies lave panned oui? I'd lile io
believe noi. Bui I can'i be suie. Recenily, I iliew in ile iowel. Wly boilei daiing
ilese oilei guys if my inieiesi in ilem doesn'i compeie wiil my inieiesi in Kiis?
And besides, I don'i lave iime. Foi ile guy io lave even a iemoie clance, I've goi
io feel someiling, and I jusi wasn'i. I confessed my liiile piedicameni io Kiis wlen
we weie sianding ouiside of a movie ileaiie, aboui io aiiempi a ieal daie insiead
of jusi looling up.

"I'm iiying io daie oilei guys," I said. He'd leaid ilis befoie.

"Good. Tlai's good."

"Bui I'm noi inieiesied in any of ilem."

"Wly?" le looled confused. Yes, Kiis iiuly does wani me io daie oilei men. He
wanis me io find someone woiily. He doesn'i feel ilai le's up io ile job÷ile job
of ile peimaneni man.

"I iiy io be inieiesied bui I'm jusi noi." I am flusieied now. He's was jusi so
goigeous, sianding ileie wiil lis gieen-lazel eyes and lis dail laii. "I ilinl ii's
because I siill lile you. I only wani io be wiil you. So, ileie you lave ii. Do wiil
ilai wlai you will, bui I jusi lad io iell you."

A big smile ciepi acioss lis face and le sigled. I was ielieved, since paii of me
ilougli le was going io lool ai me wiil noiling in lis eyes, and ilen le said, "I
love daiing you ioo bui I can'i be youi iocl. I can'i move in wiil you oi anyiling."

"I don'i need a iocl, and I definiiely don'i wani anyone moving in wiil me÷
especially noi you!" We boil siaiied laugling and walled land in land io a coffee
slop nexi io ile ileaiei.



Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

60

The Muddy Single Mom, a Fairy Tale
When said ex-boyfriend turns into an ex-lover

Benjamin's besi fiiend, Sydney, came ovei io play lasi nigli. Hei moilei Mia and I
lave been besi fiiends since lindeigaiien. And now we live ioo feei away fiom
eacl oilei. Call ii faie, call ii desiiny, bui seeing oui clildien play iogeilei lile we
did, noi so long ago, is soul moving io say ile leasi.

Sydney, a foui-yeai-old wlo is obsessed wiil faiiy iales and piincesses, lad
decided io male mud soup in ile bacl yaid. Benjamin was lei assisiani. "Siii,
Benjamin. Siii ii up," sle said in ile voice of a wicled wiicl. "We aie going io
male poison soup io poison youi mommy and sle will nevei wale up . nevei,
evei."

Benjamin complied. He's in love.

Wlen ile soup was finally finisled, Sydney gave me a diinl off ile iip of lei siicl.
I played dead.

"And now," sle said, "we will covei you in ile soup and you'll be asleep foievei.
You'll nevei live lappily evei afiei and you'll nevei find youi piince." Wiil ilese
woids sle siaiied painiing my feei wiil mud.

"Wly won'i I find a piince?" Sle was fiealing me oui now, bui I was lisiening.

"Because all of ile piinces aie musled iogeilei in a big onion ball!"

"Ol."

Sle lepi iepeaiing my loiiible faie, minus ile onion ball, ovei and ovei again
wiil eacl siiole of ile mud. "And you will nevei, evei live lappily evei afiei. Youi
piince will nevei find you. You will be alone foievei and evei, evei afiei."

Wlen Mia came ovei, I iold lei aboui lei daugliei's cieepy cuise.

"Well, sle's noi a pioplei," Mia laugled.

"How do you lnow?" I asled.

Tlen sle looled ai me. I was siill siiiing ileie and Sydney was siill painiing. Tle
mud was now all ovei my aims and even on my face.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

61

"Yeal, well, maybe sle is! Wlo lnows?" sle conceded. Mia and I believe in glosis,
iaioi caids, and all ilings mysiical. We always lave.

Laiei ilai nigli, long afiei liiile Benjamin lad been iucled away, Kiis called. I
ladn'i seen lim in a weel, so I inviied lim ovei. I ian aiound ile louse, cleaning
up ile ioys, and ilen jumped inio ile slowei. And ileie iley weie: my muddy
feei. I'd foigoiien aboui ilem.

I siaiied sciubbing, bui ile mud, all diy and ciusiy, wouldn'i wasl away. In ilai
momeni, wlen my ciazy single mom mind aciually believed ile mud would nevei
come off, I iealized ilai Sydney was iigli.

I'll nevei find my ieal piince if I can'i wasl away ile old mud. I lad io quii Kiis
immediaiely.

Can You Handle a Lover?
It sounds good on paper, but…

Wlile ileie aie iimes wlen we slould noi be laving sex÷iimes wlen we aie jusi
ioo vulneiable oi fieslly wounded fiom a pasi ielaiionslip÷ileie aie oilei iimes
wlen good old-faslioned love maling is jusi wlai ile docioi oideied. Bui ialing
on a lovei biings wiil ii a fine balancing aci of leeping youi emoiions in clecl
and giounded in ile iealiiy of ile faci ilai ilis man is jusi noi ilai inio you. Foi
example, you can'i expeci a lovei io be seiiously conceined wiil ile goings-on in
youi life oi youi clildien's lives. He is ileie foi one puipose and one puipose only:
io please you in bed oi io occasionally iale you oui on a daie. Peisonally, I
iecommend cloosing youi lovei youiself; ilai is, don'i lei lim cloose you. Be suie
io lave ile uppei land, so you lnow you won'i ieally be falling foi lim.

Foi us single moms, ileie is majoi appeal in ile convenience a low-mainienance
sexual ielaiionslip offeis us. Someiimes we jusi don'i lave iime foi anyiling else.
If you'ie consideiing ialing on a lovei oi a fiiend wiil benefiis, clecl ovei ilese
lisis fiisi io gauge if you'ie ieady.

Signs you aie ieady foi a lovei:

• You'ie emoiionally siable and, foi ile mosi paii, lappy (aside fiom ile faci
ilai you'ie noi laving sex).
• You lave daied a man iecenily and weie noi ieiiibly upsei wlen ii ended.
Tleie was no diama.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

62
• You aie conieni wiiloui a man in youi life and do noi feel ilai a man is
necessaiy io male you lappy. Ai ilis poini, youi only siipulaiion is ilai ile
aiiiaciion is muiual.

Red flags ilai you slould noi iale on a lovei:

• You aie siill in love wiil youi ex.
• You aie looling foi a long-ieim ielaiionslip.
• You feel lonely.
• You equaie sex wiil emoiional iniimacy.
• You lave a lisioiy of sexual abuse oi assauli of any lind ilai you lave yei io
come io ieims wiil. In ilis case, you slould seiiously considei psyclological
ileiapy.
• Would you be upsei if le iold you iomoiiow le was sleeping wiil someone
else? Oi lad decided io seiiously daie someone? Tle answeis slould be "noi ai
all."

Keeping Kiis as a mainienance man was fine wlile ii lasied, bui I ended ii as soon
as ii occuiied io me ilai I was ieady foi someiling moie, a ielaiionslip. Hanging
on io an old love foi sex is mucl moie clallenging ilan ialing on a new lovei
wlom you lave no lisioiy wiil.

Ii wouldn'i be uniil neaily one yeai laiei ilai I'd find my fiisi ieal lovei, ile Tigei.
Oui open ielaiionslip was siiicily plysical and I was able io daie oilei men wlile
sleeping wiil lim.
What if There Are Two Men?
When a single mama just can’t make up her mind
Posied on Apiil :¸, :ooq

Tleie's ile Tigei, wlo las no iules.

He las iiaces of waimil and is even veiy sweei, bui le's lealing and, ileiefoie,
iefusing io feel. His luii is palpable and ii males you angiy ilai some young
clildless iling biole ilis peifeci man foi ile iesi of us. Didn'i sle see wlai sle
lad?

}usi one lool fiom lim can induce a dizzy confusion ilai males you lose youi
bieail. And wlile you lave youi siandaids and youi piioiiiies io leep, eveiy once
in a wlile a giil jusi wanis some fun, especially wlen sle's ioo busy foi mucl else.

Tlen, ileie's ile Lion, wlo is siiong and confideni.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

63
Wlen you meei lim ai ile pail, eacl long aim is moving in iandem wiil ile
oilei, pusling lis swinging clildien wlo seem ligli as aii. Tley'ie laugling.
Tley'ie lappy. He iells you le only wanis wlai is besi foi ilem, and ilese woids
speal volumes io lis single paieni plilosoply. Wlen le meeis youi son, le asls
lim, "Wlai is youi favoiiie, a lion oi a iigei?"

Tle quesiion seems lile faie, as jusi ile nigli befoie you weie ieacling youi son
ile diffeience. He las a souilein diawl and uses woids lile "paidon" ilai male
youi siomacl iingle, so you asl foi lis numbei. He ieads youi blog, bui iailei
ilan iunning away as you ilougli le migli le calls youi leaii "iaie."

Now you lave a daie sei foi nexi weel and you'ie neivous alieady, wondeiing if
you can possibly be as good as le ilinls you aie.

Cabin Fever
On catching a spark
Posied on Sepiembei i¸, :ooS

Nevei in my wildesi dieams did I imagine I'd be meeiing men wiil my son in iow,
oi even feeling an insiani aiiiaciion io a siiangei in Benjamin's piesence. Bui
appaienily ii can lappen, because ii definiiely did ilis weelend.

Benjamin and I weie ai a music fesiival along a iivei, waiiing in line ai a big
inflaiable jump louse wlen I noiiced a veiy cuie dad looling oui way. He lad
blond laii, deep blue eyes, and a faniasiic smile. His iwo clildien lugged lis
lnees and looled up ai me. Tleie wasn'i a mom in sigli oi a iing, bui I couldn'i
be suie. So many maiiied men, I've noiiced, don'i weai ileii iings.

Oui lids ian in sepaiaie diieciions, and I didn'i see lim again uniil laiei in ile
afieinoon wlen Benjamin and I weie on ile banls of ile iivei, wlicl juiied up
againsi oui campsiie. Benjamin was splasling in ile waiei and I, being exlausied,
was flai on my bacl in ile giass ialing in ile sly above me.

"Wow! Lool ai lim," a man's voice said fiom belind me. "We migli lave io join
you in ileie!"

I snapped up and aiound, a bii siaiiled only io find ile dad I'd seen eailiei smiling
bacl ai me. He was camping, ioo, and lis siie was iigli nexi io ouis. As soon as lis
eyes caugli mine, I didn'i lnow wlai io say. He was so cuie and ileie le was,
iigli in fioni of me, cleaily aciing inieiesied in some lind of a conveisaiion. Bui
did le lave a wife? Slould I even iall io lim?

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

64
My neives lepi any compelling oi inieiesiing woids fiom flowing, and all I could
manage was a veiy diy, "Yeal, I ilinl ile waiei is safe . muddy ilougl."

He weni bacl io lis campsiie wlile Benjamin and I maicled ovei ile liiile lill and
bacl up io ouis. We speni ile iesi of ile nigli building oui campfiie and seiiing
up oui ienis wiil my iwo uncles. I couldn'i lelp bui sneal peels ai lis campsiie.
Noi once did I see a woman. Maybe le was a single dad.

Tle nexi moining, I saw lim by ile waiei.

Benjamin was begging foi anoilei swim, so we leaded down again. Tlis iime, le
didn'i waii long befoie coming iigli ovei and siiiing down nexi io me.

"Hi, I'm Kennedy. So wleie aie you fiom?" le asled. And wiil ilai we siaiied
ialling away. I soon found oui ilai le was, indeed, a single dad. Noi youi iypical
single dad, le'd aciually quii lis iiaveling job io spend moie iime wiil lis lids.
Aside fiom ilem, le lad lis lands full building lis own louse, wlicl was now
jusi a slell÷a baiien cabin nesiled in ile lills÷aboui iwo louis fiom wleie we
weie siiiing.

"You slould come see ii someiime," le suggesied.

We didn'i lave mucl iime. Oui lids weie begging foi oui aiieniion and ii was
iime io pacl up ile campsiies. I wioie down lis e-mail addiess and gave lim
mine, ielling lim io siay in ioucl and ilai, yes, maybe ii would be nice io come
oui and see lis place. I love ioad iiips, and ile clemisiiy beiween us was difficuli
io ignoie.

Cabin Fever, Part 2
When a spark becomes a fling
Posied on Sepiembei ::, :ooS

Afiei a few eniicing e-mails and plone conveisaiions wiil Kennedy, oi Cabin Man
as my fiiends called lim, I decided a visii wouldn'i luii. And besides ileie ladn'i
been a man since Kiis, wiil wlom I lad feli so many spails. On my long diive
iliougl ile goigeous, albeii sliglily fiigliening bible-beaiing couniiyside, I lei my
mind wandei and iliew all of my expeciaiions oui of ile window.

Benjamin was ai Mia's, wlo lad made me wiiie down Kennedy's name, along wiil
lis siieei addiess, befoie sle lei me oui of lei sigli, "}usi in case le lidnaps you.
Bui, seiiously, don'i woiiy÷we'll be fine. }usi iale a load off and lave fun. You
deseive ii."
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

65

Because I wouldn'i be able io find lis place on my own, Kennedy mei me a few
miles down ile ioad fiom lis louse. As soon as le jumped in my cai, le couldn'i
siop looling ai me.

"You aie siunning," le said. "Lool ai you! Now, wlai in ile woild is a giil lile you
visiiing a guy lile me foi?"

"I lile you," I wlispeied. "And don'i be so modesi. You'ie noi so bad youiself."

Suddenly, I wondeied jusi wlai I was doing ileie. Afiei all, I was visiiing a man
wlo lives iwo and a lalf louis away. Tale geogiaply oui of ile equaiion and we
weien'i even in ile same univeise÷me, a docioi's daugliei, and Kennedy, ile son
of a sieel woilei. Tle iwo of us lad nexi io noiling in common excepi foi ilis
eleciiic cuiieni of aiiiaciion iunning beiween oui bodies.

We giabbed some pizza and ilen leaded inio ile woods and io lis cabin. Tle
campfiie was iaging, and ile small cabin belind ii was noiling lile I'd envisioned.
Ii was nice÷veiy nice. Tiees le dug up by land, now naled of ileii bail, lined ile
siaiis up io a lofi wiil a bed fiame caiefully ciafied oui of ile same wood.
Kennedy siaiied building ile place afiei le'd found oui lis wife lad cleaied on
lim wiil lis besi fiiend.

"Eveiy nail," le iells me delicaiely, wiil a lainessed and now iamed angei undei
lis woids, "eveiy piece of ilis place was buili in a bluiiy laze of angei. I feli lile
I'd been slafied."

Wlo wouldn'i? And now le was leie, bacl in lis lomeiown, living on lis paienis'
ploi of land and ie-building lis life. Tle eniiie scene, aside fiom ile building a
cabin youiself paii, was all ioo familiai.

"Now, I'm finally beginning io undeisiand wlai life is all aboui. Ii's jusi sucl a
faniasiic feeling io be fiee of ilai luii and ilai ielaiionslip." His deep blue eyes
weie squiniing now fiom ile wide giin undeineail ilem.

Afiei my liiile ioui, we sai down by ile fiie. I cuiled up on my blanlei and
Kennedy, a genileman, sai in a claii neaiby. Insiead of going oui io a local dive
bai, as we'd oiiginally planned, we jusi sai and ialled foi louis and louis. He
siayed in lis claii ile eniiie iime uniil I finally inviied lim io sii down wiil me.

He lay down belind me and pui lis aim aiound my waisi. Was ilis ieally
lappening? Was I ieally undei ile siais wiil a goigeous man? I was, and somelow
ile impossibiliiy of oui siiuaiions made ii even moie appealing. Befoie ile
ilouglis could even leave my lead, we weie lissing. Tle siais disappeaied belind
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

66
my closed eyes and I jusi feli lim. I so needed ilis. Finally, I was aboui io move
on, io leave Kiis and my aiiaclmeni io lim belind me.

Tle nexi moining, we made eggs and bacon ovei ile fiie.

"I don'i wani io leave," I said sipping on my coffee. Tleie was someiling aboui ile
woods, ile quiei foiesi, ile smell of ile campfiie, and ilis man smiling ai me and
ielling me low goigeous I looled. I lad discoveied a liiile slice of single mama
leaven. Bui Benjamin was waiiing and I lad io leave.

"I could lidnap you," I joled. "}usi pop you in ile iiunl and iale you bacl wiil
me."

He lei oui a laugl ilen and ilen asled, "So wlen am I going io see you again?"

And ileie ii was, ile quesiion I lnew le would be asling. Even ilougl I'd been
piepaied io leai ii, I siill didn'i lave an answei. Tle nigli befoie lad been a
flule÷iypically, Kennedy lad lis iliee-yeai-old and six-yeai-old eveiy weelend.
I, of couise, lad Benjamin eveiy weelend so ilai lefi no weelends and no iime
duiing ile weel io see eacl oilei because of oui woil scledules and ile disiance
beiween us.

If we wanied io see eacl oilei again, ile lids would lave io be ileie.

"Benjamin may noi ieally gei ii, bui youi lids definiiely will. Tley'll see us
iogeilei and sense ilai someiling's up. Tlai could mess wiil ileii liiile leads," I
said.

"Bui wlai's wiong wiil lids seeing someiling so good?" le asled wiil a guili-fiee
aiiiiude only a new daiing single paieni can lave.

"I ioially undeisiand, ilougl," le weni on, afiei seeing ile concein in my face.
"You'ie doing ile iigli iling. You'ie an amazing mom and I'm noi going io
iniiude. You jusi lei me lnow wlai you wani."

Cabin Fever, Part 3
When a fling gets flung
Posied on Ociobei 6, :ooS

Duiing ile few weels ilai followed my fiisi nigli wiil Kennedy, I couldn'i siop
ciaving lis ioucl. Tle nigli lad been so passionaie, so immensely fulfilling. I
decided ilai biinging Benjamin up io lis cabin foi a nigli could be a fun
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

67
adveniuie, especially wiil Kennedy's lids ileie, along wiil lis loises ad all of ile
aciiviiies lile pumplin caiving.

Benjamin was bundled inio lis cai seai wlen we finally ieacled Kennedy's. Tle
lill leading up io lis cabin was so sieep ii seni my cai banging and clanling
againsi ile poiloles in lis unfinisled diiveway. "Wooo!!!" I slouied as we lii
anoilei one, in lopes of enieiiaining Benjamin wlo was now boied oui of lis liiile
mind.

I lad speni ile lasi leg of ile iiip singing oui loud io lim÷some Feisi, Old Ciow
Medicine Slow, Bob Dylan. Benjamin sai up in lis seai and siaied ai me
inciedulously as I sang, uniil, finally, a few veises inio eacl one, le would ciacl a
iiny smile befoie moving lis eyes slowly bacl io ile ioad. Even ilougl le was
only iwo yeais old, I feli as if le weie a ieenage boy maling fun of me foi being
exciied io see my new fiiend.

Kennedy and lis lids weie siiiing aiound ile campfiie ai ile edge of ile diiveway.
We'd nixed an idea io meei in ile middle foi a joini camping iiip. Wly camp oui
wlen we could camp leie wiil lis paienis' louse iigli up ile lill? Ii would be
easiei, safei, and moie comfoiiable foi ile lids.

"Hey!" He jogged up io oui cai and ilen giabbed me in a big lug as soon as I
siepped oui. C#G&C#&")((0.(%&I ilougli.

"Hold on," I pulled away. "I can'i say 'Hi' uniil I gei Benjamin oui÷le's been so
good ile eniiie way leie." I opened ile cai dooi and scooped Benjamin up in my
aims.

"Hey, Ben!" Kennedy said.

Tle woids diove Benjamin's lead inio my slouldei and le lepi ii ileie uniil we
siepped inio ile cabin, wleie Kennedy lad iesuiiecied lis son's old Tlomas iable.
Benjamin jumped oui of my aims and slouied in deligli. I smiled and wlispeied a
ilanl you.

Two weels ago, ilis iable lad been buiied in ile bacl of ile cabin. Tlai moining
feli diffeieni ilan ilis one. We weie alone ilen, basling in eacl oilei and ile
ligls of finding someone new. We lad pulled ile iable oui a bii io lool foi a iiain
I could iale lome io Benjamin. Afiei Kennedy lad picled Duncan because of "ile
cool geai ilai iuins," I lad iaclled lim wiil a liss.

Now we weie boil lnee-deep in lids.

"You waicl ilese iwo and I'll waicl ilis one wlile I giab ilis!"
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

68

Eacl of us musi lave said ilis ai leasi five iimes. Beiween caiving pumplins,
feeding ile loises, and jumping on ile iiampoline, Kennedy iold me sioiies of
low afiei le and lis ex lad splii ile lids lad clanged diamaiically. His son, wlo
lad compulsively sciaicled lis face io ile poini of scabbing, suddenly siopped.
His daugliei was also mucl lappiei. Tle sioiies scaied me, and I couldn'i imagine
wlai Kennedy's baggage, wlai ilose figlis, musi lave been lile.

Afiei dusl, Kennedy pui lis clildien down in lis paienis' louse, and I cuiled up
nexi io Benjamin foi oui good nigli iime. We weie in ile campei Kennedy lad sei
up ouiside of lis cabin. He piomised ii would be waim all nigli. Tle cabin siill
didn'i lave leai, and ile cool fall iempeiaiuies weie now dipping down inio ile
low foiiies. Tle campei's bed was ieiiibly uncomfoiiable bui I didn'i caie, ai leasi
Benjamin would be wiilin eaisloi of me wlile I lung oui wiil Kennedy by ile
campfiie.

Afiei Benjamin diified off inio sleep, I leaded ouiside io meei Kennedy. I sanl
down inio ile blanlei and lei oui a luge sigl. Ii lad been a long day. A fun day
bui definiiely long. I was iiied, feeling ile weigli of ile weel and ilen ile long
diive on my slouldeis. Tlis was one of ilose momenis, as a single mom, ilai I
iealized÷painfully÷low badly I wanied someone wlo would be sensiiive io ile
myiiad emoiions I feel as a moilei. Insiead Kennedy was ialling again, as le lad
so many iimes duiing ile day, aboui lis ieiiible maiiiage and all of ile wicled,
wicled figlis.

Tle magic fiom oui weelend alone was escaping me now, and ii dawned on me
ilai Kennedy was nowleie neai oui of lis posi-divoice fog. He siill ladn'i even
begun io leal, io jusi diop ile pain, io lei ii fall wleie ii may and move on.

"I'm noi suie if maiiiage is foi me," le weni on. "I jusi don'i ilinl I can give myself
ovei io someone again."

"I ilinl ile iiicl," I said, loping io lelp, "is iealizing ilai you slouldn'i lave io
give youiself ovei io someone io be in a ielaiionslip." Ii was no use. He couldn'i
undeisiand ilai quiie yei. Bui le would someday. Bui I iealized ilai if I wasn'i
caieful, Kennedy would soon be ialing ilai unieleased baggage oui on me.

Laiei ilai nigli, I wole up in ile campei feeling biiieily cold. Tle fiigid aii bii ai
my face and I ieacled oui foi Benjamin only io find lim jusi as cold. I wiapped my
body aiound lis and ieacled wiil my oilei land iowaid ile leaiei. Ii was biolen
and we weie absoluiely fieezing. I didn'i wani io biave ile lile up io Kennedy's
paienis' louse in ile dail wlile caiiying a sleeping Benjamin so we iougled ii oui.
I used my body leai io leep Benjamin waim and pulled eveiy incl of blanlei ovei
us, cuising myself foi noi pacling a waimei sleeping bag. Tle eniiie iime, in my
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

69
cold fog, I lay ileie in ile dail willing Kennedy io come clecl on us. "He slould
be clecling on us," I wlispeied. "I don'i caie if we'ie jusi sleeping iogeilei, le
slould be clecling." Bui le nevei came, and in ile moining, even ilougl le
apologized piofusely, I jusi wanied io pacl up and lead lome.

I lepi a smile on my face as we sai aiound ile campfiie, diinling coffee and
waicling ile lids play. He piobably sensed my indiffeience and sudden clill. "So,
ilis ieally is going io be impossible, isn'i ii?" le asled. "I didn'i undeisiand exacily
wlai you weie iiying io gei ai befoie, bui now I see wlai you mean."

"Yeal, ii's jusi noi going io woil," I said ielucianily. I didn'i wani io luii lis
feelings, bui I lad io be lonesi. His blue eyes weie so inciedibly cleai. I wanied io
dive inio ilem, bui ile liiile pile of ied flags I lad been colleciing was now filled
wiil a few land mines÷ile faci ilai we couldn'i see eacl oilei wiiloui ile lids
aiound, lis iaw emoiions fiom lis divoice, and, now, lis leaving us in ile nigli io
fieeze io deail.

And wlen le looled ai me and asled, "Really? Aie you suie?" I glanced ovei ai
Benjamin, ilen down ai my lands, wlicl weie iiembling a bii fiom exlausiion,
and ilen diove ile final nail inio ile coffin. "Yeal. I am posiiive. Ii jusi can'i
lappen."

"Ii's funny," le added, "because I feel lile ilis weelend las been a liiile lesson foi
me, in wlai I can expeci now÷low ii's going io be as a daiing single dad."

"Welcome io ile club," I laugled. Tle single paieni club÷wleie being a membei
means you ioo can expeiience daiing lile you nevei lave befoie.




Part 3: Falling in Love as a Single Mom
!Fighting fear and learning to fall again!







Conienis

My Dail Side (ile bacl sioiy)
Baggage Claim: Waining! Heavy Lifiing Alead
Mi. Man: Falling in Love Wiiloui Losing Youi Head


Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: On Lovers and Flings

71

Wlile ileie aie many of us wlo became single moileis by cloice iliougl
adopiion oi aiiificial inseminaiion, ile iesi of us lilely did noi cloose ilis pail.
Bui life lappened and leie we aie. Tlai's noi io say we don'i love being single
moms. If you'ie lile me, you'll agiee ilai being a single mom is fai easiei ilan
being a miseiably maiiied mom. We lold oui newfound fieedom and lappiness ai
a piemium, valuing and pioieciing ii lile we would a newfound love.

Afiei all, we've been ileie, done ilai. Love and maiiiage iuined oui io be
iiaumaiic expeiiences ilai lefi us biuised and biolen. So low, as single moileis
wlo lave finally conqueied oui peisonal mouniains, do we lei ouiselves fall in
love again, wlen puiiing oui leaiis bacl on ilai slab can feel unnaiuial? If you'ie
lile me, ii can even cause a plysical ieaciion.

In ile fiisi few monils of daiing }oln Beai, I would aciually feel a bii sicl io my
siomacl in ile momenis wlen I siaiied io expeiience my fiisi feelings of love foi
lim. Ii's fiigliening as all lell, ilis idea of going iliougl ii again, of poieniially
maling ile same misiale iwice. Bui wiil }oln, foi ile fiisi iime in my life,
eveiyiling feels absoluiely and peifecily iigli. Wlen you lnow, you& 1.#92 And
wlen you'ie a single mom you lave ile advaniage of seeing wlai a guy is lile wiil
youi clildien befoie laving ilem. You can also use youi pasi as a guide io pieveni
you fiom iepeaiing youi misiales.

Wiil ilai said, I am noi a young, innoceni iweniy-yeai-old wlo las zeio
baggage÷I am a single mom. Even ilougl }oln is so good io me and so
consideiaie of my feelings, I siill lave io soii iliougl some demons fiom my pasi
ilai suiface wlen I leasi expeci ii. Tlese sleleions someiimes come in ile foim of
nasiy, luiiful woids and aciions, wlicl, in ile pasi, lave scaied good men away.
In all lilelilood, ilougl, if youi guy is ile iigli one, le'll lold youi land and face
ilose sleleions wiil you. Tle iiicly paii, you may find, is allowing youiself io be
loved.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim


Baggage Claim
Warning: Heavy Lifting Ahead


Wlen I lasled oui ai }oln foi ile fiisi iime, iiying io pusl lim away and saboiage
oui ielaiionslip, le iold me calmly low my woids made lim feel. Bui as le iold
me ilis, le also said, "Tlis is going io woil. We aie going io be jusi fine, and I'm
noi going anywleie because I love you. I am going io slow you wlai ilai means."

Railei ilan opening up afiei leaiing lis woids, I slui down, so scaied of ilese
new emoiions I was feeling and ai ile idea ilai ilis man meani eveiy woid. Ovei
ile nexi few days, I coniinued io slui down, aciing cold, even downiigli mean.
And ilen, as I was falling asleep one nigli, I sloi up in bed io call lim, iell lim
goodnigli again, and apologize. I lad lad a siaiiling vision of losing lim, losing
ilis amazing man and being lefi alone wiil ilese awful sleleions I laie so mucl.
Tle plone iang and iang, bui ileie was no answei. !"4&9$+.8,&"*&$.+9*:0.(6 He
lad always answeied my plone calls, no maiiei wlai iime of day oi nigli, bui now
lis plone was sileni.

Tiapped wiilin my own ilouglis and feais, I siaiied wiiiing.

My Dark Side
Posied on }une ¸o, :ooq

Tleie's anoilei iling aboui being a single mom . oi, maybe, ii's jusi paii of being
me.

Love aciually luiis me.

Tle feeling of feeling (again) iaises some lind of pain up inside of me ilai I can'i
slale. And ilen I siaii lasling oui. I saboiage my ielaiionslips, wisling away ile
buiieiflies foi feai ilai iley will iuin inio giay, evil moils. Tlen I say ilings I
don'i mean. I leai ilem coming oui of my mouil and insianily wani io iale ilem
bacl. Railei ilan leaining low io coniiol ilis, I noiice ilai ilis seems io gei
woise as I age and become moie cynical. As I become moie accusiomed io being
single, ielaiionslips seem moie foieign, complex, and disiani ilan evei.

I can blame ii on PMS oi ilis awful, awful siiess leadacle I can'i seem io slale,
bui ile woids aie siill oui ileie now÷in ile aii, on lis mind. I am jusi loping le
can foigive me oi, ai ile veiy leasi, leain io iecognize ilai, lile any animal, I may
noi be wounded and bleeding anymoie, bui ile sensiiive scais aie siill ileie.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim

73

Tle ilings I lave expeiienced aie, foiiunaiely, lile noiling le's evei even lad io
iasie. Bui, foi me, eveiy once in a wlile, iley iise up again÷ilouglis ilai le'll
leave oi suddenly decide le laies oui life iogeilei, ilai le giows boied, oi ilai I
do someiling ilai diives lim away. On iop of ilis deep scaiiing and baggage I'm
lauling aiound, ileie's also ile piessuie.

I'm balancing all of ilese emoiions wlile ai ile same iime iiying io male suie
eveiyone in ile ioom walls oui wiil waim fuzzy lappy family feelings. Ii can be
iiiing as lell. Someiimes I jusi wani io be a biicl and moan and gioan uniil ile
cows come lome. Bui I can'i. I am ile lead of my louselold. I am ile peison my
son's woild ievolves aiound and, now, I am ile one wlo lolds a man's leaii in my
lands, a leaii I am so giaieful io lave, as le lolds mine.

Tle balancing aci musi be mainiained. If noi, if I do lose my iempei, snap, oi say
someiling iasl, ile peison on ile ieceiving end is mosi lilely someone wlo does
noi deseive io leai ii.

So, one quesiion: How do maiiied moms do ii? Please, enliglien me.

Because Mis. Cleavei I am definiiely noi. Did you iale some lind of mind-
numbing medicine? Oi is ileie some special yoga pose I need io leain?

Peilaps I iun away fiom love because being single is easiei foi me. I don'i wani io
biing ilese sleleions oui of ile closei; I've nevei liled cleaning oui empiy, dail
coineis.

Bui ilis iime, I am going in. I'll biing a flaslligli. Maybe you guys can lold ii and
lelp slow me ile way.

He's woiil ii.

And besides, wlai fun would life be if I didn'i scaie myself eveiy once in a wlile?

----

Afiei I lii publisl, I fell asleep, ile ieais iolling down my cleels. Wlen I wole up
in ile moining, ileie was a iexi fiom }oln ilai said, "So soiiy. I fell asleep."

On lis way io woil, le siopped by my place io give me a luge lug and iold me, "I
would nevei, evei noi answei youi plone calls, no maiiei wlai. Tle plone was
jusi on sileni and I'd passed oui. You slould lave come ovei."

"I ilougli aboui ii," I said wlile snuggling my lead inio lis clesi.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim

74

"I'll give you a ley so you can always come ovei, wlenevei you wani. Eveiyiling is
going io be olay, aliigli?"

"I believe you. I do."

Even wlen all logic iells us oileiwise, we single moms, can siill be lypei-sensiiive
and lypei-feaiful of being luii again. Call ii a mama beai insiinci oi call ii feai÷
wlaievei ii is, leaining and allowing ouiselves io love again aie ile mosi
clallenging paiis of being a single mom. We lave io give ouiselves peimission io
feel woiily of being iieaied well by a man.

As a single mom, I lave fallen foi ile wiong men and ile iigli men. Many iimes, I
confused falling in love wiil falling in lusi. My desiie io find a companion, coupled
wiil sexual aiiiaciion, las someiimes clouded eveiyiling else and I've called ii
love. Bui I leained fiom eacl expeiience, iool noie of wlai my leaii and lead
weie feeling, and moved on.

My besi advice foi single moms falling in love is io leep youi lead aboui you,
lisien io youi gui insiincis÷iley'ie usually iigli÷and mainiain youi sense of self.
Above all, iemembei ilis: you will only be as biolen as you lei youiself be. Be
smaii aboui wlo you fall foi, avoid ile land mine-iidden bad boys, and lnow ilai
feeling and finding iiue love is someiling you deseive. Don'i seiile foi anyiling
less.

Just When I Thought I Was Safe
On falling in love when you least expect it
Posied on Novembei ¸, :ooy

Six weels ago, I lad ieacled a poini of compleie conienimeni wiil being single.

Ovei ile pasi yeai and a lalf, I lad been seaicling foi someone. Tleie was a
paiiein. I liled a guy. We lii ii off. I scaied lim off. My fiiends iold me, "You'ie
calling lim ioo mucl."

"Wlai? I lave a clild. Do I ieally lave io play ilese daiing games anymoie?" I said.
"Gieai. Tlen I'll gei iid of lim quiclly. If le doesn'i wani a plone call fiom me,
wly would I wani io be wiil lim?" Ii was lile a ieflex, someiling inside of me
iiying io pioieci oui liiile lives fiom becoming biolen.

"Tleie aie iules," my fiiends would say. Rules? Ol, yeal. Tlose damn iules. I used
io play by ile iules. I used io be a daiing diva, ofien daiing moie ilan one guy ai
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim

75
once. Ii was my independence ilai aiiiacied ilem. Bui, afiei being maiiied foi
iwo yeais and a moilei foi neaily iwo moie, I feli ilai I lad compleiely losi my
edge.

Ii jusi couldn'i lappen.

I couldn'i see myself evei ieiuining io ilose days of caiefiee daiing. So, wlai did I
do? I decided io foigei aboui men. And if I was going io daie one, iley'd lave io be
ioially inio me so I didn'i lave io woiiy aboui ilose iules.

A few weels laiei, I was ai a coffee slop, enjoying my newfound indiffeience,
wlen faie iool ovei.

My plone iang. Ii was an old fiiend and sle needed a iide oui io a subuib bai. I
couldn'i say no because sle sounded so despeiaie. Wlen we goi ileie, I found oui
sle was ileie io meei iwo old diunl men in ileii laie fifiies. Compleiely pui off, I
leaded ouiside io ile paiio.

I was lappily ignoiing all of ile men aiound me and enjoying my own company,
wlen one of ilem sai down ai my iable and said, "Hey, low aie you?"

"Fine, ilanls. You?"

We weni bacl and foiil a bii and I was alieady feeling inciedibly boied. H)+,&/*$3*&
-*& $/#.*% I ilougli. And ilen ile guy poinied io a man walling oui onio ile
paiio. "Tlai's my fiiend, Kiis."

I"&.#2&J*8+&?),*2&K*$//4&?),*2&

Weaiing a viniage suii, le was iall wiil ilicl, dail biown laii and big, gieen eyes.
If you'd asled me io dieam up my peifeci guy, le'd lool lile ilis one. So le was
cuie, bui did le lave a biain? I wanied io find oui and, besides, I couldn'i go bacl
inside and lang oui wiil ile cieepy old men.

I iesied ile waieis by iliowing oui some of my ilouglis aboui oui cuiieni
poliiical siiuaiion, someiling ilai lad me fiied up iecenily, and ilen waicled lis
ieaciion. Could le landle ii? Did le iead newspapeis?

"We've goi a smaii one leie," lis buddy said io lim. Kiis nodded, smiled, and ilen
focused lis eyes on mine wlile siiiing up a bii in lis claii and answeiing me wiil
all of ile evidence I needed. Fiom ilai poini on, ii was all ovei. Kiis and I speni
ile nigli laugling, ialling, playing pool. Rigli befoie I lefi, le gave me lis
numbei and ilen said, "Come leie," and gave me a luge lug.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim

76
Tlai lug is one I'll nevei, evei foigei. Foi ile fiisi iime since leaving my ex-
lusband moie ilan one yeai befoie, I aciually feli lile I could lei go inio ilai lug.
I could ielax and jusi enjoy ilis sweei, sweei man I'd found.

Tleie weie no iules in ilai lug.

Tlai nigli, I lad a dieam aboui lim. We weie lissing, iogeilei, and in love. I
wole up, siaiiled ilai I'd dieami aboui a man I'd jusi mei. I lay ileie in my bed
waniing moie, waniing lim in ii wiil me, and waniing io feel lis lug again.

I seni lim a iexi message ilai said, "Tlanls foi ile lug."

He wioie bacl, "No pioblem. You'ie a sweeiie and veiy luggable. I've goi class
uniil S:oo; afiei ilai, I'll be feeling lile calling you."

I didn'i lnow ii ilen, bui I was aboui io fall in love foi ile fiisi iime as a single
mom. Kiis and I weie compleiely immeised in eacl oilei fiom ile beginning. In
lim and in oui ielaiionslip, I finally leained low io ielax and jusi lave fun wiil
guys again. We wanied eacl oilei, we didn'i need eacl oilei, and ii was fabulous.

Love vs. Lust
How do you know if it’s love or lust?
Posied Febiuaiy :6, :ooS

Love and lusi feel diffeieni bui can easily be confused. As single moileis we lave
io be especially caieful noi io confuse ile iwo. If you misiale a case of seiious lusi
wiil love and iniioduce lim io ile lids ioo soon, ii could leave you wiil some
iegieis. Wiil my ex-lusband, ii was all lusi. Oui wliilwind maiiiage ended afiei
jusi iwo yeais. Ai fiisi, we weie compleiely in lusi. We baiely even spole ile same
language. A few monils afiei oui wedding, I iealized, io my loiioi, ilai le only
iiuly undeisiood aboui i¸% of wlai I was saying. He'd jusi been nodding along ile
eniiie iime and ilen pulling me in foi sexy lisses.

Even ilougl we weie diawn iogeilei by puie, iaw lusi, I believed ai ile iime ilai
ii was ile ieal deal, ilai we would indeed spend ile iesi of oui lives iogeilei. Lusi
is a poweiful feeling, bui love is even beiiei. Wlen oui maiiiage weni downlill, all
I wanied was a lusband wlo loved me. To lell wiil lusi, I decided÷ii fades fasi.

I lisied oui ile diffeiences in my mind afiei I mei Kiis, and I suggesi you do ile
same. Tlen you'll always lave ii as a landy iefeience guide, jusi in case youi gui is
scieaming ai you wlen you meei a new guy.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim

77
Heie aie my lisis.

Wlen ii's lusi:

• I foigei myself ofien, even wlen I'm wiil Benjamin. I daydieam aboui ile nexi
iime le'll be iipping my cloiles off.
• I nod my lead adoiingly, even wlen le's spouiing uiiei bullslii.
• I lool pasi lis obvious flaws and iell myself ilai said flaws aie "cuie."
• I iall io my fiiends aboui lim all of ile iime because I need validaiion ilai I'm
wiil lim.
• Tlings gei veiy seiious, veiy fasi. Suddenly, we'ie sleeping iogeilei, moving in
iogeilei, and figliing a loi.

Wlen ii's love:

• I am siill me.
• I lnow le's ileie, no maiiei wlai.
• I wani lim moie ilan anyiling, bui noi because of ile sex. I wani io @* wiil
lim, iall io lim, and leai aboui lis day.
• Tlings aie nice and slow.
• I am siill ioo% focused on my son because le wouldn'i lave ii any oilei way.
• He loves ilai I love Benjamin.
• I jusi lnow. I do. You will, ioo. Cleesy, bui iiue.

Baggage Check
I won’t let myself fall in love
Posied on }uly i:, :ooS

One side effeci of leaving youi cell plone claigei in Califoinia is laving pleniy of
iime io ilinl. And wiil no inieiiupiions and no fiiends oi family io iun my
emoiions by, I iecenily lad a piofound iealizaiion: I am scaied io deail of falling
in love again.

I lave been compleiely swepi away befoie.

Ai ile iime, ii seemed cleai. He was ile one. We could male ii woil 'iil deail do
us paii. Bui someiling lad seveiely clouded my judgmeni, and by ile iime I
iealized my misiale, ii was ioo laie. We weie maiiied.

Now my ex-lusband is a walling, ialling example of low blinded I can be by lusi.
So, I don'i iiusi myself. Ii doesn'i lelp ilai, eveiy Monday, I gei io see ilai slining
example pull up inio my diiveway io iale oui son foi iliiiy-six louis. Tlis las lefi
me wondeiing and iealizing, io my loiioi, ilai my feai of falling foi ile wiong
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Baggage Claim

78
guy could leep me fiom falling foi ile iigli guy. Wlen love does slow up, will I
be biave enougl io lei myself fall?

I lope so, foi Benjamin's sale. I would laie foi ile lid io miss oui on laving
bioileis and sisieis oi a full-iime dad because Mommy las baggage. So leie's my
baggage dumping plan, effeciive immediaiely, because ilis slii las goi io go:

Siep i: Ideniify Baggage

My ex-lusband biole my leaii. Wlai if ii lappens again? Benjamin would be luii
and so would I. I'm pioieciing boil of us fiom my own silly leaii, wlicl, in ile
pasi, las always fallen foi ile wiong guy. And wlai aboui ile financial falloui?
Divoice is expensive. I also feai losing my fieedom again io maiiiage (i.e., piison).
Yeal, I lnow, ilai's wly iley call ii baggage.

Siep :: Ideniify Effecis of Baggage

I lave fallen in love since becoming a single moilei, wiil Kiis. In ile end, neiilei
one of us could iale ile big plunge inio a deepei love. I lepi lim ai a safe disiance
fiom my leaii, didn'i giow ioo aiiacled foi feai of ile ineviiable, painful biealup
. and ii woiled. Wlen we splii, ii was painless. Bui we boil losi someiling ilai
lad ile poieniial io be someiling. Two ielaiionslip-plobes equals no
ielaiionslip.

Siep ¸: Eliminaie Baggage (ile laid paii)

I'm ialing baby sieps. I am. Bui ii could be a wlile. And I need io give myself ilai
iime. In ile meaniime, I'm looling ai eacl of my daiing expeiiences wiil open
eyes, siiipping ilem down, and iiying my besi io iecognize wlen I'm pusling
away and wlen I'm jusi lisiening io obvious ied flags.

I also need io leain low io love wiiloui losing coniiol. I need io iiusi myself
again.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man


Mr. Man
Falling in love without losing your head

The Rabbit Hole
Posied on Novembei :, :ooS

"I don'i ilinl you've evei ieally been in love."

Mi. Man iells me ilis as I sii cioss-legged on ile coucl. Oui lnees aie ioucling
and le is lolding my lands in lis. Tlis is lis conclusion afiei weels of us ialling
and leaining aboui eacl oilei's clecleied pasis, ile pasis ilai led us iogeilei, io
ilis momeni.

"Ii jusi doesn'i sound lile a man las evei iieaied you iigli in youi life," le says as
le lools inio my eyes. I daii ilem io ile giound as I iealize low iigli le is.

"You musi be scaied as lell."

He's absoluiely iigli. I feel my aimoi iliclen as I iespond, "Ii's iiue. Eveiy
expeiience I've lad wiil a man las ended wiil me on ile losing end, financially,
emoiionally, all aiound."

Mi. Man beais a close iesemblance io Heail Ledgei. Tlinl Heail Ledgei in
B:#1*@$?1& L#).,$0.÷noi gay (obviously) and no long laii, bui wiil ile ilicl
souilein diawl, ile cliseled aims, ile defined clin and cleelbones. Mi. Man is all
man. His flannel sliii sleeves lang ovei lis weaileied lands, wlicl aie iwice ile
size of mine÷noi in lengil, bui in widil. He used ilem io iale my gaibage oui
ile oilei nigli.

"Ii's olay," I said impulsively aboui ile gaibage. "I can gei ii."

"No, I'm geiiing ii." He paused and looled ai my face, wlicl lad sofiened inio
slocled appieciaiion. "Gosl, you ieally laven'i lad anyone lelp you oui befoie,
lave you?" I slool my lead.

"Tlese ciiy boys musi be weal oi someiling." Tlen le lified my iiasl as if ii was a
feailei and lauled ii ouiside.

I'm siill in slocl. He jusi lelps oui, wiiloui being asled. Maybe ii's because le's a
single failei. Maybe ii's because le's jusi a genileman. Regaidless, I'm definiiely
falling inio ilai iabbii lole.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

80

Pleased to Meet You
Posied on Novembei y, :ooS

We mei ai ile bai my moilei and I used io fiequeni afiei my failei died.

Mom and I weie ileie ilis iime, noi io diown oui soiiows, bui io celebiaie lei
biiilday. As soon as we siepped inside, sle iool off foi ile paiio and I iool ile
only empiy seai ai ile bai, iigli nexi io Mi. Man. His souilein diawl iold me
immediaiely le was a iownie, a woiling siiff÷ile ieal deal. '.?#->$,0@/*, I
ilougli. I'm a ciiy giil, consianily aiiacled io some lind of eleciionic device. Bui
maybe we could woil÷ilis ilougli didn'i occui io me uniil laiei, afiei I'd lefi
lim ai ile bai and ieiuined neaily an loui laiei io find lim discieeily lolding my
seai, waiiing foi me io come bacl.

Only ilen did I ieally lool inio lis eyes and iealize ilai ilis man wasn'i lidding
aiound oi playing me÷le was seiious. Beneail lis iougl exieiioi, I saw a sofi,
siiong leaii and someiling veiy comfoiiing, almosi familiai. We ialled foi louis
ai ile bai. Wlai slocled me mosi, afiei yeais now of daiing so many of ilose fisl
in ilai big, bad sea, was lis genuine inieiesi in lisiening io wlai I lad io say. And
le iesponded io my ilouglis, noi wiil faniasiical sioiies, bui wiil sioiies ielaied
io mine, sioiies le iold because le wanied io slaie ilem wiil me÷noi because le
wanied io piove someiling oi gei me inio bed.

Tliee louis laiei, neai closing iime, Mom siaiied gesiuiing belind lis lead,
poiniing io lim wiil lei ilumb ligl in ile aii and mouiling, "I lile lim." A few
momenis laiei, sle inviied lim bacl io lei louse. I, compleiely inioxicaied ai ilis
poini, iliew oui all logic and weni along wiil ile plan. We could go lome and
wale up my uncle and Mom's man and lave a liiile paiiy. Ii would be gieai!

7*$"%&+):*%&1**>&,$/10.(%&5:).1&E/$0.$2&

Had we noi ialen lim lome ilai nigli, I'm noi quiie suie I evei would lave seen
lim again. In faci, I'm almosi ceiiain I would lave biusled lim off, disiegaiding
lim as jusi anoilei guy ai anoilei bai.

Afiei ialling deep inio ile nigli, I seiiled Mi. Man inio ile guesi bedioom and
leaded upsiaiis io sleep wiil Benjamin. I wole up jusi a few louis laiei wiil a
vicious leadacle. I ieally don'i diinl ilai ofien, so my langoveis aie loiiible
wlen I do. Only afiei iubbing my eyes and ciawling oui of bed io clase afiei
Benjamin did I iealize, io my loiioi, wlai lad lappened ile nigli befoie. I lad
biougli a man lome! Seiiously?

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

81
J#/4&+"0,, I ilougli. My biain was on fiie. ="*:*8+&$&-$.2&J*:*2&'.&-4&-#-8+&"#)+*2&
!0,"&-4&+#.&.#9&$9$1*&$.5&0.&-4&$:-+2&'&$-&+)?"&$&+"0,,4%&+"0,,4&-#,"*:2

I siaiied ploiiing some way io lide lim. I'll sneal lim oui ile bacl dooi and iale
lim lome. Bui fiisi, I've goi io feed Benjamin. I iiied io leep Benjamin's
scampeiing io a minimum wlile I quieily made ile siandaid langovei biealfasi ai
Mom's: eggs, bacon, and biscuiis. And ilen I leaid lis fooisieps coming up ile
siaiis. M$-.&0,%&"*&9$1*+&)>&*$:/42

"Hello, Benjamin. How aie you?" le asled Benjamin, wlo was now siiiing and
eaiing lis biealfasi. Benjamin smiled and ilen Mi. Man leaned onio ile couniei
and immediaiely dove iigli in io Benjamin Land.

In oui diunlen laze le lad offeied io iale Benjamin ouiside foi a lile so I could
iesi. Had le ieally meani ilai? Momenis afiei Benjamin finisled lis lasi biie, Mi.
Man scooped lim up lile a liiile siuffed animal, so ligli in lis big aims, and said,
"C'mon, Benjamin. Lei's go ouiside." Appaienily le lad.

I waicled fiom ile decl as le iool Benjamin aiound ile yaid, poiniing oui ile
diffeieni iiees, liiile animal iiacls, and lidden beelives, ilings I nevei would lave
noiiced oi lnown io slow lim myself. I love ile ouidoois, bui I don'i lnow wlai
ile lell is wlai. Benjamin was absoluiely enilialled wiil ilis man.

I"&+"0,2&7#)&+"0,,4%&+"0,,4&-#-2&

"You can'i ieally be leie all day," I iold lim laiei.

"Really? Wly noi?"

"Ol, ii's noi ilai I don'i lile you÷I do. Ii's jusi Benjamin. You can'i be aiound lim
ioo mucl. He'll gei aiiacled." I explained ii as delicaiely as I could.

"You lnow wlai? You'ie iigli. I can see low ilai could lappen. Bui I'm moie
woiiied ilai I'll gei aiiacled io lim. Tlis lid's awesome. He ieally is. He's jusi
amazing."

An loui laiei, I mei Mi. Man down by ile campfiie. Siill exiiemely slepiical, I lei
myself lool up inio lis eyes foi a momeni and ilen le seni me a lool ilai said,
"I'm leie. I lile you. And I'm noi going anywleie÷unless you iell me io."

He neaily lnocled me off of my liiile log siool wiil ilai lool. I sweai I siill don'i
lnow low le did ilai.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

82
When Men Fall, They Fall Hard
Posied on Novembei i:, :ooS

Yeais ago, my auni iold me ilai wlen men fall, iley fall laid.

Tle woids didn'i male sense io me ai ile iime. Eveiy man I'd evei daied lad been
slow io fall oi ieluciani io fall. I jusi couldn'i imagine one aciually falling as laid
as sle desciibed, uniil now.

"I'm ciazy aboui you. I jusi can'i siop ilinling aboui you. Do you feel ile same
way ai all?" He was laying ii all oui ileie, puiiing lis leaii on a slab so biavely.

"No, noi yei, noi lile ilai ciazy. Bui, ii iales longei foi us single moms÷oi foi me,
anylow. I can'i jusi lei ile iesi of ile woild fall away. I lave ioo many
iesponsibiliiies. Finding iime in ile day io even ilinl aboui you is laid."

Ii lad been only iwo weels since we'd mei.

"Ii iales iime," I said inio lis silence. "You've goi a gieai sloi, ilougl. You'ie
winning moie poinis eveiy day and I can'i waii io see you again."

"Olay. Good. Tlai's all I need. Bui, God, I lope you feel ile same way soon
because now you'ie siaiiing io scaie me."

Mi. Man may lave been scaied, bui my ice was beginning io meli.

One weel eailiei, we'd speni anoilei nigli iogeilei ai my mom's louse. Cuiled
up on ile coucl, le wiapped lis aims aiound my body, lolding me iiglily and
siioling my laii away fiom my face wlile ielling me sioiies and lisiening inienily
io mine.

"Wly don'i you slui up and liss me?" I said.

He buisi oui laugling. "You'ie so bluni. I love ii!"

"I lnow. Now liss me alieady. Wlai ile lell?"

"I jusi love ialling io you. I seiiously can'i decide wleilei I wani io liss you oi iall
io you."

"Well, I wani a liss."

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

83
He lissed me so sofily, so sweeily, and ilen pulled me inio lis clesi. Holding me
even iigliei ilan befoie, le bieailed in deeply and exlaled slowly wiil, "I nevei
ilougli I could feel ilis way again."

Railei ilan sending me inio a panicled siaie of commiimeni plobia, lis woids
jusi sanl in. I ilinl ii's ile way le iells me aboui lis feelings, wiil sucl conviciion
in lis eyes and always ai ile iigli momeni. And lis aciions speal volumes.

Tlai afieinoon, le lad ialen me io see a musician fiiend of lis. "You lave io see
ilis guy. He plays only foi fiiends, bui le's one of ile besi banjo playeis in ile
couniiy." He made ile call, aiianged foi oui visii, and iool me io lis lomeiown,
deep in ile lills.

Afiei we weie seiiled, Mi. Man's fiiend sai down, picled up lis banjo and jusi
siaiied playing. His fingeis moved so quiclly my eyes couldn'i leep up wiil my
eais. And ile sound was someiling I'd nevei leaid befoie. I've leaid banjos and
I've leaid bluegiass, bui noiling lile ilis÷so close, so cleai.

Mi. Man slouied oui song iequesis and wiil eacl one looled ovei ai me as if io
say, "You lave io leai ilis one." As ile music sucled me in, I glanced ovei ai Mi.
Man, only io find le was looling diiecily ai me and smiling, I iealized ilai ilis
was a gifi, someiling le wanied me io expeiience.

Ii's noi ile only iling le's given me. He's given me a ienewed lope in men÷
someiling I ilougli I'd compleiely losi.

Swept
Posied on Novembei iS, :ooS

Two weels laiei, fai fiom ile woods, we weie in ile middle of ile ciiy, piepaiing
foi a nigli oui in a posl liiile neiglboilood wiil a masqueiade siieei paiiy. We
weie aboui io lave one of ile besi niglis of oui lives, and I was aboui io siaii
falling foi Mi. Man.

Eailiei ilai day, we'd ialen Benjamin io a iliifi sioie io luni foi Mi. Man's
cosiume. Noimally, any iiip io a sioie iesulis in a neai meli down foi me and
definiiely ai leasi one ianiium fiom Benjamin. Bui wiil Mi. Man ileie io lelp, we
weie able io divide and conquei.

"You lool in ilai aisle and I'll lool in ilis one," I said.

Beiween disiiaciing Benjamin wiil fun games, iounds of "Find me ilis oi find me
ilai," and iows and iows of used cloiles, we finally found eveiy single piece of Mi.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

84
Man's }olei cosiume: a puiple suii, a puiple iie, and a gieen sliii. Ii was a minoi
miiacle and I didn'i even bieal a sweai.

Laiei ilai afieinoon, we iool Benjamin iiicl-oi-iieaiing wiil Mia and Sydney.

"Lool, Benjamin, lool! Tleie's anoilei louse," Mi. Man would say wlile guiding
my liiile monley down ile sidewall. Once Benjamin couldn'i pedal anymoie, Mi.
Man popped lim up onio lis slouldeis and giabbed lis feei, playing wiil lim and
pulling on lis legs, maling lim laugl foi minuies and minuies on end.

Mi. Man wasn'i jusi falling foi me, I iealized÷le was falling foi boil of us. Tlis is
ile siuff you jusi can'i fale, noi ilai men in ile pasi lave faled loving Benjamin.
Bui Mi. Man, a failei limself and absoluiely loves being one.

Almosi as soon as we goi bacl io Mia's louse, sle usleied us oui. "Go! Go lave
fun. Gei oui of leie!"

"Yeal, Mommy," climed Benjamin. "Go away! Me sleeping ai Sydney's louse,
'lay?"

"Aliigli, we'ie going, we'ie going," I said.

Ii wasn'i uniil oui quiei wall down ile siieei io my place ilai ii dawned on us: foi
ile fiisi iime since we'd mei we weie going io lave a daie. We'd speni ile pasi
iwo weelends ai my mom's louse, suiiounded by family, fiiends, oi Benjamin,
and unable, beiween ilem all, io find moie ilan an loui oi iwo alone.

I disappeaied inio my bedioom io pui on my slinly gold diess, my lnee-ligl
leailei boois, and a long, blacl wig I'd biaided eailiei. Paii of a gioup Peiei Pan
cosiume, I was Tigei Lily.

"C'mon! Gei youis on," I slouied io Mi. Man as I siaiied in on my maleup. Tle
siieei paiiy was waiiing and I couldn'i landle ile exciiemeni.

Afiei Mi. Man lad lis puiple suii on, le sai down acioss fiom me so I could
iiansfoim lim inio ile }olei. As I siaiied dabbing on ile wliie paini, le iesied lis
lands on my lnees, iunning lis ilumb delicaiely ovei my lose and along ile edge
of my diess.

I looled inio lis eyes only io find ilai iley weie looling inienily inio mine. He
wasn'i ielling me low io pui ii on, wasn'i conceined oi woiiied aboui seeing lis
iefleciion in a miiioi. In faci, I don'i ilinl le caied wlai I was puiiing on lis face,
only ilai le lad a clance io see mine so closely wlile I was compleiely focused on
someiling oilei ilan woil oi Benjamin.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

85

"I love seeing youi smile," le said.

"Sllll . don'i move youi lips."

"Olay, bui can I lave a liss fiisi befoie you paini ilem?"

÷÷-

One loui laiei, we slipped away fiom ile cosiumed masses on ile siieei inio a
bai. I found a spoi ai an empiy iable and immediaiely siaiied io ilinl aboui
eveiyiling, leiiing my mind iun wild in feai.

"Wly so seiious?" le said in lis deep }olei voice.

"I'm ilinling aboui you," I said wlile siaiing inio my beei boiile, "and I'm scaied."

"You don'i lave io be. I'm noi going anywleie." He paused. "I'm seiious. I can see
you and Benjamin in my fuiuie . as fai as I can see, aciually."

"Really? How? How do you lnow ilai?"

"Ii jusi feels so iigli io be wiil you. Lool, I wasn'i expeciing ilis eiilei, wasn'i
planning on ii ai all. I jusi lnow low I feel wlen I'm aiound you and I can'i see
any ieason wly ilis can'i woil." And wiil ilai, coveied in lis }olei maleup, now
suddenly seiious limself, Mi. Man convinced me io open my leaii and my mind
io ile idea of a fuiuie wiil someone else in ile piciuie.

"Olay. I'll do ii. I'll give ii eveiyiling I lave. I can'i guaianiee anyiling aboui
wleie ii will go, bui I can guaianiee you ilai I'll iiy my veiy besi."

"Tlis is jusi ile beginning," le said squeezing my lands, "and ii's only going io gei
beiiei. I piomise."

And wiil ilai we leaded inio ile nigli.

Maybe ii was ile way le guaided me fiom passing cais wiil lis body, ile way le
leld me wlen we danced, oi ile way le asled aboui Benjamin wlen I looled ai
my plone. "How's liiile Benjamin?" le'd asl. I'm noi quiie suie wlai ii was, bui I
compleiely and absoluiely lei myself go. I lei myself diop a liiile faiilei inio ilai
Rabbii Hole.

Afiei louis of dancing, ialling, and dancing some moie, we lailed a cab foi ile
iide lome.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Mr. Man

86

"Wlai's youi name?" Mi. Man asled ile cab diivei.

"Geoige."

"Geoige, is ilis noi ile mosi beauiiful woman you've evei seen?"

Geoige looled in lis ieaiview miiioi ai ile sliglily embaiiassed and sliglily
inioxicaied Tigei Lily, wiil no sioiy oilei ilan ile masl coveiing lei face, and
said, "Yes, sle's definiiely pieiiy."

"Well," said Mi. Man, "I'm going io maiiy ilis giil!"

I can'i iemembei wlai I said, oi if I said anyiling ai all. I ilinl I jusi smiled, ile
lind of smile Mi. Man loves io see, ile lind I can'i coniiol. And iailei ilan
opening up ilai cab dooi and jumping inio ile pavemeni possessed by feai, I
scooied in closei io lim and lei lim wiap lis aim aiound my slouldeis.

"I am going io maiiy you," le wlispeied inio my eai.

"Wlaievei! You'ie oui of youi mind, ciazy man."

My woids weie no good. He jusi laugled and pulled me closei, "God, I love ilose
lips and I suie do love ilai smile."

We laugled ile iesi of ile way lome and, by ile iime we pulled inio my diiveway,
Geoige was laugling, ioo.

Bui Mi. Man was aboui io bieal a piomise io me ilai would end eveiyiling we
lad in ilai momeni. And le wouldn'i lave a clance of maiiying me, noi a clance
in lell.


Part 4: Falling Out of Love
!Breaking up as a single mom!








Conienis:

Calling ile Keiile Blacl
Tle End of Mi. Man and ile Reason Wly
Tle Fine Aii of Dumping

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Falling Out of Love

88


Depending on ile man and ile ielaiionslip, biealing up as a single mom is woilds
diffeieni fiom any biealup you may lave expeiienced befoie becoming a moilei.
Tlis iime you can'i go lome and spend an eniiie day sobbing inio iissues on ile
bed, oi veg oui in fioni of ile TV wiil bad iomaniic movies and lois of popcoin.
You can'i do any of ilai because you lave a clild io woiiy aboui. Insiead you go
iliougl ile moiions of youi single mom day wiil a cloud ovei youi lead, iiying
youi laidesi io lide ii fiom ile clildien.

Ovei iime, as you daie moie and moie men as a single moilei and expeiience
moie and moie biealups, ii geis easiei. You leain wlen io call ii lile you see ii and
jusi move on.


Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Calling the Kettle Black


Calling the Kettle Black
To settle or not to settle

Breaking Up as a Single Mom
My first time
Tle fiisi iime we biole up, Kiis lad iold me ovei ile plone, "I jusi can'i do ilis
anymoie."

"Wlai?" I asled. Tlings lad been iense foi aboui a weel, bui I didn'i expeci lim
io jusi end oui foui-monil ielaiionslip lile ilis, especially ovei ile plone. "Aie
you aciually dumping me ovei ile plone?"

"Yes, I guess I am. I feel lile I am unlappily maiiied and I don'i wani ii io
coniinue."

"And low long lave you been feeling unlappily maiiied?" I asled.

"Aboui one weel," le said.

"One weel? Ii's been one weel and you'ie dumping me? Tlis is laid, ielaiionslips
aie laid, ilai's all. We can iall aboui ii, woil ii oui."

"No," le insisied. "Tlis is wlai I wani."

Afiei I lung up I iemembeied ile lesson I'd leained fiom my ciusl and lepi my
lead leld ligl, lolding bacl any ieais so Benjamin wouldn'i see ilem. Insiead I
decided io jusi siaii laugling and playing wiil lim. I iool us boil as fai away
fiom ii all as I could and we lad an awesome day.

Laiei ilai nigli my plone iang again. Ii was Kiis.

"Can I see you?" le asled.

"Wly? So you can dump me again?"

"No, I wani io see you, io iall io you. I slouldn'i lave done ilai ovei ile plone."

"Fine. Come ovei."

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Calling the Kettle Black

90
He was ai my dooi ien minuies laiei. Wlen I opened ii, I buisi inio a ieaiful laugl
ai ile sigli of lim. He looled lile le'd been ciying limself and le was weaiing a
blacl suii. "Nice ouifii," I said. "Veiy fiiiing."

"Ol, ilis? I didn'i plan ii. God, ii does lool lile I'm going io a funeial." We sai
down ai my liiclen iable and le siaiied ialling.

"I slould lave iold you wlen I fiisi lad ilese ilouglis, bui I'm jusi noi suie I
slould be aiound Benjamin so mucl, if I can landle ilis. I don'i even lnow if I
evei wani io lave lids."

"Bui you don'i lave io be lis dad," I said.

"I lnow, bui I guess I jusi don'i lnow if I can daie a single mom. Ii's laid."

Looling ai lim ilen I feli iiemendously guiliy. I lad expecied ilis iweniy-iliee-
yeai-old lid io be able io landle my life as a single mom wiil a ioddlei. Benjamin,
being so young, loved playing wiil Kiis, and I ilougli ile iwo weie ile peifeci
liiile paii, bui all along, Kiis lad feli an unnecessaiy piessuie building up. I was
leaining, ile laid way, ilai leeping a disiance beiween youi boyfiiends and youi
clildien isn'i jusi foi ile lids, ii's foi ile boyfiiends. Eveiyone needs io be eased
inio ilese siiuaiions.

Tlis was my life and, yes, any man wlo wanied io be a paii of ii would lave io iag
along foi ile iide, bui ilai doesn'i lappen oveinigli. You need io iale ilings
slowly and leep ile lines of communicaiion consianily open, and also iecognize
ilai even ilougl iley wani io lelp, iley may soon feel a bii oveiwlelmed.

Kiis cupped lis land ovei lis leaii and ilen exiended ii foiwaid io me saying,
"You lnow I love you, iigli?" I could also see ieais in lis eyes.

"Yeal, I lnow."

I siood up and becloned lim inio a lug and we leld eacl oilei ileie foi wlai
seemed lile louis. I ciied inio lis slouldei wisling we could jusi be iogeilei÷if
noi in ilis woild, ilen in anoilei one, oi even jusi foi a momeni.

Oui biealup lasied foi aboui one weel, oi was ii iwo? I can'i iemembei. Bui afiei
my ievelaiion ilai I lad pui ioo mucl piessuie on lim Kiis, I decided io iale
ilings bacl io squaie one, io leep ilings casual. Unfoiiunaiely ile damage lad
been done, and oui ie-lindled ielaiionslip quiclly fizzled oui, unable io suivive
foi mucl longei.


Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The End


The End
Breaking up with Mr. Man

The Reason Why
And now you know…
Tle nigli I mei Mi. Man, le iold me aboui ile five minuies of lis life ilai lefi lis
lands coveied in blood and lis body and soul scaiied foievei. He was iecenily
sepaiaied fiom lis wife, and lis fiiends lad inviied lim io an eaily afieinoon
cooloui.

"I didn'i even wani io go," le iold me. I could iell le lad iun ilis afieinoon
iliougl lis mind ovei and ovei again in ile foui yeais since ii lad lappened. "I
lad iwo beeis, ilai's ii. Two. And ilen my buddy asled me io diive lis fiancee
lome."

He siopped, iool a deep bieail, and weni on.

"He even iold me, 'You've goi io iale lei because I've lad ioo mucl io diinl. I
can'i iide woiil a slii iigli now.' So sle jumped on ile bacl of my bile and we
iool off."

Tle winding ioad noi ioo fai fiom my moilei's louse lad slaip iuins and dail
iiees langing oveilead, sliouding ile giavel pavemeni lile iall sladows. Mi. Man
lad piaciically giown up on a moioicycle and leained io iide lis fiisi one wlen le
was jusi ien yeais old. His failei lad encouiaged lis son's passion by consiiuciing
a iiacl in ile baclyaid; by ile iime le was eiglieen yeais old, Mi. Man was
compeiing in naiional moioicycle iacing compeiiiions÷and winning ilem.

"I lad nevei messed up in my life÷well, aside fiom leiiing my maiiiage fall apaii. I
lad nevei done anyiling wiong oi illegal."

His fiiend's fiancee (a clildlood fiiend of Mi. Man's) clung io lis waisi iiglily as
iley iode ovei a sieep lill. Wlen ile ieacled ile iop, insiead of ile open ioad
ileie was a cai ilai lad veeied inio ile wiong lane÷ileii lane÷and ii was
coming diiecily foi ilem. Mi. Man sieeied ile bile slaiply io lis iigli, bui ile
iiies slipped on ile slouldei, flipping ile moioicycle inio ile aii.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The End

92
Wlen Mi. Man iegained consciousness le found lis fiiend, ile moilei of a iliee-
yeai-old, unconscious and bleeding piofusely. Heie le siopped, unable io go on
wiiloui ciying. Sle iool lei lasi bieail, and Mi. Man was life-fliglied fiom ile
scene and iesied foi alcolol. Tle cai ilai lad sweived inio ile wiong lane was
nowleie io be seen.

"Tlis scai and ilis one, iigli leie, aie fiom ile ciasl."

I iiaced my fingeis ovei ile mails on lis face.

"Siop ileie," le said. "Do you feel ilai?" I feli a small bump on lis cleelbone. I
nodded inienily. "Tlai's a piece of ile slin giafi fiom wlen iley ieconsiiucied
ilai paii of my face."

Aiound ile scai lis slin looled blacl and blue, and wlenevei people mei lim
iley ilougli le lad jusi been in a figli. "Ii's a consiani iemindei," le said, "of
low quiclly my life clanged." Afiei ile accideni, ile young woman's moilei was
iiielessly speaileading a wiicl luni againsi lim, calling Mi. Man a muideiei.

Tle diivei of ile cai slipped inio a leioin-induced coma soon afiei confessing io
lis giilfiiend ilai le lad iun a bile off ile ioad. Mi. Man's lawyei pui off ile iiial,
waiiing foi ile boy io wale up, bui le nevei did. He caiiied ile iiuil aboui ilai
day wiil lim io ile giave and gave ile judge no cloice bui io senience Mi. Man
io fifieen monils in piison foi aggiavaied veliculai lomicide.

"Ii was lell," le said. "I've seen ilings I can'i even iell you aboui, ilings you
wouldn'i even believe. Piison is lell."

He lad been oui of piison foi neaily one yeai wlen I mei lim, bui le siill lad iwo
moie yeais lefi of piobaiion, meaning le couldn'i diive oi diinl, noi ai lome oi in
public bais wleie le could easily be spoiied.

"Bui we mei in a bai," I said.

"Yeal, I lnow." He looled down ai lis lands and ilen bacl up ai me. Was ii
slame I was seeing? I couldn'i iell, and ii was ioo eaily io clasiise lim foi lis
decision. I baiely lnew lim. We lad jusi been siiiing on my moilei's coucl
ialling all nigli. Wlo was I io ciiiicize lis life cloices?

"I wani io liss you," le said.

"Well ilen, wly don'i you?" I asled. And wiil ilai le leaned foiwaid and lissed
me passionaiely, lolding me iigli in lis aims wlile iunning lis lands iliougl my
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The End

93
laii and ovei my cleels and ilen biinging lis fingei down ile iip of my nose and
onio my lips. "I love ilese lips."

"Well, don'i love ilem ioo mucl because I am noi in ile mood foi a man iigli
now . ai all."

"Wly noi?"

"I don'i lnow. I jusi don'i wani one of you. I'm soiiy, bui ii's laid io explain. Too
laid io explain ionigli. Bui I am jusi lappy, so veiy lappy iigli now, and I don'i
wani io mess ii up."

I led lim downsiaiis io my moilei's guesi bedioom and ilen weni up io sleep, my
mind iacing bui compleiely piepaied io foigei aboui lim in ile moining. Tlai, as
you lnow, didn'i lappen. I lave nevei been one io lold a peison's pasi againsi
lim, believing as I do ilai wlaievei doesn'i lill you males you siiongei. And in
Mi. Man, I saw someone wlo siill lad lope despiie eveiyiling life lad iliown ai
lim. I wanied io love lim and io gain siiengil fiom lis siiengil.

Weels inio oui ielaiionslip, Mi. Man and I weie ai a iesiauiani in ile ciiy, fai
fiom my moilei's coucl and now siaiiing io fall foi eacl oilei. "I'll daie you," I
iold lim sieinly, "bui if you wall inio a bai again, if you iisl moie jail iime, ii will
be ovei."

"Really?" le laugled neivously. "You would end ii jusi lile ilai?"

"Absoluiely. I am noi fucling aiound leie. I lave a son io woiiy aboui, and I'll be
damned if I allow someone inio lis life wlo is suddenly iipped away."

"Olay, I piomise," le said. "I won'i sei fooi in a bai. I won'i do anyiling io lose you
oi Benjamin."

Foui weels laiei, I iiied io call lim foi oui niglily clai, bui le didn'i answei. I
iiied a few moie iimes and ilen gave up, ilinling le lad jusi passed oui eaily oi
ilai lis plone lad died. Ii was a Tuesday nigli. Tle weelend befoie, on a
Saiuiday, I lad iold lim I ilougli I was falling in love wiil lim. I lad pui ile
woids oui ileie, loping and iiusiing le would noi use ilem oi iale ilem foi
gianied. Insiead, I wanied io believe ilai ilis was ile beginning of someiling
wondeiful. Bui ii wasn'i. He lad demons of lis own io conquei befoie le could
even begin io love Benjamin and me bacl. Wlen le called me fiisi iling in ile
moining, lis voice sounded guiliy, almosi fallen.

"So wleie weie you lasi nigli?" I asled. "Did you go oui? Waii a minuie. Did you
go io a bai?"
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The End

94

"Yeal," le said. "Yeal, I did."

"Wlai?" I neaily diopped ile plone because of my slaling lands. "Wly? Wly
would you do ilai?" I musi lave said ilis ien iimes.

"I don'i lnow wly I did ii. I guess I didn'i ilinl you would ieally dump me. Ii was
jusi a beei. I lnew no one would iecognize me in ilai bai."

Wiong answei.

"Is ileie anyiling aboui me?" I asled lim, "anyiling ai all ilai males you ilinl
I'm a woman wlo doesn'i siicl io my piinciples oi my woid? And is ileie anyiling
aboui me ilai males you ilinl I would spend anoilei minuie wiil a man wlo
would iisl ii all foi a beei?"

"No. And ilai's wly I love you so mucl. You've goi so mucl fiie inside of you."

Suddenly, I snapped oui of wlaievei love funl I lad been in, and lis woids
sounded lile lines. I wanied lim as fai away fiom us as possible. Ii was a luge
ielief io me ilai Benjamin foigoi aboui Mi. Man almosi as quiclly as le lad
enieied oui lives.

Slould ileie lave been ioom foi eiioi? Slould I lave looled pasi ilis one nagging
issue of Mi. Man's? Peilaps if we lad been daiing foi mucl longei, if I lad a
longei iiacl iecoid io compaie lis aciions wiil, bui unfoiiunaiely foi lim, I was
going wiil wlai I lad: my gui and a lealily dose of logic.

"Ol, loney. I'm so soiiy," said my ileiapisi wlen I iold lei ile news. "You weie
ieally lopeful ilis one would woil oui, weien'i you?"

"Yes. I was."

Tle ieais came ilen, bui only foi a momeni. I diove lome ilai nigli and lei ile
sadness ciasl ovei me. Falling asleep ilai nigli I said my good-byes io ile idea of
Mi. Man and wole up feeling suipiisingly iefiesled.

Tle wiiiing was so cleai on ile wall aboui my biealup wiil Mi. Man. And laving
ile siiengil io follow my gui and leep us away fiom anoilei poieniial misiale
empoweied me. Afiei all, I was daiing myself and I didn'i lile ile way Mi. Man's
decision made me feel. He lad biolen a piomise and casi wlai we lad away in a
second. He lad made a downiigli iisly and siupid decision.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The End

95
Foiiunaiely, we single moms don'i lave ile luxuiy of daiing men wlo can'i quiie
leep ileii slii iogeilei ioo% of ile iime, noi wlen losing ii (even foi a momeni)
iisls youi fuiuie iogeilei and ileiefoie ile leaii and lope of youi clild.

The Fine Art of Dumping
When it’s just time to let that puppy go
Posied on }anuaiy :i, :ooS

I believe ilai "#9 we dump someone is a iiue iefleciion of oui claiaciei.
Hopefully ilis lisi will, ai ile veiy leasi, lelp you execuie a biealup of youi own oi
caicl ile waining signs fiom a guy befoie le pulls one on you.

42*$ D?)<$ "'8:#$ Usually follows a sloii fling, maybe a iwo- io foui-weel-
long ielaiionslip. Tle dumpei ceases all coniaci wiil ile dumpee. Coniaci may be
blaianily ceased via iexi oi e-mail. Cold, ciuel and unfaii, ilis dumping iaciic is
used only by cowaids. Eveiyone, no maiiei wlai iley've done, deseives a ieason.

M1/"$'?1$6?8#$M1/"$,*#$An oldie, bui goodie, ile "Ii's noi you, ii's me" caid is
an old faiilful foi many of us.

%+:?1+(*#$ Used moie ofien by women, saboiage dumping involves
unconscious effoiis io piss youi man off, wlicl iesuli in lim giowing moie and
moie annoyed. Finally, le is sei up wiil a siiuaiion in wlicl le's doomed io fail.
Tle woman ilen uses ilai as ile ieason foi ile dump.

42*$ ,818+)$ <8,E#$ Tle besi of ile besi, a muiual biealup ofien involves
sweei and passionaie faiewell sex, followed by lind woids, a big lug, and a sloii
good-bye. Ideal foi any couple.

%**$6+$)+1*3#$Used by only ile mosi self-absoibed and leaiiless of us, ile "See ya
laiei" is a quicl and abiupi end io wlai was a long (anywleie fiom six monils up)
and veiy seiious ielaiionslip. Tle "See ya laiei" can ofien be followed by calls fiom
ile dumpei weels laiei, begging foi foigiveness. Tle dumpee usually caves,
foigives dumpei, and is subsequenily dumped again monils laiei. Could go on
and on fiom boil sides uniil ile ielaiionslip ineviiably self-desiiucis.

M$ "1&))$ )?G*$ 6?8B$ :81N$ Tle woisi one of all. Ulll . yeal, bui if you siill
love me, ilen wly aie you dumping me? Yeal, iigli. Liai, liai, panis on fiie.

M$.8"1$<?'/1$)?G*$6?8$+'6,?3*#$Ai leasi you'ie lonesi.




Part 5: Dating with Children
!Things could get a little tricky!






Conienis
$
Wlen io Iniioduce Him
Unexpecied Realiiy$
Explaining a Biealup$
Saying Good-Bye$

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating With Children

97


Tle laidesi paii aboui being a daiing single mom is ile guili we caiiy aboui low
oui daiing life may affeci oui clildien's psycles. Leaving Benjamin peimanenily
scaiied by my daiing life las always been ai ile iop of my feai lisi. Bui wiil ile
lelp of my ieadeis and moie expeiienced single moileis, I lave leained ilai ii is
peifecily olay foi oui clildien io see us in lappy, funciional ielaiionslips, even if
iley may end.

Tlis is life. And as clildien of single moileis, ilis is ileii life as well. Ii's oui job as
moileis io use oui besi judgmeni and always leep ileii besi inieiesis in mind
wlen daiing. Tlai means we can'i sluffle men in and oui of ile louse oi negleci
oui clildien io go oui on daies foui niglis a weel. Bui if we do fall foi a man and
we ilinl ileie may be poieniial foi a long-ieim ielaiionslip, oi maiiiage, ilen
iniioducing lim io ile clildien is noi jusi an opiion÷eveniually, ii las io lappen.

My fiiend }ulie and I weie ialling aboui ilis wlen sle was daiing a single dad wlo
wouldn'i lei lei meei lis son. "Wlai if I don'i lile low le is as a failei?" sle
asled. Being a single mom leiself, }ulie was veiy eagei io see low lei new flame
acied as a failei. Sle also wanied io see if sle clicled wiil lis son.

"You'ie iigli io be fiusiiaied," I iold lei. "How can le expeci you io invesi in ile
ielaiionslip if you can'i see ilai side of lim? Ii's jusi ioo impoiiani."

Tleie's a fine balance we wall as daiing single moileis. Bui as long as oui clildien
aie noi seeing ileii moileis involved in desiiuciive oi abusive ielaiionslips, ileie
is noiling wiong wiil allowing ilem io wiiness us going iliougl wlaievei life
iliows ai us, especially wlen life iliows us love.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Toughest Decision We Face




The Ultimate Introduction
When to bring him into your children’s life (or day)

When Do You Introduce a Man to Your Children?
Try your best to leave your guilt at the door

If you aie a longiime ieadei of my blog, you lave piobably gaileied by now ilai I
am veiy libeial wlen ii comes io iniioducing a man I caie aboui io Benjamin. I
lave moie faiil in my abiliiy as a moilei io bounce lim bacl fiom any biief
aiiaclmeni ilan I do in ile uliia-conseivaiive wiiiings on ile subjeci. I also wani
io male suie ile man in quesiion can landle my iole as a moilei wlose life
ievolves eniiiely aiound lei son. Tle lengil of iime beiween daiing and
iniioduciions may vaiy depending on ile clild's age bui, unless you aie
iniioducing a new man io ile lids eveiy monil, I don'i ilinl ii's going io
iiaumaiize ilem foievei.

Tleie aie a few faciois ilai diive my plilosoply aboui daiing wiil clildien. Tle
fiisi is ilai mucl of ile liieiaiuie we find on single paienis and daiing was wiiiien
duiing a mucl moie conseivaiive iime, wlen ile auilois ilemselves lnew ilai
ileii woids, lile mine now, would possibly eain ilem scolding fiom conseivaiive
family gioups. Tle second is ilai ioo many single paienis woiiy way moie ilan
iley slould aboui ilis issue and, in iuin, depiive ilemselves of lappy and caiefiee
daiing expeiiences. So, iniioducing ile clildien÷and even daiing iiself÷becomes
a guili-iidden expeiience. Tlai can lead io an unlappy paieni, wlicl in iuin
means ile lids will suffei.

I lave found, among my single paieni fiiends, ilai ileii aiiiiude aboui
iniioducing ile clildien slifis fiom "noi a clance in lell" immediaiely following
ileii splii io a moie ielaxed, "if I am veiy seiious aboui ile ielaiionslip oi if I
ilinl ileie is poieniial" afiei iley lave siaiied lealing and lave iealized ilai ileii
clildien aie noi going io sponianeously combusi if iley meei a daie. I lave also
wiinessed fiisiland a fiiend wlo sluffled many men in and oui of lei life, all wiil
lei five-yeai-old daugliei as an eyewiiness. Tlai is one of ile ieasons sle is no
longei in my life. Again, using youi judgmeni is ley. Tleie is no laid and fasi
guideline, bui if you aie going fiom one ielaiionslip siiaigli inio ile nexi and
biinging youi clildien along foi ile iide, you piobably need a lealily iealiiy
clecl, one ilai puis youi inieiesis wleie iley belong, second io ileiis.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Toughest Decision We Face

99
Unexpected Reality
When John Bear saved the day
May :y, :ooq

}usi afiei ile needles and befoie ile numbness cieeps inio my mouil, ile denial
assisiani and I siaii claiiing. Sle iells me sle was once a single mom as well, foi
iliee yeais, befoie sle mei lei lusband. Sle's lappy now, and you can see ii in
lei face.

"Ii's funny, isn'i ii," I say, "low mucl easiei ii is io find a good man wlen you
alieady lave ile clild?"

"Ol, definiiely÷because ii's noi foi you. Ii's foi youi lid, you lnow?"

"And foi you and foi lim and foi ile lid÷foi ile eniiie family. Ii jusi gives you a
cleaiei peispeciive on wlai maiieis. Kind of a peil."

"Yeal, wlen befoie ii was jusi aboui low loi iley weie oi wlaievei."

"Oi if le iool you oui on a nice daie," I add. "Lile you even lave iime foi daies
wlen you lave lids."

And ilen my mouil goes compleiely numb.

Bummei.

Afiei ile deniisi delicaiely caives five loles in my mouil, I iealize ii's ¸:oo. My ex
lad decided io biing Benjamin lome one nigli eaily and wanied me lome by ¸:¸o
so le could gei bacl io woil. Tle assisiani iells me ii will be ai leasi anoilei loui
befoie iley finisl.

Ol, slii. Wlai aboui my ex and lis deadline? Wlai aboui Benjamin? I can'i leave.
I lave loles in my ieeil. J#/*+2 And I can'i even iall.

I iexi Mia despeiaiely, loping sle is leaving woil eaily.

I am undei ile liglis now and my lead is pounding. Tle denial people aie all
being so nice and paiieni wiil me, ilis fianiic giil wlo is iexiing lile a mad
woman, wiil siuff piopping lei mouil open and wild eyes.

No iesponse. Damn ii. I lad no one else io call.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Toughest Decision We Face

100
Tlis biiiei iealiiy, ile non-peil of my single moileilood, liis laid. Tlese "I lave
no one" momenis come io all of us and always ai ile woisi iimes.

You may be on ile side of ile ioad wiil a flai iiie, siucl in a iainsioim on ile
siieei, on an aiiplane wiil a siiangei in ile iliid seai, oi ai ile deniisi's office.
Wleievei you aie, ile iealiiy of ilai momeni always males you wani io sinl, io
ciy, io compleiely deflaie.

Bui you can'i, so you don'i. You lave no cloice bui io find a soluiion, foi youi
clild's sale.

So, I iexi ile only oilei peison I can ilinl of iiying: }oln Beai.

"Can you do me a luge favoi and go io my place and lang wiil Benjamin uniil I
am oui of ile deniisi's? Siucl."

Noi even one minuie laiei, lis ieply zips bacl.

"I'm on my way."

Benjamin and }oln lave mei a few iimes befoie, bui only biiefly, and definiiely
noi wlen I wasn'i ileie io lelp ilem boil gei acquainied wiil eacl oilei. Tle
fillings weie neaily finisled wlen I iead anoilei iexi fiom my ex, angiy ai me foi
sending }oln, "I am pissed," le wioie. "Call me laiei."

I feli lile I migli clole on my numb iongue÷and ilen wisled I would. Ii would
be beiiei ilai ilan walling oui of leie and seeing ile face of my new man wlo
las jusi mei my angiy ex. Wlen I gei lome, }oln Beai and Benjamin aie siiiing on
ile fioni poicl playing. Tle sigli is boil beauiiful and fiigliening io me. Tley aie
geiiing along so well; ii's lile iley weie made foi eacl oilei.

I am siill a bii queasy and }oln can iell.

"Wlai can I do?" le asls.

"Noiling, bui you slould go," I say, even ilougl I wani lim io siay because I feel
lile lell, and my mouil, alilougl numb, is siill inciedibly uncomfoiiable. I jusi
wani io lie down io iesi.

"I slould siay," le says.

"No, you slould go, even ilougl I wani you io siay. You can'i. He can'i gei ioo
aiiacled yei."

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I weni iliougl ile moiions of ile nigli in my exlausied body. And ai some poini,
I foigave myself. Because even ilougl meeiing }oln may pui Benjamin on a
ileiapy coucl in iweniy yeais, ilis is my iealiiy, ilis is oui iealiiy.

Explaining a Breakup to the Kids
How to spare your children the pain of your breakup
Posied on }anuaiy :¸, :ooS

My besi fiiend and fellow single mom, Abby, is siill ieeling fiom lei biealup, and
so is lei five-yeai-old daugliei, Penny.

Sle's a beauiiful, lappy liiile giil wlo also fell in love wiil mommy's boyfiiend.
How couldn'i sle? He was ovei ai ileii louse iliee oi foui niglis a weel. Tley'd
been iogeilei foi neaily one yeai and lad been ialling aboui moving in iogeilei,
siaiiing a family, ile wlole lii and caboodle. He's gone now, and Penny is
biolenleaiied.

Abby and I weie sipping wine in ile liiclen wlen Penny walled up wiil ieais in
lei eyes.

"Wlai's wiong, sweeiie? Aie you feeling sicl?" Abby asled.

"No, I'm sad . aboui }oln. I love lim. He's my fiiend and I'll nevei gei io see lim
again."

Abby and I looled ai eacl oilei, ile iwo single moms wlo always lave ile
answeis. And ileie was noiling. Neiilei of us lnew wlai io say. Wlai could we
say? How can you explain a biealup io a five-yeai-old?

My son is jusi a few monils sly of iwo. Tlis is someiling I've nevei faced. I would
imagine ilai, foi a five-yeai-old, someiling lile ilis is exiiemely leavy and
iniense, someiling ilai could lave a lasiing impaci. And wlai Abby is going
iliougl iigli now is, wiiloui a doubi, my woisi feai.

Tlis is ii. Tlis is wlai we all wani io avoid.

As single moms, mosi of us do wani io meei someone oi ai leasi daie men. Bui
low do we do ii wiiloui luiiing ile lids? I call ii ile single mom daiing
conundium.

To avoid a nasiy biealup lile Abby's, siaii wiil ilese guiding iules on daiing wiil
clildien:
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Toughest Decision We Face

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• Do noi lei lim spend ile nigli uniil you aie veiy seiious. If le does spend ile
nigli, lave lim come ovei afiei ile lids aie asleep and licl lim oui befoie
iley wale up. If le giipes aboui ilis foi one second, you slould considei
dumping lim.
• Don'i iusl anyiling. As a neaily full-iime single mom, I lnow ilai finding iime
io spend wiil boyfiiends wiiloui ile lids aiound is iougl. Tlis is wleie self-
coniiol comes in and being a mom iales piecedence ovei anyiling else. If ii
feels veiy seiious and you'd lile ilem io meei, limii ii io once a weel foi ile
fiisi foui weels and ilen inciease ilese exposuies ai youi discieiion. Even if
you'ie ceiiain le is ile one, limii ile iime anyway. Tleie aie a few ieasons. Tle
fiisi is ilai, lile Abby, someiimes ii doesn'i woil oui, even if we expeci ii will.
Tleie aie ilings we can'i coniiol. Tle second ieason is ilai youi new man also
needs io gei used io youi clild oi clildien. Don'i iusl ile man and youi
clildien inio someiling because, odds aie, one of ilem will be oveiwlelmed.
• If you'ie in doubi aboui ile guy, don'i biing lim aiound ai all. If you'ie noi
pieiiy ceiiain ilai someiling seiious will come of ilis ielaiionslip, leave lis
encounieis wiil youi clildien io a minimum.
• Foigive youiself. If you do lave a boyfiiend wlo comes and goes, don'i beai
youiself up aboui ii. Picl youiself bacl up and leep going. You leained a lesson
and youi clildien will be siiongei afiei iley see you lold youi lead ligl and
caiiy ilem iliougl ile biealup.
• Don'i lei youi new man iule youi life. You may be leeping lim ai a plysical
disiance fiom youi clildien, bui iley aie piobably awaie of lis exisience. Be
veiy caieful aboui low mucl iime you spend on ile plone ialling io lim oi
aboui lim wlen ile lids aie wiilin eaisloi. I am supeisensiiive aboui ilis,
even now ilai I've mei }oln Beai.

Foiiunaiely, I lave yei io expeiience a diamaiic biealup lile ilis wiil Benjamin. If
you don'i find ile answeis you'ie looling foi, please siaii a discussion on my
Single Moms Foium ai www.MsSingleMama.com]single-moms.








Saying Good-Bye

Aside fiom }oln Beai, Kiis is ile only boyfiiend of mine Benjamin las feli an
aiiaclmeni iowaid. Despiie oui issues, Kiis caied iiemendously aboui Benjamin
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Toughest Decision We Face

103
and me, as we did foi lim. Tle iwo weie buddies bui Benjamin, jusi sly of iwo
yeais old, wasn'i fazed wlen we splii. Afiei we biole up, Kiis was inciedibly
consideiaie aboui coming ovei wlenevei I feli Benjamin slould see lim, wlicl
amounied io aboui once eveiy weel and ilen once eveiy iwo weels and so on,
uniil le jusi siopped asling aboui lim.

I wanied io male suie Benjamin lnew Kiis ladn'i abandoned us, ilai le siill loved
lim, and ilai le would always be jusi a plone call away. Ii's sad ilai Benjamin
doesn'i iemembei lim now. Bui I lnow, ilai in lis leaii and soul ileie's a liiile
piece of Kiis dancing aiound÷an eclo of ile voice of a lind man wlo loved lim
ai sucl an impiessionable age÷and ilai is someiling I am veiy, veiy lappy aboui.
Wlen you'ie a daiing single mom, if you always leep good people aiound you,
ileie won'i be mucl ioom foi eiioi. And if you do biing a man inio youi life, be
suie le is a iesponsible, maiuie, addiciion-fiee aduli wlo will caie aboui youi
clildien above lis own inieiesis. And if le las a pioblem wiil meeiing ilose
siandaids, ilen you slould leep lim ai a disiance fiom youi clildien.






Part 6: The Real Deal
!Finding true love as a single mom!









Conienis:

Believing in Love
My }oln Beai



Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: The Real Deal

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As I wiiie ilis, }oln Beai and Benjamin aie maling a iun io ile gioceiy sioie foi
eggs. Ii seems so simple, bui io a single mom, laving a momeni io leiself ai ile
lands of an adoiing man is noiling sloii of a miiacle. I nevei expecied ilis io
lappen so quiclly. I do noi lnow low ile sioiy of }oln Beai and me will end, bui I
can say ilai ilis love, ile love I feel iigli now, will be someiling I iieasuie
foievei.

Someone commenied on my blog ioday, saying ilai ile sioiy of }oln Beai and me
made lei sad, dampening ile iniiial exciiemeni sle lad feli wlen finding my blog.
Sle said sle jusi couldn'i ielaie io ile love I feel now as a single mom and is sad
ilai sle doesn'i lave ilai love. Tliee yeais ago, I may lave feli ile same way ai
finding a single mom wlo lad fallen madly in love wiil sucl a siiong, siable, and
fully funciional man. Bui monils befoie I mei }oln, my aiiiiude lad clanged.
Having found peace wiil being alone, being my own besi fiiend and besi paiinei, I
feli genuine lappiness ai leaiing sioiies of single moms falling in love and geiiing
engaged. I didn'i necessaiily wani ii foi myself, bui ii gave me lope ilai one day I,
ioo, could be ieady io open my leaii io love.

I am slaiing ilese sioiies of oui blooming ielaiionslip in ile lope ilai ii, in iuin,
gives you ilai lope, because I can say wiil ceiiainiy ilai loving ile iigli man is
absoluiely iewaiding in eveiy way. Tleie will be fieal-ouis on my paii, as ile
wounded single mom leaii of mine iales iis iime io compleiely leal, bui I am so
glad io be wleie I am iigli now: suiiounded by ile love of ilis man, bui noi
compleied by ii.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believing in Love




Believing in Love
If it happens, it happens

A Letter to My Future Husband
Posied on }uly :i, :ooS

Tlis could be a leiiei io nobody, io ile aii, io ile moon, oi io wloevei is lisiening.
I may nevei gei maiiied again, bui ionigli I jusi feli lile wiiiing a love leiiei io
somebody . so wly noi lim?

He is a disiani figmeni of my imaginaiion, bui maybe if I siaii envisioning myself
in a ielaiionslip I can move closei io diicling ilai baggage.

Deai Mi. Husband Man,

I lnow you'ie oui ileie.

I may be eigliy-six by ile iime we meei, bui ai leasi we will lave finally found
eacl oilei. I can feel you if I slui my eyes iigli enougl. I lnow you will love me
lile no one evei las. I lnow you will undeisiand me. You'll lelp me open myself
up, lei myself go. I ilinl youi paiience will complemeni my impulsiveness. You'll
be ile calm io my sioim and I io youis.

Magic.

Ii exisis.

I've seen ii. Have you? Oi lave you jusi seen glimmeis of ii? You musi believe in ii,
ilougl, because you'ie my fuiuie lusband and ilai's a job iequiiemeni, and one
of ile ieasons wly I'll love you so mucl.

Tle magic will be even easiei wlen you meei Benjamin. Once you do, you'll
undeisiand wly I iold you on oui fiisi daie ilai le needed io lappen.

He is my eveiyiling. His eyes. His nose. His leaii.

Eveiy liiile piece of lim siaiied in my soul and now all of ilose liiile pieces aie
walling, ialling, lugging, loving, and laugling÷a biigli and beauiiful liiile boy
wiil a soul of lis own. And I made lim! I'll piobably iemind you of ilis ofien and
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believing in Love

107
male fun of you because you can'i male one. You'll laugl and ilen maybe I'll
decide io male moie . wiil youi lelp.

So . wleie aie you? Wlen aie you going io pop inio my life? How is ii going io
lappen? Will we evei even meei?

I wondei wlai you'ie doing iigli now?

Ii's a Monday nigli.

You'ie piobably lome. Woiling on someiling. I ilinl you lile io woil a loi . oi
maybe you've finisled woiling and you'ie ieading, wiiiing, oi cieaiing befoie you
ciawl inio bed.

I also wanied io iell you ilai I'm noi ieady io meei you yei. Almosi . bui noi
quiie. I'm woiling on ii. I am daiing, bui I won'i seiile foi anyiling less ilan you.
And wlen we do find eacl oilei, leie's a leads-up: I'm suie I'll asl you oui.

His Eyes
Posied on May y, :ooq

I could swim in lis eyes.

Tle only bad iling aboui being in ile dail wiil }oln Beai is noi being able io see
ilem÷ice blue, almosi iianspaieni, and suiiounded by lis fuzzy face, wiil a smile
le saves only foi me.

Tle iwo iogeilei÷ile smile wiil ilose eyes÷meli me and I slowly exlale and
ielax inio lis aims.

I could siay ileie foi louis, foi days, wlile I lisien io lis woids.

"I wouldn'i be leie if I didn'i lnow wlai a luge paii of youi life Benjamin is, you
lnow ilai, iigli?"

Poieniial, people. Tle Beai las seiious poieniial.

The Beginning
Posied on May io, :ooq

I ofien slip io ile end of a sioiy befoie ii even siaiis.

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My ielaiionslips aie no excepiion.

Wlen one begins, I imagine ile end.

Bui usually iley don'i begin lile ilis. We weie in my diiveway pacling up ile
Fiesia foi oui fiisi ioad iiip and a mission io cioss as many siaies as we could.
Benjamin was in ile cai wiil lis cuie liiile baclpacl and }oln Beai was lifiing my
bag inio ile iiunl wlen a wliie van pulled inio my diiveway. I moved iowaid ile
van, ieady io iell lim io move ii oi lose ii wlen ile diivei siucl lis lead oui of ile
window and said, "Ol, you'll be lappy io see me."

He opened ile dooi, weni bacl, and emeiged again wiil a goigeous bouquei of
floweis in lis lands. My fiisi ilougli was I"& -4& N#5%& ,"*48:*& <:#-& L:2& L$.2& He
lad been calling a loi laiely upon leaiing iliougl ile giapevine ilai I'd mei
someone. Bui wlen I opened ile caid ii iead, "Happy Moilei's Day! Love,
Benjamin." Wlen I looled up ai }oln Beai le was giinning fiom eai io eai.

"Tley'ie fiom you?"

"No. Tley'ie fiom Benjamin. He called me up ile oilei day and iold me you
wanied some floweis foi Moilei's Day."

I wlispeied a ilanl you and ilen quiclly dasled inio my liiclen wiil ile floweis.
As I seaicled in ile cabinei foi a vase I feli ile ieais well up in my eyes. In all of
ilese yeais as a daiing single mom, ilis man was ile fiisi io suipiise me wiil
floweis÷and io my iecolleciion, ile fiisi peison io give me a moilei's day
pieseni.

I am ielling ilis sioiy wiiloui lnowing ile end and wiiloui piediciing ile end.

A new leaf.

÷-

We mei ai y:¸o in ile moining.

"So, low mucl do you guys lnow aboui seaicl engine opiimizaiion?" I was
mingling wiil ile ciowd, geiiing a feel foi ileii lnowledge on ile subjeci befoie I
siaiied my pieseniaiion.

"I lnow a bii," le said modesily.

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I quiclly discoveied ilai le didn'i jusi undeisiand SEO, le lived and bieailed ii÷
along wiil blogging, social maileiing, websiie developmeni, and all ilings
inieiaciive. J*&?$.8,&>#++0@/4&@*&+0.(/*, I ilougli.

I weni up io pieseni, maling joles ile eniiie iime, as I ofien do, aboui ile
leywoids poiniing io ilis blog÷leywoids lile "low io daie a single mom."

"Ii's so cuie," I said, "all of ilese men wlo aie in love wiil single moms."

I looled up ai lim wlen I said ilis and le smiled. Afieiwaid, le landed me lis
business caid, "We slould gei iogeilei so we can geel oui aboui all of ilis siuff."

"Definiiely. I'm fiee nexi weel."

Afiei ile fiisi boiile of wine, oui geel session iuined inio a daie wlen le asled,
"I'm noi imagining ilis, am I? I mean ileie's someiling going on beiween us,
iigli?"

He was adoiable. And le was iigli.

The Non-Date That Wasn’t
Posied on May iq, :ooq

We picled a pizza and wine slop foi oui neiwoiling dinnei. Oi was ii a daie?

I wasn'i suie. Oui e-mails lad been boideiline fliiiaiious all weel, and ileie
definiiely lad been some iniiial clemisiiy wlen we mei.

We lad oiiginally planned on laving luncl afiei meeiing ai my pieseniaiion, bui I
decided ilai since we lad so mucl in common piofessionally, we would need
moie ilan an loui.

"How aboui dinnei and diinls insiead?" I e-mailed lim.

"Suie, wlen and wleie?"

"Tleie's a pizza and wine slop jusi down ile siieei fiom my place. Sound good?"

"Peifeci. I live jusi aiound ile coinei."

We weie neiglbois and lived jusi blocls away fiom eacl oilei. I ian siiaigli fiom
woil diiecily io my "maybe ii's a daie."

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My laii was a mess, my maleup all bui gone, and my neives siill wound up fiom a
long day, wlicl lad begun wiil my ex-lusband siopping by io picl up Benjamin.
Alilougl iypically uneveniful, Tuesday moinings lave always been odd io me;
long befoie I even go io woil, I'm meeiing my ex-lusband foi a moining land-off,
wlicl means waling up eaily, cleaning up ile apaiimeni, and geiiing Benjamin's
bag ieady.

By ile iime daies usually begin, I'm beyond speni.

I walled in wiil zeio expeciaiions and was jusi exciied io iall wiil ile Beai aboui
all of ilis SEO siuff. Afiei my pieseniaiion, le lad also iold me, "Tlai was
iemailable÷ieally, iiuly iemailable. We ieally ilinl ile same way aboui ilis
siuff."

Tlis means a loi io us web geels because ileie aie vaiying degiees of expeiiise
and iaciics. To pui ii simply, ile Beai and I aie on ile same page, lold ile same
plilosoplies aboui besi piaciices, and aie boil faiily advanced in oui lnowledge,
wlicl males ii easy because we boil undeisiand wlai ile oilei is ialling aboui.
Tle similaiiiies didn'i siop ileie.

Soon, I found oui ilai we boil weni io Olio Univeisiiy in Ailens, my magical
liiile lomeiown wiil iis biicl siieeis and lusl lills÷ile place ilai owns a piece of
my soul, ile place I moved bacl io wlen I lefi my lusband. We weie boil ileie ai
ile same iime foi a few yeais of undeigiad, and le lad ieiuined io eain lis
Masieis, jusi as I was leaving io come bacl io Columbus afiei living wiil my
moilei foi one yeai. We lad jusi missed eacl oilei.

"I wani io move bacl ileie someday," I iell lim. Typically, ilis siaiemeni is mei
wiil a mixiuie of slocl and awe and "Aie you ciazy?"

"Really? Me ioo. Tlai's so weiid. I love ilai place," le said wiil lis sweei, sofi
smile. Time was slipping by. Soon, we weien'i ialling aboui woil ai all. Wlen I
iiied io picl up ile clecl, le wouldn'i lei me neai ii.

"I'll buy diinls ai ile nexi place," I said. "Assuming you wani io lang oui a liiile
longei."

"Aie you lidding me? Of couise I do."

A few diinls laiei, ai ile nexi bai, ile ieal fliiiing siaiied.

"You'ie jusi dying io liss me, aien'i you?" I asled. Ii was obvious now÷I could iell
by ile way le was looling ai me, iiacing me wiil lis eyes ovei and ovei again.
Wlen I mei ilem, le wouldn'i lool away.
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"Ol my God. Is ii ilai obvious?" le looled embaiiassed now.

"Yes. Veiy obvious. Wly noi liss me iigli leie ilen?"

"In ile bai?"

"Suie. Wlo caies? Bui, waii, noi yei. I'm noi ieady yei."

I sai ileie blusling and fidgeiing. My own confidence lad slocled me. I ialled
ile iall bui I wasn'i ieady jusi yei. And ilen, a few minuies laiei oi maybe jusi
seconds laiei, le leaned acioss ile iable, leld my face in lis lands, and lissed me.

Usually, a fiisi liss is a bii awlwaid wiil fumbles and sucl. I'll spaie you ile
deiails, bui you lnow wlai I mean.

Bui noi ilis one. No, ii was divine.

That Couple
}une i, :ooq

Laiiy is in lis seveniies, bui lis eyes aie young.

He lad a majoi land in cieaiing ile Hocling Valley Scenic Railway, a iliiving
iouiisi desiinaiion foi Ailens Couniy. Filled wiil endless eneigy, Laiiy nevei
aclnowledges lis age wiil woids oi aciions. I find ilis amazing and inspiiing.

Having jusi wiapped up oui meeiing, we weie saying oui goodbyes in ile dooiway
io ile Ailens Couniy Visiiois Buieau. Tle buieau was my iefuge and my savioi.
My lomeiown, I feli, was ciadling me, iocling me bacl io lealil. In iuin, I was
maling ii my peisonal mission eveiy day io enliglien ilousands of iouiisis io pay
us a visii.

Laiiy was lingeiing.

"So lave you found a nice guy yei?" le asled

Eveiy iime I meei a WWII vei lile Laiiy, I immediaiely conjuie up images of men
lile Giegoiy Pecl and Spencei Tiacy on baiile lines and ai fancy dinnei iables
puffing on cigaieiies. He was no excepiion.

"No, noi yei. Tleie aien'i any aiound oi someiling. Maybe I jusi don'i lnow
wleie io lool oi maybe I'm noi ieady." My voice ciacled a bii.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believing in Love

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Tle ieais lad been coming easily laiely. Ii lad been nine monils of single
moileilood and I lad yei io see a glimmei of lope; my ciusl lad jusi ciusled
me; and even ilougl I'd been aiiempiing io daie, noi one man lad slown mucl
piomise. I wanied io leai woids of wisdom fiom Laiiy, so I siopped, looled down
ai my sluffling feei, and lisiened.

"Don'i you woiiy, beauiiful. One of ilese days a man is going io find you and le's
going io sweep you off youi feei. You won'i even lnow wlai lii ya."

"Really? A man can do ilai? I'm noi suie if ilai's possible." I looled up ai lim,
wondeiing low I musi appeai, as a damsel in disiiess wiil ile floweied sliii io
maicl. Bui even ilougl I looled ile paii of someone wlo could be swepi up in a
iomaniic wliilwind, I was a single moilei. I lad a one-yeai-old ai lome I couldn'i
siop ilinling aboui, even if I iiied.

Tle iealiiy of ii all smacled inio me lile a wave, and I siaiied slaling my lead
befoie le could even answei.

"No, Laiiy, ii's noi possible, unless le can clange diapeis and wale up in ile
middle of ile nigli, eveiy nigli."

"Ol, ii is, sweeileaii. Tiusi me on ilis one. Ii definiiely is. }usi you waii."

Laiiy was iigli. I jusi lad io be paiieni and siop looling.

÷-

Tle Beai lefi me ai ile bai foi a minuie io use ile bailioom.

I ian my fingeis acioss ile iim of ile glass lolding my beei. Tle men acioss ile
bai weie siaiing. I could see ilem and feel ileii eyes on me, bui iley weie jusi a
blui, a wasl of people.

Typically I would lave mei ileii eyes foi jusi a momeni, io see if I could caicl ilai
spail, ile one I lad been dieaming of foi so many yeais. Bui I lepi my eyes down
and a smile ciepi acioss my face.

I couldn'i coniain ii anymoie, noi even in a bai filled wiil men.

I was being swepi, ieally swepi. Noi Mi. Man swepi. No, noi even lile Kiis lad
swepi me. Tlis iime ileie weien'i any ied flags oi waining signs. Tleie weien'i
even any liiile issues I was buiying deep down inside.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believing in Love

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}oln Beai was compleiely endeaiing, fascinaiingly inielligeni, funny as lell, and
ioially adoiable. He also lad diive and passion. Tleie was someiling else, ioo: le
caied.

Suddenly, an eniiiely new feeling slipped ovei me.

Ii was ile feeling of laving a waim blanlei wiapped aiound my slouldeis, ile
feeling of being absoluiely saiisfied, filled up, iesied, caied foi, and loved.
Wlaievei ii was, I liled ii. I sanl bacl inio my bai siool and jusi exlaled. And
ilen ileie le was: my }oln Beai.

"Eveiyiling olay?" le asled.

"Definiiely," I smiled up ai lim.

"Ol, I lnow ilai lool," le said. "Now, ilai's a lool I lile."

Afiei a few moie Raspbeiiy Wleais, ile Beai and I found ouiselves in ile ceniei of
ile small bui empiy dance flooi. He pulled me inio lis clesi wiil lis aims aiound
my waisi and we siaiied swaying io ile bluegiass music floaiing in ile aii. He
leaned in and lissed my necl, my cleel, and ilen my lips.

"Siop," I said. "Wlai aboui all of ile oileis? I feel bad. Tley don'i lave ilis and I
don'i wani io be ,"$,&?#)>/*."

"Sciew ilem," le said. "Ii's oui iuin now. Ii's oui iuin io be lappy."

Eailiei ilai day, diiving bacl fiom oui Foid Fiesia mission adveniuie, le lad iold
me, "I lnow ilis sounds ciazy and I don'i wani io fieal you oui oi anyiling, bui I
ilinl we would male an amazing couple. If ilis woils oui, I don'i ilinl ileie's
anyiling we couldn'i landle, anyiling we couldn'i woil iliougl."

He deliveied lis feelings delicaiely foi feai of scaiing me off. Having iead my blog,
le lnew now ilai ielaiionslips, and someiimes even jusi linis of ielaiionslips,
iypically send me iunning.

"You lnow wlai's funny," I iold lim, "as ciazy as ii does sound, and even ilougl
we jusi mei iliee weels ago, none of ilis is scaiing me. I ilinl you'ie iigli."

"I'm seiious," le said. "I've nevei feli ilis way befoie, noi even close."

"I lnow," I said bacl. "I lnow."


Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believing in Love

114
When You Know
Posied on }uly S, :ooq

My auni and I weie ialling on ile plone aboui my Fiencl-Canadian fiance.

We would be geiiing maiiied in lei baclyaid in jusi a few days. I was fianiically
planning ile wedding so we could beai ile INS deadline ilai was now jusi five
days away.

"So, do you lave ilai feeling?" sle asled. "You lnow low people say 'Wlen you
lnow, you 1.#9.' Do you lave ii?"

"No, I don'i. Ii's noi ileie. Is ilai bad?"

"Ol, I'm suie ii's fine. You lnow you wani io be wiil lim, iigli?"

"Yeal. And ilai's ciazy anyway. Ii's all a iisl, a leap of faiil. How can you jusi
lnow?"

I was iweniy-five yeais old and I was ieally good ai ialling myself inio ilings.

Afiei we iool oui vows, we siood in a dail coinei of my auni's goigeous yaid, ile
laugliei of my fiiends and family ecloing in ile baclgiound, me in my wedding
diess and lim weaiing one of my failei's old suiis. A lasi-minuie adjusimeni by
my moilei, ile suii ieplaced ile cleap ienial iux. Many monils laiei, I would
ilinl aboui ilai suii, clinging io ile faci ilai ii lad been some lind of sign fiom
my failei, a seal of appioval fiom ile afieilife. I looled ai my new lusband and ai
ile suii's sleeves, wlicl weie ioo long foi lis aims, and ile pani legs, buncled up
aiound lis sloes. Suddenly I goi an oveiwlelming sense ilai we'd boil jusi
jumped off of a cliff iogeilei, oi ilai I lad jumped off of a cliff by myself.

"Well, ilis is ii. We'ie in ilis iogeilei now."

I expecied lim io lold me iigli and iell me low wondeiful ii would be, oi
someiling io ilai effeci÷bui we boil siood ileie, sluffling oui feei, noi quiie
suie wlai io say oi do. And ii was ilen ilai I lnew someiling was off÷veiy off.

Given ile siiuggles I've oveicome since ilai day, I can'i lelp bui lay ile caids of
my pasi nexi io ilose of my fuiuie and iiy io compaie ilen and now. Bui ilis
iime, wlen I see ile iwo side by side, ileie is noiling io compaie.

Tlis iime I lnow. I am noi looling foi signs because I don'i need ilem.

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believing in Love

115
"Have you evei loved anyone as mucl as you love }oln?" my liiile sisiei asled. My
iouclsione foi jusi aboui eveiyiling, Anna is only one yeai youngei ilan me, bui
sle's way alead of me in ile love depaiimeni, laving mei lei lusband yeais ago.

"No, noi lile ilis befoie," I answeied.

"Wloa." Sle paused and ilen said, "Now, don'i all of ilose old ielaiionslips seem
lile a luge wasie of iime?"

"Yeal, bui I'm siill glad I lad ilem. I lnew ilai if le evei came along, ile iesi
would jusi seem lile in-fligli enieiiainmeni along ile way."

"Yeal, I guess you'ie iigli. You nevei ieally liled any of ilose guys anyway."

Nope. I didn'i. Noi lile ilis one. Noi even close. Ii's a sobeiing feeling, and insiead
of ialing me io ile moon, ilis love las aciually biougli me down io Eaiil in a
way I nevei would lave expecied.
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believe in Yourself



Part 7: Believe in Yourself
!You are always in control of your destiny!

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believe in Yourself

117


You lave been biolen, wounded, and luii in a way you nevei imagined possible.
Bui you aie siill leie, you siill lave ile iesi of youi life io live, and, somewleie
inside of you, ileie is siill lope. Ii is luman naiuie io go on, io suivive, and io
giow siiongei fiom ile lessons and baiile scais we eain fiom pasi expeiiences. If I
can leave you wiil one liiile lesson, ile one ileme ilai las been consisieni on my
blog wlile being a daiing single mom, ii is ilis: love youiself fiisi if you evei wani
anyone io love you.

Above all, believe in youiself and iealize ilai you will only be as biolen as you lei
youiself be. You aie in coniiol of youi desiiny now, noi youi ex. You lad ile
siiengil io leave lim oi, peilaps, ile siiengil io picl up ile pieces afiei le lefi
you. Now, you move on. Male piogiess eveiy single day in iiusiing again and
iealizing ilai some ilings aie beyond oui coniiol. Tle only iling we can coniiol is
low we leain fiom ile pasi wlile moving inio ile fuiuie.

Tley say ilai people, lile ile economy, boiiom oui ai a low poini, a poini iley
can'i imagine evei going beneail. Fiom ilai poini on, iley slowly impiove, loping
io nevei ieacl ilai place again. I ieacled my lowesi poini afiei a family vacaiion I
lad ialen wiil my moilei and siblings. We lad been in ile cai foi iwelve louis
ilai day, finally on oui way lome afiei seven days of camping. Benjamin was five
monils old and noi lappy aboui ile cai iide. My moilei and I weie ai eacl
oilei's ilioais and ii was loi oui, veiy loi. In faci, ile Midwesi lad been in ile
ilicl of an Augusi leai wave foi five days.

Wlen we pulled inio ile diiveway, ii was i:oo a.m., deep inio ile nigli. I jumped
oui of ile cai and called foi Sabiina, my sweei cai, wlo, since moving io my
moilei's, lad lad io siay ouiside. Insiead of insianily leaiing lei puii and feeling
lei fui on my anlles, I leaid a loiiific ciy. Unable io iell wleie sle was, I gave
Benjamin io my moilei, giabbed a flaslligli, and siaiied seaicling foi lei. Tle
ciies weie becoming fainiei and fainiei. I finally found lei up undei a ciawl space
beneail my moilei's fioni decl. Sle smelled lile infeciion and deail. Wlen I
ieacled io pull lei oui, I feli lei body. Cold io ile ioucl, sle was alieady siiff and
laid even ilougl I could now feel lei puiiing. J#9& 505& ,"0+& "$>>*.6 I ilougli.
="*&?$,&+0,,*:&-)+,&.#,&"$3*&.#,0?*5&+"*&9$+&-0++0.(2&

Sabiina, a Maine Coon calico, was moie lile a dog ilan a cai and, befoie I mei my
lusband, sle lad slepi in my bed eveiy nigli. Duiing ile day, sle was consianily
by my side, waniing io play feicl oi cuil up and cuddle. I lad lnown lei longei
ilan mosi of my fiiends and now, because I lad moved bacl in wiil my moilei,
sle was leie, in my aims, dying. I couldn'i siand lei suffeiing, so we sped up lei
deail wiil ile cai's exlausi sysiem. Tlai weel, wlile woiling ai ile iadio siaiion,
I weni inio fiis of leaving sobs iandomly and could baiely male ii in and oui of
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believe in Yourself

118
bed. I could siill smell lei, ile smell of lei deail and infeciion. I could piaciically
feel lei pain myself. I was so upsei ilai I lad lei someiling lile ilai lappen io my
sweei cai. Hei deail, in my mind, meani so mucl moie ilan jusi lei loss. Hei
deail iepiesenied ile deail of my old life and ievealed io me ile dail and sicl
face of wlai lay befoie me and belind me. I didn'i lnow low I would possibly go
on.

Five days laiei I was giving Benjamin a bail, baiely able io ciacl a smile ai my
dailing, cooing son wlen le siaiied splasling ile waiei and laugling. Suddenly, ii
lii me. I was biolen, Sabiina was dead, all of my possessions weie in sioiage, and I
was living on less ilan a ilousand dollais a monil, bui Benjamin was fine. Moie
ilan fine, le was a lappy, iliiving, and inciedibly lealily baby. And in lis face I
saw lope and ile evidence ilai I was doing someiling iigli, ilai we would boil
be olay.

I would live eveiy momeni fiom ilai day foiil foi lim, leeping lim lappy and
lealily, uniil I could siaii living foi myself again. Ii would iale monils and ile
woil feli lile ii would nevei end, bui I made ii oui of ilai dail well. Now, I'm ai
ile iop slouiing ai you io come on up wleie ile aii is cleai, ile sun is biigli, and
fieedom is siandaid faie.

Believe

I used io lave a jouinal wiil ilis woid on ile fioni.

Believe.

"Imagine," I would wiiie ai ile end of eveiy eniiy. Inspiied by }oln Lennon, I
imagined eveiyone in ile woild÷lappy, ai peace, ai a siandsiill÷jusi being.

So I would wiiie ile woid eveiy day loping, somelow, ii would male ii iiue.

I believed.

I once asled my failei a quesiion wlile we weie sianding amidsi piles and piles of
ile family laundiy.

"How do you love lei siill, so mucl, afiei all of ilese yeais? How do you lnow sle
is youi soul maie?"

"I found lei," le iold me, "because I always believed sle exisied. Even ilougl my
paienis weie divoiced and even ilougl I nevei saw ii myself, I always lnew sle
was oui ileie."
Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Believe in Yourself

119

Tley mei on a iiain.

My moilei and failei weie in love fiom ile beginning and uniil ile end.

I've iealized iecenily ilai believing in youi soul maie, ile love of youi life, is jusi
one belief we slould lold. Wiiloui believing in youiself fiisi, ile oilei beliefs jusi
can'i suiface.

I believed I would finally quii smoling. And I did.

I believed I would pay off my ex-lusband's massive ciedii caid debi. And I did.

I believed I would finally be conieni as a single mom. And I was.

And I believed ilai I would open my leaii io a man if le slowed up. And I lave.

Wlai do you believe in?

Do you believe in youiself? Wlai can you do ioday io siaii believing in ile mosi
impoiiani peison in youi life÷you?

Siaii by puiiing ilis e-bool down, iuining off youi cell plone, and playing wiil
ile lids. }usi play. Don'i even clean, don'i even ilinl÷jusi be.

}oy will find you, if you lei ii in.

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