Dear Gwendolyn:


I am 34 years old with six children. Four months ago while at the grocery store I met a man in the parking lot. As he walked by, he smiled at me and I smiled back. He quickly turned around and asked for my telephone number. But first, he asked if I was a married woman. I informed him I was not and that I had just terminated a relationship two months prior.

Gwendolyn, this is the problem. At the instance of meeting this seemingly nice man, I decided not to give him my telephone number. I did so because it seems for the past 10 years I meet men—and later the relationship goes sour. Therefore, I don’t take my children anywhere. I leave them at home. It’s hard to find a good man when you have children—Mattie

Dear Mattie:

You have just confirmed something my mother said years ago and she said it often. She told her daughters that women leave children at home because of the fear of not meeting a mate.

Let me tell you this. When a man finds the woman of his choice, the number of children does not matter. However, there is a flip side to your problem. There are some men who seek women with small children. You know…women receiving benefits. They move in and eat, sleep and become couch potatoes because they don’t work. At least you don’t have that problem.

Mattie, don’t leave your children behind. Take them to parks, concerts, the library, grocery shopping and be proud of them. What has happened to you happens to many. Think about it. Women who feel leaving children behind for the sake of meeting a mate only end up with more children.

(Got a problem? Don’t solve it alone. Write to Gwendolyn Baines at P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 or e-mail her at Her website is Don’t be sad when you can be happy. All you have to do is ‘Ask Gwendolyn Baines.’)

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