Devoted mothers deserve a sex life too, experts say. (Shutterstock)
Sexy Typewriter, Special to QMI Agency
, Last Updated: 11:27 AM ET
“Might as well go ahead and write on my tombstone: Loving mom, dedicated friend. Had sex with two different men in one weekend. Devoted her life to worrying about it.”
So writes author, speaker and dating coach Delaine Moore on a blog on The Huffington Post.
Moore is the author of the recently released post-divorce dating memoir, “The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom.” The key word in the title being “secret.” Moore asserts that promiscuity is something for which many women are judged, but eyebrows are raised all the more when the sexually adventurous woman in question is a single mom.
“The media rarely portrays single moms as sexual beings because people just don’t like to think that single moms have sex,” Moore says. “The idea of it rattles them, quickly leading to an image of a turnstile of men coming through the front door while the kids play videogames in the living room. This stereotype is false and based on the actions of but a small percentage of single moms. The vast majority of single moms are smart. They’re fantastic moms, safeguarding and prioritizing their children while “¦ responsibly (pursuing) their dating and sex lives.”
Moore considers her sex life to be an assertion of her individuality. Parents — and mothers especially — can sometimes lose themselves in their children. I recently had a friend tell me that her body was there to fulfill the needs of her infant son and not her own.
“My body doesn’t belong to me anymore.”
This particular friend has a devoted and supportive husband, but what about single mothers who feel detached from themselves, believing that their only function in life is to spend every waking moment tending to their children’s needs?
Raising your children in a healthy and positive way should be every parent’s priority, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of their existence.
A martyr-like mindset is especially true of mothers. It’s certainly admirable, but is it necessarily healthy?
“In my practice, I have seen single mothers experience a sense of guilt for wanting to date and feel sexy,” says psychotherapist and relationship expert Kimberly Moffit.
“Some mothers feel that this is a selfish act and that instead of dating, they should be spending more time with their children. From a professional perspective, it is completely normal and healthy for single mothers to date. Dating helps us to learn about ourselves and helps us eventually to experience a partner’s love – a mother’s health, well being and happiness is usually quite beneficial for children, as well.”
Sharla, 29, writes a blog called Secret Diary of a Single Mom.
“The issue for me is not taking away from my son’s time and attention in any detrimental way,” she says. “I tend to plan for dates on nights my son is already planned to be with his father, which is a compromise. It can be challenging at times, especially in the stages where I want to see someone regularly, but he’s not been introduced to my son yet. I just know that it’s important for me to be happy and well adjusted as an individual person, in order to even be a happy, effective mother.”
Sharla suggests single parents do what feels right when it comes to getting back into dating and sex.
“Go with your gut and keep your kids as your focus, but don’t lose sight of your own happinesss in the process.”
In order to lead more fulfilling lives, single mothers and fathers should consider casting off their guilt and fear about stepping back into the ring and be willing to meet people and even engage in some semblance of a sex life.