Lucy Cavendish: Mama is back in town

Dear Lucy,

I am a single mother of four children. Their age range is 18 down to seven years old. I was married for 20 years and have been separated for two but the children have now become so much of my life, I don’t really know how I am going to meet dates. Can you help?
Leandra, London


You have to separate the Mummy-you from the Dating-you

Dear Leandra,

Yes I can help but, here we go, you have to pay attention. I am also a single mother with four kids and they all live with me and spend nearly 24/7 with me and, at first, I thought that was a good idea. But it is not. I don’t know your situation with your ex-husband but, hopefully, he is around and sees his children. So this is the first part, and the most difficult. You need to use him as a babysitter. Leandra, you need some you time. It’s really, really important. In order to date successfully, you have to separate the Mummy-you from the Dating-you. In order to get your confidence, and your mojo, back you need to prioritise yourself sometimes. We all love our children and we worry about them endlessly. We fret over the divorce and the potential damage and yada yada yada. But it’s done now. You need to have fun, to feel good about yourself, to go out on some dates and flirt a bit. You need to put on some high heels and a snazzy dress and get out there. Your children will understand. They want a vibrant, happy mother and who better to look after them than their own father? I know it may be difficult but that’s a win-win situation. Then all you need to do is load your profile online and off you go!


1) See your children as being blessings not curses

2) Remember, if a man isn’t interested in you because you have children then he’s not the right man for you

3) You are not a mum when you are on a date. It’s important to let the real you shine through

4) Think of yourself as being a siren – beautiful and alluring and not a woman who has porridge usually attached to her jumper

5) Do not under any circumstances show your date endless photographs of your kids on your phone EVER!