Dear Aunty Aurora,
I am a single mother-of-two and I have been raising my kids since my husband died six years back. My dilemma is the fact that I met a man recently who has really been trying to get me to go out with him. Under different circumstances, I wouldn’t think twice about saying yes to him but the problem is my younger son. Clinton is autistic and from past experiences, my being in a relationship has had more effect on him that his older brother. I had to quit my last relationship because my partner was maltreating him.
I went out to get some things only to come home to my then boyfriend calling my son names and hitting him. When I asked him why he treated my son so badly he only said my son was being a pest and a moron who couldn’t understand a simple instruction to get him a glass of water. I felt so pained to see my son cowering in a corner because he is very sensitive to noise and touch. I ended the relationship there and then deciding to stay away from dating. Although this new man knows about my reservations and my son’s condition, he has been promising to do nothing but support us. Putting my children’s need before mine is almost second nature already but now I am so confused and scared that history might just repeat itself if I allow another man into our lives.
Only a true mother will think of her son’s needs and safety before thinking of her own needs as a woman. I can’t pretend to know how things have been for you these past years, but I really commend you as one woman to another. Raising kids with autism especially in a society like ours is a very difficult task and as a parent you fear for your children’s ability to cope with the rejection and stigma that comes with being different.
As a single mum your task is double because you have to do all the caring and worrying alone. As much as it might feel safe for you to remain alone and keep your child away from mean adults like your ex, I still think, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of the new guy being a viable partner. Asides the fact that having a partner will provide you with much needed companionship and support when you need it, the right partner will also be able to ease some of the burden of being a single parent. My advice is that you don’t just shut out these relationship prospect completely. Start with friendship but don’t allow contact with your kids too soon. Try to study him and see if he has the patience and type of dedication required to be your man. I wish you all the best dearie.
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