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You Asked: How Can I Balance a Social Life With Being a Mom?

Dear Sugar,

I'm a 23-year-old single mom who has decided to start dating after the end of a seven-year relationship with the only man I've ever been with. I'm trying to figure out how to balance between my love life and taking care of my 2-month-old baby. I've barely gone out since she was born. We've spent so much wonderful, quality time together, and I don't want to sacrifice any of that for my own selfish desires. Do you have any advice for balancing the two?

— Balancing Baby Life Lillian

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Balancing Baby Life Lillian,

There's no doubt about it, balancing a baby with anything else can seem nearly impossible much of time. But every mom needs a few hours off once in a while, whether it's an opportunity for a quick snooze or dinner with friends. Though the scale will undoubtedly stay tipped to the mom side — as it should be! — it's OK to enjoy yourself without your baby. Since your baby is so young, and you're still adjusting to being a mom and a single woman, I suggest moving slowly.

Start with an hour or two away during the day, and work yourself up to an evening out. Make sure you have a great babysitter — family, friend, or otherwise — so you won't have to feel plagued with nerves while you're out. And definitely avoid planning too many social occasions too closely to one another. You want to make sure you still have more than enough opportunities to get all of that quality time in. As long as you don't let your social life take over or impede your mom time then I think over time you should have no problems making a healthy transition back into the dating pool.


Join The Conversation
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
Ergo, I have a child, and i still think she is not being logical. I probably wouldn't have bothered to comment if i didn't have a baby and understand how strong the love is and how much a child needs a parent. Her baby is 'kind of a big deal.' I am not saying going out for a few hours is wrong; what is wrong, to me, is the way she is thinking, 'i need a guy.' Granted i am not a single parent, so i have not been there. But with your brand new babylove at home, and your baggage from the ltr gone wrong and the very new situation you are in (single parent) which SHOULD switch your priorities, how can you have a concrete idea what kind of man you want to have a relationship with? 7 years with one guy? Don't you need time to breathe? By the way, do you think men who are desirable for stable ltr's will be attracted to someone who is on the prowl while leaving a 2 month old baby at home? (I'm not assuming you are physically unattractive because you are a new mom, but think that many men will not like the idea of a woman who is selfish/irresponsable, no offense but i am sure many men think that 2 months is way too soon to be dating!) Two months is like the exact time my doctor said ppl start having sex again... it really seems like you're rushing things, and i just don't want you and your baby to miss out on things. There are enough bad parents out there as it is, and it seems like you are either confused (understandable), or have your priorities out of order, and i really hope you will be a caring parent to your daughter, and leave the guys for later when you feel ready to balance devotion to her with the unpredictable (thus possibly stressful) nature of dating and romance. NO offense intended, the OP is somewhat young and has been through a lot recently, and i wish her and baby the best!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
It's not healthy for you to spend all your time with your baby. Eventually you're going to resent "giving up your life" for your baby. You need to get a babysitter and go out with some friends or family at least once a month. Go shopping during the day and spend time pampering yourself and then have a nice evening out. One whole day or many small chunks of time will make a huge difference to your piece of mind.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
She's not dead, but she got knocked up. Ergo, she forfeited her right to have fun for the moment. I put myself in her shoes. that's why i haven't gotten knocked up. i like being free to do what i want and to consider only myself. I'm not saying she is doomed to a life of diapers and baby-talk, but it's like, you're priorities are f*cked at the moment. That's probably how you had a baby in the first place. She's only 2 months. Join a playgroup with other mommies, chill your conch for a minute.
anubisntealc anubisntealc 9 years
WOW, alot of you people are mean!!!!!!! I am 29 years old and a single parent. And I have noticed that alot of people who have posted that the writer is selfish are PEOPLE WITHOUT CHILDREN!!!!!!!! I mean were do you people get off tell this poor young girl that she needs to stay at home...or saying she choose to have the baby so she has to give up everything. Have you people ever tried to be a single mother?!?!?!??! IT IS CRAZY, not only do you have to take care of your child, you have to work, cook, clean, be the father as well as the mother you are always a parent, just because she goes out a few hours...Ya know I wish I had that handbook that said you have to be with your child 24/7.... In most households you have two parents one can hold up the slack when the other needs to get away - well we live in a imperfect world people time to wake up and smell the 21st century...You go out and try being the mother and father, supported caregiver etc etc and see how long you last!!!! I am so sorry to be brash but this makes me mad. Who cares if she wants to meet someone, shes a new mom SHES NOT DEAD I had my daughter when I was 21 and thank god for the support I had from my family, I dont know what I would have done. Man I know people who dont even have kids but need to slip away at the bar ever now and again to let the stress of their week go away. Jeeze people relax and give this girl a do not know her whole story - you dont understand. Yes every few days I go out with friends and my 8 year old stays with grandpa...if you want to call me a 'bad parent' so be it. But it keeps my sanity....I go to school full time, have a 40+ hour job (that I have missed 1 day is 1.5 years) take care of two cats, plus I am mom and head of house at home....just before you are so quick to judge put yourself in her shoes...
ragedyfairy ragedyfairy 9 years
This is selfish. YOU HAVE A 2 MONTH OLD!!! I'm the same age and I know if I had a 2-month old, dating would be the LAST thing on my mind(especially with my salary and living in the #2 most expensive city in the WORLD!). Instead of worrying about dating you need to be busy bonding with your baby. Society doesn't need anymore screwed up kids because their mother/father was busy trying to have a "social life". That baby is your social life. Get used to it cause you are going to be busy for the next 18 years of your life!
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
damn, you just popped the thing! and this is coming from a gal who thinks having babies is a travesty. I think you should be worried about your baby and getting your life together for you and the kiddo. You're a single mom. The last thing i would be thinking about after popping a kid with a guy that i've been screwing since high school is going out. yeah, mommies need to get out and get some air, but you kinda threw that out when you got preggers. Dang, let the baby get old enough to hold it's own head up to look for you when you go out to find a new baby-daddy. Plus, who is to say that things won't work out for you and high-school sweet heart? This IS the guy you popped a kid with, you can atleast give it time. you start dating now, you're gonna fall for some guy, screw him, get knocked up again, and pop another kid.
sass317 sass317 9 years
Im sure you are a little stir crazy, but your baby is only 2 months old- perhaps you could find a single parent play group or something, get out of the house, but your still spending quality time with the baby and meeting some new people. But honestly at this point I would think finding a new boyfriend should be low on the list.
crist101 crist101 9 years
I'm sorry if that sounded harsh- no coffee yet! Best of luck- your baby is very lucky to have such a loving mom.
crist101 crist101 9 years
I think this is a little ridiculous and that she should follow what Dr. Laura says- your baby needs your full time and support right now. You decided to have her and with that comes a great amount of responsibility and need. Being a single mom means that sacrifices aren't sacrifices, they're just what they are; life. Your baby needs the focus, not other men. She's only two months old!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
Don't feel selfish at all. If you feel like you need to get away every once in a while you should not feel guilty. Being a parent doesn't mean your social life ends, it just drops on the priority list is all. Part of taking care of a baby is knowing when you need to step away for a little bit and have some "Me" time to keep your head straight. I have no advice as to where to find someone to date but since you just left such a long relationship and are probably feeling overwhelmed with a new baby, make sure you take it very slow. Maybe you should see if one of your parents, a trusted friend or the babies father can take the baby for a couple of hours every other week or so and go out and have some fun. You might ask someone that you know has kids if they have a baby-sitter they trust that you could also use. Good luck
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
When you leave the baby with her dad (if that's possible) or if you could possibly have your mother / family member take care of her one night once in a while - take that chance to go out. 2 months though, that's still a super young baby.
Bearwoman Bearwoman 9 years
I agree 100 per cent with Janine. You are not "selfish" for wanting to find love. And by the way: Good guys go to bars too.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Dating is great but mind you, don't go looking "out" in like a club or bar! Not only are they not going to want to date a woman with a new born, but they are also not the type of man you want in your baby's life. Look at places like the grocery store, the gym, library, and museums and galleries, or singles nights at NICE places around your town (our science museum has a night here called Cocktails and Cosmos, and it's incredible!) so look for events that go on monthly like that where you live. And try to get the word out that you are interested in dating with friends and family to be looking around as well:)
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
when the baby is with it's father you should have time for yourself :) baby and daddy bond while you relax, it's a perfect set-up.
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
I don't think that you are selfish or that there is anything wrong with still wanting to have a bit of a social life or dating right now. It's not healthy to spend every second with your child, stuck in your house not interacting with others. Besides I think a couple of the other people's opinions here sound really judgemental. You should do what feels right to you, and don't feel guilty for doing it. Obviously you will still spend a lot of time with your child, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get out once in a while. Good luck to you.
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
I think having a baby means you're no longer entitled to the same kind of social life as when you were single and carefree.
radmama27 radmama27 9 years
Are your parents involved in your life & your baby's life? They have been huge life savers for me. I go out with my girlfriends every other weekend, sometimes less. But I just started doing this when my son turned 2. Before that they would watch him, and I would just hang out at home or other friends houses. But going out is totally different, so much fun, and a break from life. You definitely need to enjoy yourself, you are young (same age as me) But don't go looking for a man. Mr Right will come along at the perfect time, usually when you are least expecting it ; )
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
I'm not a mom and not even close to it...but I feel like you should do what is right for yourself....if you have someone that you can trust that can watch the baby (such as a good friend or a family member) then by all means pump that milk save it up and go have a good time!!! You are still young and I don't think you have to wait any amount of time to get back into the dating scene if you don't want to. If you are comfortable leaving your child at home for a night with a close friend or relative then get out there and meet people! The sooner you do it the better in my opinion...because if you wait a year or two or however long you may just get comfortable in your situation and keep putting it off to meet someone. You only have one life to live and you shouldn't not do something just because you feel like you are abandoning your child -- because you aren't. Your child deserves to have both a mother and a male role model in his/her life and therefore you should do that as soon as possible so that they can feel more comfortable with it than if you started dating at an older age. I know that I don't know anything about being a mother, but it is my opinion that number one always comes first. Just like when you are on an airplane and they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before helping the need to do what is best for you so that you can be the best mother you can be. Good luck!!!!
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 9 years
honestly i do not think this is the right time to date. the most i would do is mingle at social events, and if someone is after you for a date, be honest about your situation. i would devote myself to the baby for her first year of life, although chilling with friends without your baby is fine, i wouldn't want a romance to take any part of me away from my #1 love. just my opinion, no offense!
cjmara805 cjmara805 9 years
Remember, when you have a child, he/she always comes first, and you're going to have to make sacrifices for him/her. But there's no reason why a mom can have some "me" time every once in a while, as long as it's not excessive :)
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