‘Baggage’ implies a disadvantage; something bulky and extra, weighing you down. However, growing up in a society that sees single motherhood as a one way ticket to loneliness, poverty and the benefits system, I see where the ‘b’ word has come from.
I’m happy to confirm that my son has positively transformed my life in so many ways, he’s the most wonderful and perfectly-timed gift I could have wished for.
Remember, anyone with a problem isn’t worth your time; being a parent is actually a very effective asshole filter.
The problem is theirs, don’t waste time feeling like it’s yours.
I had a boyfriend once who wanted to get way too involved too quickly, and my child just doesn’t need the potential disruption that would cause.
For this reason, I wouldn’t introduce the person I am dating to my son as my ‘boyfriend’.
Perhaps it’s only natural for the person you are dating to think about the future with you, given your life situation as a parent.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, use it to your advantage, and remember: having a child helps you sort people into a ‘worth it’ and ‘not worth it’ pile early on.
Which leads on to…It’s so easy to fall into the trap of believing you have to explain how you came to be a single parent.
In the early stages of dating, that’s really none of anyone’s business. Know anyone you meet will be lucky to get such a fabulous two, three or however-many-it-might-be-for-one deal.
That said, it’s easier said than done to keep them totally apart, and often just not practical.
My personal solution here is to ask my boyfriends to work by the rules of a public swimming pool: if you wouldn’t get away with it there, don’t do it in front of my son. But it also means more special time as a couple when you do manage to escape for those precious nights away (once you’ve found a very trusted babysitter, of course).