The Dating Chronicles of a Jamaican Single Mother

By Yanique Quest

As a single mother, your life tends to be centered on your kids. This can be a fulfilling life for some and for others like me, it can become pretty lonely. As a single mother of four children ranging from 5 to 12 years and one with special needs, there isn’t much time in my life for anything besides them and work. I am up by 5 am and get to bed, most days, around midnight. There is always something going on in my house and it can become quite overwhelming. It’s at these times I start thinking about how much easier it would be if I had a partner to share my life and dreams with. Someone who will hug me, wipe my tears, provide moral support and just make me feel like a woman – not just a mommy.

Exactly one year ago this month, I decided I was going to open myself up to the idea of dating again. For me personally, I knew I wasn’t going to have a casual fling or waste the little time I had dating someone I knew I would never settle down with. I couldn’t do that, after all I had four little people who looked up to me as their role model and I took that role very seriously. So I started writing down the qualities that I would like in a partner and when I reviewed my list, I had to laugh. I’d written down 33 qualities and 29 of them had to do with my children. I realized then that whoever I dated had to care about my kids and our future. I wasn’t looking for tall, dark or handsome (wouldn’t refuse it though if it came) but I wanted a mature, loving and responsible adult that would not only love me but also love my children. So after narrowing down the list to ten must haves, I went on my first date. This is how my chronicles began.

Andrew – 37 years old – Accountant – Divorced – 2 kids
This man had been hounding me for months for my phone number and I finally gave in. Since my kids would be visiting their dad for the weekend, we decided to go out for drinks Friday evening after work. Most people go to the cinema for their first date. I could never understand why though because there isn’t much interaction that you can have inside the cinema. It’s basically about the movie and all you find out about your date is whether you have the same taste in movies. I figure it would be easier to go somewhere we could talk and get to know each other better. Needless to say this was not the best date for me. All this man had to talk about was his ex-wife and all she had done to him. It was the most grueling two hours and I finally decided to end it by telling him I had to go home to my kids. That was our first and last date.

Simon – 46 years old – Teacher – Never married – No Kids
I met Simon while I was doing the green smoothie challenge with Didan Ashanti. He became interested in the challenge and we started talking. We eventually agreed to a date. So I had an hour to decide if this was a person I wanted to see any further. Simon was charming and he asked me about my kids. For me that was a plus, he was showing interest in my life. So I told him about my kids and inquired if it was his personal choice not to have any. He explained that he always wanted a family but his ex-girlfriend of seventeen years didn’t so they never had any. It felt good to know he wanted kids — after all I came with four readymade ones. As luck would have it (yes I call it luck), my son’s school called me just then with an emergency. My special needs child had a little accident and they wanted me to come by. This is something I am used to and I explained to Simon that I had an emergency and would call him later. After dealing with my son, I tried calling Simon but got no response. Needless to say after calling him for two days without him answering or calling back, I got the message. He may be interested in kids but he wasn’t interested in the “work” that came with a special needs child. I saw him about a month later and he told me as much so I was happy that I found that out so quickly.

After the Simon fiasco, I started to wonder if I would be single forever because truthfully, this dating thing was draining. I went back into submerging myself into my family and took a break from the dating scene. But never fear, the chronicles will continue!

Yanique Quest is a 9-5 working mommy to three boys and one girl. She is a customer service supervisor at Jamaica’s largest stationary and office supplies provider by day and writer by night. She is a lover of all foods and would love to write her own cookbook one day.


About Leila

Leila is the founding editor of Baby and Blog. She splits her time between editing hair and culture site, Black Girl with Long Hair, whipping up butters at BGLH Marketplace, and writing here. She adores her husband and two kids, her parents and her friends. But she hates Chicago weather although she is slowly coming to peace with it...

  • Doneida

    I absolutely love it Yanique. Great job . . I wanna know more! Let me know when I can share some of my drama too.haha

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  • Tracey-Anne

    Well done Renee, I couldn’t stop reading. Love it, love it, love it!!!

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  • Yolande Hunter

    Girl you surprise me. Love it!!!!
    Great job! 😉

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  • Dionnie

    Yanique, this is great! Feel like most women can relate to this story. Its a good read, this could be a big deal hun. I want more – I need more details though (tell me more about what happen on the dates, be more descriptive of the men and the dates).

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  • caviene

    So I’m reading, following every thread and then you just stopped. I love it and I am looking forward to more. This is a great way to look at experiences in hindsight and laugh at some . You have created another outlet for yourself and graciously shared it.

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  • kimberly stephens

    great read Yanique and right on q. Struggles of a single mom. Can’t wait

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  • adwica miller

    Awesome job Ren, you have great writing skills, keep it up.

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  • the brother

    good job sis you are a good mom and with all off the kids and you find the time to do this it goes to show you are more than a simple woman. you are a SUPPER WOMAN keep it up. do the book i will take care of the marketing

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  • Faith

    Superb writing skills Yan, I couldn’t stop reading!!!! Don’t wanna rush the process, but i want more more more….lol….and i’m sure alot of women can relate to this.

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  • Yanique Quest

    Thanks guys so much for the support. For someone that fell in love with the father of her children at seventeen years old, this dating stuff is new to me. As the journey continues, I will share my ups and down. We may get some lessons as well as laughs along the way.

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  • Kayanne Hill

    I have expressed to you how impressed I am with how committed you are to your children. Please continue to be a strong woman and never accept mediocre. Thank you for being so open with your story. I look forward to your happy ending. Mwah :*

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  • marsha b

    Wow! Yanique I can so relate to this. Looking forward to more. Glad I’m not d only one that goes thru this. Can’t wait for d rest!

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  • Lynn

    As a married mother of 4 sons ranging from 4-15 years old, I have just realized one thing. I am filing for divorce next year. Reading your article has given me an insight on how cold the dating scene has always been. Thank you for your interesting story, Yanique.

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  • latoya

    Great job… Just as i was looking to read more u jus stop braps suh. kmt.

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  • Denneille

    I am halfway through the bowl of popcorn and then it all ends!!!I need more please!!! Awesome read Yanique but I am waiting for more!!

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