The Dating Chronicles of a Jamaican Single Mother


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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...