Guest blogger, NorEastMom: Top five lessons single moms can learn from single dads.
1) The house really can look like crap unless someone is coming over. Have you ever noticed that quickly straightening up five times a day takes two hours total, and that letting the house go for five days then cleaning up ALSO takes two hours? Well, men did. Single dads enjoy themselves and their kids right up to the very moment they hear, "I'll stop by later." Ladies, spend your time on the things you love, instead of cleaning up for no one every three hours.
2) Being the "fun" parent feels good. So be one. I know, if you are the Monday through Friday parent and the only one who cares about grades, nutrition, and dentist appointments, this can feel close to impossible. But be assured that if all your time with the children is pressured and nagging, it will permanently affect your relationship with them. So enjoy the moment, joke at homework time, have pizza once in awhile, and throw out all the "I shoulds" in your head about being the only responsible parent. Remember that you are also responsible for making childhood magical and full of laughter by having fun with your kids.
3) Enjoy your alone time. Thoroughly. It sucks when you're faced with a weekend where you might miss the first soccer game, or the other million things kids do for the first time. You can dwell on it, or you dress yourself up, make plans, visit old friends, and have a lot of fun. This will minimize any resentment, worry, or need to mentally control what daddy is doing with the children (an exercise in futility). Another lesson to take from fathers? If you are flying solo on a Saturday night, some pizza, beer, and a Playstation can go a long way. Slob out and kick some alien ass.
4) Hitting on people is A-OK. Women tend to laugh at the abrupt, awkward manner that men use to strike up conversations with them. Hey! At least they get the job done! Don't wait for an approach, make one. Remember, the first time is the hardest... after that, you'll be a pro. So woman -- get up and walk over to the man in Starbucks and say, "I'm thinking of getting that same laptop ... do you like it?" Or go with the one a man just used on me last week ... "I like melons, too." Deep.
5) Babies make awesome dude magnets. Single men always use their kids to attract women. This is easy, as women are drawn to cute babies. But men are drawn to cute moms, so when you're on the checkout line and say to your infant, "Woo! Mama's never gonna get a date if you keep dealin' out those stinky diapers, mister!" the hot guy behind you knows that a) you're single, and b) you don't like the smell of poo. Right there, you may have established some common interests.