I have been focusing on the detriment to society posed by single motherhood in my series found in installments here: Part 1, and Part 2. Today, I want to talk directly to single mothers who truly do want to find someone to complete their family and create stability in the lives of their children. Since it is true that dating poses the biggest threat to the well-being of children parented by a single mom, there are steps that need to be taken before wading into the dating pool. If you don’t want your child to end up like Adrian Peterson’s young son, beaten to death by a live-in boyfriend (allegedly), then please take this seriously.
You are a mother first, not a woman with “needs”. Your children have needs that come before yours and if you don’t want to see them on a cold slab one day you need to see to their needs first. There are good men out there who will be excellent fathers to fatherless children. But you must, as a single mother in your search for love be focused on finding love for your children. Not all men who love you will love your children and most of them, statistically, will hurt your children. So be very, very careful. Your children’s lives depend on you.
A child raised by a single mother is 10 times more likely to be abused by a live-in boyfriend than any child in a home with two biological, married parents. This is a fact. If you as a single mother know that your child is 10 times more likely to be abused by your boyfriend (which now you do because I’ve told you) how far would you go to make sure it never happens to your child?
To start, follow these simple rules to lessen your chances of being on the wrong side of the statistics.
First up, slow and steady wins the race…
5. Date him alone for at least a year and do not involve your children unless marriage is a real possibility.
There is no need to involve your children when you are getting to know a man. First, you may not connect with him on any deep level and if your children get attached to him and he isn’t going to be permanent in their lives they will experience loss. There is no reason to do that to them.
Not every man who asks you out is going to be a good man or the right man. It can take a long time before that wall falls that people put up to mask their shortcomings when they are with someone new. Wait for it.
Wait for the moment he’s not in control, that he isn’t thinking of impressing you and his true colors come out. If you find out at that moment that he’s truly decent and honorable with intentions of marrying you, then it’s time to introduce your children to him. If, however, it’s anything less than that, call it quits.
Next, it’s not popular, but it is possible!
4.Do not have sex with him, increasing the chance you will become pregnant and subject another child to a fatherless existence.
Contrary to public opinion, it actually is possible to not have sex with someone on a first, second or even fiftieth date. It’s actually possible to save sex for your wedding night! It might not be easy, it might involve some sacrifice, but there are rewards like not having more babies you can’t take care of by yourself.
Please do not talk to me about birth control. All forms of birth control have failure rates. Nature is trying to get you pregnant. Tempt her enough times and she will. It’s just a numbers game.
Further, there really is something to the saying you heard from your grandmother about not buying the cow if she’s giving away the milk for free. Just because every other hussy is selling it like Thin Mints at a fat farm doesn’t mean you have to.
The best part about saving sex is your brain will not be clouded with endorphins and all that sexy serotonin so you’ll actually be able to notice if your love interest is a Class-A Douchebag (yes, that’s a technical term) and dump him before it’s too late. Sex blocks good judgement. When you’re thinking with your brain instead of lady-bits you will make better decisions. And remember, you are making decisions that affect your children so you need your wits about you at all times functioning on high alert!
3. Never introduce him to your children until you have done an extensive criminal and background check on him.
Hire a reputable company to do this. Be thorough and include personal references. If you were renting a house you would do this by default for anyone wanting to rent from you. Wouldn’t you do the same for a man who will have access to your children?
Any good man will not mind a mother being protective of her children, so by all means, tell him you’re going to do it. It will be a good test of his character. Show him this article if he gets offended and ask him what he would want his sister to do if she were in your place. If he doesn’t agree with me, dump him.
It took me exactly 1 minute 32 seconds to find this report on Joseph R. Patterson (alleged murderer of Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son). For $39.95, Ty’s mother could have spared herself a lifetime of regret and sadness.
Next, avoid this potentially explosive mistake…
2. Do not move in with him.
The only choices are marry him and create a stable family for your kids or break up with him. And if your children don’t like him, break up with him. Cohabitation is the dynamite at the end of the fuse for child abuse. Just don’t do it.
Besides the obvious threat of abuse, studies have found that living together is an indicator of trouble ahead. The New York Times reported on a national survey in 2012.
Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not.
Avoiding cohabitation is not only good for children but good for your future marriage. It’s a win, win!
Next, seek counseling from other realms….
1. Pray for him.
Do no underestimate the power of prayer. Pray for a good husband. Pray for the right one to come into your life.
Two years ago my family lost my cousin in Afghanistan, leaving his young wife and two small children fatherless and stricken with grief. From the day we got the news, the praying women in my family (and there are a lot of them) prayed every day for God to send a man to love her who would have three qualities; a relationship with her deceased husband so he would understand her love for him, that he would love her children like his own, and that he would love God.
We even had a name for this prayer project, “Operation Dreamboat.” The Bible says “knock and the door will be opened,” and we took that seriously, pounding on the door of heaven with daily petitions for blessings from this terrible sadness. God answered that prayer to the letter, leaving nothing out.
This December, I am traveling to attend a most joyous event with my family. My radiant cousin and her two precious children will legally make a new family with the man who fits all three categories on a brilliant December day. We are thrilled for them. God is good. And He cares about you and wants to bless you too. If prayer is foreign to you, I would highly suggest finding a church where you can learn more about what benefits there are to faith, especially for your children. You never know, Mr. Right might be waiting to greet you when you visit.