Dating as a Single Mama

 

I can’t believe I’m writing this post. But I am. It was of course my plan to be married til death do us part but the way we were going the death part was going to be quicker than anticipated and it wasn’t going to be me. So my marriage ended and now I’m out ‘chere in these dating streets. At times I’m living my best life, and then other times I’m like WTAF (what the absolute f___ ) but those are the times that taught me the rules I now date by.

I’ll be honest it’s not easy as a woman of 41 with FOUR kids to date. And because of the type of man I choose to date my pool to select from is shallow. AF. Like I just recently broadened my age range because the men just weren’t making the cut. So let me share my rules for dating and why. But let me give you a disclaimer first – these are MY RULES! I am only explaining what I believe and do and in no way do I a) care if you like them or not b) are trying to make you date like I do. I mean you could but everything ain’t for everybody. AND I’m being very brief because men do find me on the internet all the time and I can’t give them the whole dang playbook!

I meet the majority of men I date online. Thru dating apps mostly. Men approach me in public but not any that I would like to talk to. I usually look a hot mess and then they want to ask for my number. This is a red flag ladies!!! I know you think it’s flattering that he approached you while you were tore up from the floor up but almost all the time that means he’s a dusty (a man who doesn’t mean you any good) and approached you because you looked low maintenance, easy and he could get the most from you for the least. Free game. Thank me later. Before we get into my rules let me say this. I truly believe I am the prize. It was not easy for me to come to terms with thinking that way but through a very difficult journey of self discovery and love I truly feel like I am that prize to any man I may date. It’s not conceit, it’s not arrogance, it’s a mindset you need to have in order to not get played, mistreated, mislead, used and/or abused. Also if I don’t think this way about myself NOONE else will. NOBODY! I put me first. Periodt. I do not subscribe to the idea that women should put themselves last. There is absolutely no honor in being a martyr. Also before you began dating, make sure you create and live a life you enjoy already on your own. Make sure you are happy with you. A man should add to your happiness and life, not be the center of it (you should be the center next to God if you’re wondering).

Bathroom selfie

Let’s get into my Dating Guidebook!

  1. The #1 thing I do when I date and really everyday is I embrace my femininity. This is really a new concept for me and other women especially black women. We have been made out to be strong worker bees instead of the queens we are in my opinion. Therefore I put a lot of thought into how I function as a woman. This wasn’t easy and I still struggle sometimes because I am a single mother and head of my household so that causes me to operate in my masculine energy a lot. It’s hard to make the shift from being the action taker or doer, making decisions, being direct to letting go of control and being present, letting a man lead, and not revealing too much of myself too soon (we’ll talk about this more later). I practice being soft, vulnerable, thoughtful (but not overly emotional) and being able to receive instead of do. Let me give you an example: In this dating atmosphere some women initiate contact, ask men out, & simply do too much. I don’t. I’m out here being and receiving lol. I let men initiate most contact, I let them plan dates (yes I let them know what I like), I let them do the texting and calling and I receive it and reciprocate. Does this always work, lol no but if it doesn’t those aren’t the men I want to date anyway. Most men that I have dated don’t mind this, in fact they enjoy being in charge, leading, and putting in some work to get my attention. I had a guy I am currently dating tell me last night, don’t give me anything, men don’t want things easy, let me put in some work. AND I SHALL! LOL. If a man is interested he will do what he has to in order to get to know you. And if he doesn’t well…you get the picture.
  2. Be Mysterious aka stop talking so much! – I used to have the tendency to tell everything about myself way too soon and way too much. One thing people like when being around each other is to enjoy the company and feel good during the experience. Telling all your business doesn’t accomplish this. It’s been said women use 20,000 words a day compared to men who use about 7,000. WE CAN TALK. But you need to learn to limit that when you first begin dating someone. First of all you don’t know this man (shout out to KeKe Palmer). Second you need to leave some things to the imagination. Let a man wonder about you, let him figure out some things about you (stop giving him the playbook ladies because some men will use it against you for their own personal gain). It makes you interesting and a challenge. If you want to gab with someone call your girlfriends!
  3. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket – This is a touchy subject because it’s not something as women we are used to but let me tell you, men do this. They do it well actually. Date multiple people. Key word is date tho. Now I know you are grown but I wouldn’t suggest giving out your cookies to every man you date but hey do you sis.  Just be careful. Me personally I usually date multiple men until one connection becomes stronger than the rest. Dating several people allows me not to emotionally bond with someone I shouldn’t too fast, gives me options (because we know some men are not consistent and will drop off the face of the earth lol) and also helps me know what I don’t want and what I do in the next man I commit to. I don’t make it a secret that I date multiple people but it isn’t something I shout out either. If the subject comes up I do let them know I date. And I leave it at that.
  4. I don’t pre-date – Again another touchy subject. I will always say do what works best for you ladies. But it takes a lot of effort and work to get myself together & get kids fed and settled before I go anywhere. So it won’t be for a drink or a coffee. If you want to date me we can do an activity, have brunch, lunch or dinner but I will not let you test me out to see if you think I am worth an actual date. This whole pre-date thing irks my soul because I honestly don’t see anything wrong with a man asking a woman on a proper date. And before you say I am out here getting free meals like I said, I spend my time and energy getting beautiful, blocking out the stressors of the day to show up and be present and have good time so if I don’t believe I am worth a meal or whatever then I’m not. And I also get the argument what if we don’t have chemistry. Sometimes that happens and I have made a friend. I can honestly say none of my dates have been bad (because we have a conversation beforehand which is what some of ya’ll are missing as well) even if we don’t have a love connection.
  5. Go slow – My last tip is to take your TIME! Stop giving yourself away so quickly! Date, talk, get to know each other and don’t hop in the bed! Yes, I have become more old-fashioned in my later years and I am letting you know for me, I keep the cookies in the jar. Until I am in a committed relationship, I do not have sex. Before I give someone MY BODY he has to have earned it and deserved it and as women in a world where sex is given away so freely I can tell you a lot of men respect and appreciate this. And the men that don’t weren’t looking for a relationship anyway and I am glad to know that sooner than later. Transparent moment – I have been on the other end where things happened too quickly and I was disappointed it. In the end I had to realize that I only had myself to blame because if I would have set standards and boundaries and took my time I would have known that person didn’t deserve me. I am going to say this always, People in particular men since that is who we are talking about here, only do what you allow. Period. So set your standards and keep them. Yes it can get lonely but that is why you always have life of your own you love and live.

So these are some of my dating guidelines. These are things that work for me and protect me and my heart from the BS. Is it perfect, no. Sometimes I’m human, and my judgement isn’t always the best but I can say having standards and sticking to them has helped me not waste my time and end up with a broken heart. It also protects my children from the BS which is my #1 job as mama. But don’t get it twisted, one day these kids will grow up, leave and have their own lives so make sure you have one too! I know I do!

Love Ricki

 

Cleaning Tips for the Single Mama

I titled this post Cleaning Tips for the Single Mama because that is what I am for and it is the viewpoint I speak from for this blog. Please don’t side eye me though because the tips I share can be applied to any mother married or single. Now that we have that out of the way let me start by saying, CLEANING IS NOT LIFE!!! I love to have a clean house, candles burning and everything in order just like the next mama but that is not reality. And if I try to make it a reality everyday I will only drive myself crazy. And crazy me is not cute. So I have learned not to obsess over having a clean house. I also think a lot of people live this way to or else Clean with Me videos on Youtube (see mine linked below) would not be so popular. I truly come from a place of you can only do what you can. Also just because your home isn’t sparkling doesn’t make you a nasty or bad person. It makes you human. Again, I clean and enjoy a clean house but I also enjoy living and sometimes that can get a little messy especially with a family. FYI: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is not in the Bible *shrugs shoulders*

  • Tip #1: Establish a routine – I’m old school so my cleaning routine usually is on Saturday morning and consists of Pine Sol and Comet and music blaring on the speakers lol. Saturday mornings I usually take the time to give the kitchen a deep cleaning and clean out the refrigerator since it is trash day. This also helps me take inventory of what we have on hand or may need because I also usually “make groceries” that day to. Assign a day and commit a few hours to get important cleaning done such as the kitchen and bathrooms – the most used spaces in a home.
  • Tip #2: Everyone gets a job – even the little kids. If he or she is 18 months and above they can pick something up and put it away. Lil Diva has a job and even though she despises cleaning (she took a “vacation” for almost a month at her granny’s house to avoid cleaning – that’s how much she dislikes it!) she knows what she is expected to do. We are a team and even though kids least favorite thing to do is clean they do enjoy a clean, fresh smelling space. I also do not give my kids an allowance for cleaning. To each his own and no judgement if you do but cleaning is a necessary skill of adulthood and since I’m raising several people it is understood you need to learn how to clean as a life skill, not an extracurricular activity.
  • Tip #3: Make a system – I have a way of doing things. It helps the process flow and ensures I get everything completed. I started off going from one place to another and truth be told I am not a great multitasker. It is not my strongpoint – if too much is going on I get overwhelmed and frustrated and nothing gets done. I learned I have to have a system. You’ll hear me say in the video I wipe everything down first and onto the floor and then I sweep and mop last. Do things in a particular order that works for you.
  • Tip #4: Stop trying to do everything – I used to try to have EVERYTHING done in one day and then want to cry when a few hours later things started getting a little messy again. Plus I took up my whole off day! We actually live in these spaces. Which means things will get left out of place, spills will happen and dust will collect. You will frustrate yourself trying for perfection. Saturday mornings are for my kitchen and bathrooms. Sundays are laundry and straightening the bedrooms. During the week we make sure the kitchen is clean Saturday thru Thursday and I make sure kids put backpacks and shoes away etc. Fridays I usually give myself and the kids a break from cleaning anything. We just don’t try to fit it all in one day because in my opinion ultimately it’s wasted energy. I wouldn’t suggest you do it either.
  • Tip #5: Give yourself a reward – I learned this from @farahjmerhi. She lights a candle when she finishes a room. I pretty much do the same but mostly because I love the smell. Reward yourself with fresh flowers or a satisfying cup of coffee or tea or 15 minutes of Youtube or an audiobook. This will motivate you to keep the routine going. It really works.

Those are my tips for maintaining a clean space. Nothing fancy just get the basics done and don’t worry about trying to have everything perfect. It’s just gonna get messy again anyway lol.

Check out my very first Clean with Me video below! Also in the comments let me know what your cleaning routine is!

Love Ricki