Heybaby is happy to welcome guest writer Rachel Russo. Dating coach. Matchmaker. And solo parent by choice. Read on for some wonderful insights into dating while raising a child.
Real Talk: There are plenty of single women who won’t date men with children. I was never one of them.
As a professional matchmaker & dating coach for almost two decades, I worked with my share of divorced dads. And, then, I dated some. Aside from the limited weekend availability in the early stages of dating and some unresolved issues with their ex-wives, they made for great boyfriends—for some time.
They were hard-working, patient, good at time management, and could whip up pancakes and eggs! They all had a fun, lighthearted energy, and the sense of humor that comes only from being around kids. I didn’t mind the dad bods, and I appreciated that they were more likely to be co-sleeping with a toddler than, well, all of the NYC tri state area! So, sure, I was “open” to dating single dads from the time I first discovered them up until I took a dating hiatus while trying to get pregnant-on purpose-in the suburbs.
No, I didn’t have a one night stand to conceive my five month old daughter. I didn’t even have sex. Instead, I made a bold decision that has changed my life forever! Since the divorced dad I was previously dating didn’t want to have a child with me, I’d have my own. With a ticking biological clock, I knew it was smart to have my baby first and find my future husband later. So I shelled out fifty thousand dollars to conceive the sweetest baby girl— with donor sperm via IVF. Right in the middle of a global pandemic.
And, now, I am what they call “a solo mom by choice.”
Between falling in love with my little girl, figuring out how to breastfeed, pumping around the clock, returning back to work, fixing her tongue tie, acid reflux, and sleep issues, I haven’t had the desire to date. However, as a love industry professional, of course, it has been on my mind. I even wrote an article for Pregnantish about how solo motherhood can be good for one’s love life. And I recently came to a conclusion……
While, I’m now “open” to dating men who don’t have children, I’d actually prefer to be in a serious relationship with a man who has earned his parenting badge. And I believe a lot of other single moms feel the same way. Professionally, I am currently looking to match a single dad in Bergen County, NJ with a single mom. So I’m having conversations with single women who think another parent is their best match. Personally, I think a single dad has the potential to be my best match too.
There are so many reasons….
He will understand my priorities. In other words, my daughter is #1! Unlike other moms who split custody, I don’t hand her off on the weekends. If we are going out, I’m getting a babysitter—and he has to be pretty special for me to want to give up precious time with my “bae”! Unlike many of the bachelors who insist on spontaneity, a single dad will know that advanced planning is required.
We will have a similar lifestyle. When I can’t pick up the phone in the middle of our bedtime routine, he will “get” it. He will understand that I’m tired, because he is too! He will know that I don’t want to be out all hours of the night at bars or clubs; if he were to meet me right now-during my dating hiatus-he’d know that as a breastfeeding mom, I’m not drinking—and need to get home for a feeding soon. When I’m not all glammed up 24/7, he’ll still think I’m beautiful—in a “hot mom” sort of way.
We can create a blended family. In a perfect world, I’d be able to give my daughter siblings. While I’m super-excited to have connected with her half siblings through a donor sibling registry, I’d love her to have a brother or sister she could grow up with every day. To be totally honest, at thirty-eight years old, even though I am blessed to have four frozen embryos -which would be her full biological siblings-I think my shop is closed!
I skipped the marriage and the divorce to get my daughter, if I could have another son or daughter in my life by skipping the whole pregnancy, labor, and delivery, well, I would be ecstatic! I’d love the experience of being part of a modern family with a man who already has his baby(ies) on board; I imagine he’d be a great role model for my child—if he’s already doing it for his.
Did I mention I’d prefer someone who’d appreciate my penchant for taking endless photos and videos of my daughter?! Or at least not be annoyed by it? A single dad just makes sense.
All the best,