Is it OK for a single mom to have a discreet "friends with benefits" relationship?
Of course! You're single, not dead. Keep these cautions in mind, however, before involving your children in your private life:
The dad factor. If you are still embroiled in a custody dispute or feel for some other reason that your children's dad could cause difficulties for you, you may wish to rethink bringing "friends with benefits" home to meet the children. Does dad still have the habit of dropping in unexpectedly on some pretext? It is not fair or realistic to expect children to be selective or discreet about what they share with dad during parenting time.
Privacy. You may feel that it is acceptable to have the "friend" in your life spend the night. This is strictly a matter of personal choice. Your children may always sleep soundly, letting you feel assured that they will not wake up and demand attention in the middle of the night. If this is the case, you still will want to consider good privacy practices. Locking your bedroom door may not be the best choice. Locked interior doors are a safety hazard and also alert your children that some event of interest in taking place away from their view. Children talk, especially at school and in the homes of friends. Ask yourself if these tales of locked doors and nameless "friends" are really what you want to occupy your children's thoughts and conversations?
Take-away messages. Whatever decision you make about what is appropriate, your children will get the message that this behavior is acceptable. You will want to feel confident that your children can handle the same standards of behavior that are being modeled for them. If they are older, consider whether you can trust your son or daughter to use contraception, practice safe sex and not get themselves into situations that are risky or downright dangerous. Consider whether your actions could, perhaps, compromise the respect and authority you hold as a parent.