Swap childcare with friends so you can have time for yourself or work late. Friends are also honest bogus detectors when it's time for a potential boyfriend to pass the test.

Whoever you invite into your life must be truly worthy of you your child(ren). Don't Introduce Your Kid on a First Date Or a second, or a third. Which is why I'd moved back to California (from NYC): to be closer to my family. My biggest piece of advice is: If you're a single mom... When you're a single parent, having a clan of close friends is much more than a nice distraction - it's the key to survival.

That said, dating-with-child could also be a huge shortcut to weed out the jerks. Especially when you need someone to vent to or a sitter in a pinch. I really understand how it feels to face your shyness -- especially if you're brand new in town and walk into a playground where all the other moms already seem to know each other.

If he's supporting you when your baby spikes a fever in the middle of the night, it's a good preview to see how he responds in the midst of such reality. Watch for Red Flags You know what the red flags are: a guy who wants to know your whereabouts every minute of the day, someone who brings up marriage too soon, someone who has as an unsettled divorce or high unpaid debts, or someone with a quick temper. Before you know it, you'll develop this "single mom radar." Amazingly, you'll naturally start to spot other single moms at the park.

The challenging part might be walking up to them and saying, "hi." You can do it!

Last year, Susan Patton, a Princeton grad and the mother of two sons at the elite college, outraged feminists when she wrote an open letter to the Daily Princetonian telling female students to find a husband on campus before they graduate.

The red alert — which argued that these Ivy League college girls “would never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who would be worthy of you” — went viral with more than 100 million hits.Now Patton, an independent HR consultant who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and who’s been dubbed “Princeton Mom,” has capitalized on her fame with an old-fashioned dating manual, “Marry Smart.” Published this week, the book argues that coeds have a limited shelf life “as young, beautiful [women who are] as attractive to men or as fertile” and advises them to spend three-quarters of their time in school on the hunt for Mr. But what happens if you missed your shot and didn’t get that all-important MRS certificate along with your liberal arts degree? She believes that, even in the dog-eat-dog dating jungle that is New York, there is hope for single career women between the ages of 22 and 35 (yes, that’s her cutoff) who also want marriage and babies., has been there, done that, remarried, and lived to write a book about the tale.She shared with some of her best advice when it comes to restarting in the dating world after divorce, and why having a "tribe" is not only important for surviving single parenting, but for surviving single parent 1.Be Up Front Full disclosure about your single motherhood status will help start any potential relationship on the right foot -- and avoid any surprises later. When you have a wee little one who's more interested in mashed bananas than mommy's boyfriend, an introduction - say, over ice cream at the park - might not be a big deal. After my book was published, I met a cute scientist at a friend's book launch party; we got engaged a year later. A decade after being a single mom, I have blended my family. When I was dating as a single parent, I often felt discouraged. But I learned that no matter how a date ended, what really mattered at the end of the day was coming home to my girl-power house and kissing my first love, my child.This doesn't mean that you should spend your date talking about your child's honor roll status - but isn't it best to start any relationship with honesty? Set Your Standards High There's no doubt that dating when you're a single parent raises the stakes-after all, this is not just about you anymore. But eventually your kid is old enough what "dating" means. And when you are ready to introduce your date, you might be surprised to hear that your kid isn't ready to meet him/her yet. I'm not sure if any parent ever achieves balance, whether you're single or married. Childcare can be a huge challenge for single parents.