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I’m a single mom and I’m not interested in dating

I remember this specific night out clear as day [Editor's note: This was pre-pandemic]. A couple of friends asked me to tag along with them and their husbands for pizza and beer. I'm a single mom and my little one was with her dad that weekend, so instead of sitting home drinking wine and watching Netflix, I decided a night out would be fun.

Well, I was wrong.

As soon as I sat down at the table, I quickly became the entertainment for the night, the conversation turning to me and my singledom. Every guy in the bar became prey to my friends.

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All I heard was, "What about him? He's hot!" or "I've seen him around and know he's single." I continued to reiterate how I was doing just fine being single and how I actually wanted to stay that way for now, but that didn't stop their comments.

They insisted I needed to find someone to date and they were on a mission. I couldn't eat my pizza quickly enough before I called it an early night and was back home in my PJs, wine in hand, watching Netflix like I originally planned.

Because here's the thing—I'm single and I'm okay with it. Seriously. Here's why:

1. I'm trying to figure it all out.

I was married, and now I'm not, and that's a pretty big thing to adjust to. Ending something that important is a big deal. Some people find comfort in jumping from one relationship to the next (which is fine because you have to do what works for you), but I'm finding comfort in being alone and figuring out what's next for me.

Have you ever gotten out of a relationship feeling like you lost a bit of yourself? That's how I feel. I'm in my late 30s and I'm truly not sure what I'm interested in anymore. I want to find my hobbies, I want to adjust to a new schedule of doing the whole mom thing on my own, I want to focus on myself. I want to figure it out or try to figure it out as much as possible.

2. I deserve to be picky.

I tried dating after the divorce was final, and it was a complete disaster. I was pressured into making the relationship more serious than I wanted it to be with one guy, and I stayed with another guy (who was controlling) way longer than I should have.

I know that maybe I just had bad experiences with those specific men, but if I couldn't make a marriage work with the man I was married to, the one who I thought I would be with forever, the person I decided to start a family with—then I'm going to be picky about who I choose to let into my life.

3. I want to be alone.

Seriously. I want to be alone and I'm okay with that. I'm a single mom with a full-time job and a part-time weekend job (when my daughter is with her dad). I have a neverending to-do list of things to replace or clean around the house. I don't have time for anyone or anything else.

I want to have time for myself. Some nights I enjoy going out with friends, but some nights I want to stay in and read a book. Sure, being alone does get lonely sometimes, but right now I am prioritizing learning to love myself and my time alone.

4. I want to focus my time on other things.

My daughter is my number one priority. Always. I don't get to spend as much time with her as I would love to because I work full-time and now every other weekend she goes to her dad's house. I want to soak up every second I have with her—every giggle, every storytime before bed, every bath time, every meal together—everything.

I also want to run a half marathon one day. I want to hike more, eventually. I want to plant a garden, paint the banister in the hallway, start a blog. There are so many things I've been saying I'm going to do and I want to start marking them off my list. I need to focus my priorities on things I want to do, and dating just isn't one of them.

So, please, let me be single.

It isn't that I haven't tried dating. I have and it wasn't for me. When I'm ready to date again, I will know, but right now I'm dating myself and trying to learn who I am as a single mom. My daughter deserves the best possible version of me and I'm going to find her before I bring anyone else into my life.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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