By Laura-kim single mom, recently divorced with 2 kids and the author of the blog Harrased mom.
When you are a single mom, dating is a huge challenge. Not only because of the logistics involved in trying to find the time to actually date but because you have to consider the compatibility of the guy and your kids.
It’s inevitable that the two will meet at some point, whether you decide to do it on date 1 or wait a year. The two worlds – they collide and there may just be fireworks.
The decision as to when to introduce a new man to your child is a very personal one that only you, as the mother, can make. I have managed for the last 3 years to keep the two worlds pretty separate. Purely because I actually haven’t really dated anyone long enough for it to become an issue.
The 3 men my kids have met have all been in the last year and all of them were friends, so the chances are at some point my kids would have met them anyway – in fact the one guy they did meet when we were friends.
This weekend, as my kids ran wild in my house, screaming and fighting and demanding while my new “friend” tried very hard to sleep in on a Saturday morning, I realised the integration of the two worlds, while doable is actually rather stressful on all concerned.
He doesn’t have kids and isn’t around kids at all normally. So while I am used to waking up a 5 and making tea and refereeing fights and and and it’s a little overwhelming for someone who isn’t used to it. It’s a lot of noise and a lot of activity.
Which is where the stress comes in. I am aware that it’s a lot. He feels overwhelmed. The kids are a little unsettled having him there. So we are all a little on edge. (Ok in all fairness – I think him and the kids handled it all a whole lot better than I did.)
We all managed to come out of the chaos that was our weekend alive and for right now he seems to be willing to solider forward a little more. But it is a challenge and does add new challenges to a relationship.
My advice – if you are dating with kids – buy wine lots and lots of wine! And then talk, trust yourself and give the man you are with a chance – he may just surprise you.