Monday, November 2, 2009

How Soon is Too Soon?



Dating is exciting.  It is also complicated, over-whelming, and a lot of work.
Parenthood is exciting.  It is also complicated, over-whelming, and a lot of work.

At what point do single parents mix those two things? 

I realize there is no solid, fool proof answer to this question, but I wonder.

Fab Mama called me on Wednesday night (Thursday morning) after I got home from work.  She had to take her 11 year-old to the ER.  Due to The Sickness running rampant, the doctors advised she not bring her 1 year-old along.  Baby daddy is 100% uninvolved, so I offered to take the baby here while she took care of her sicky.  When she told me a man she had begun dating about 3 weeks ago was going to the ER with them, I was thrown.  To me, that seems WAY too soon for kids and a love interest to be involved.

Over the years, I have dated and I have had boyfriends.  I have introduced my children to a few.  As they grow older, I've become more aware of how that can effect them.  I don't want my kids to have memories of their mom going through men like water.  I also want them to understand the importance of commitment.  I don't want them to grow up believing men leave.  But I still don't know how soon is too soon?

The man I've been spending time with (yes, he still needs a name...Any suggestions?) has a son the same age as The Boy.  His son lives in Colorado and will be here in December.  He has already started talking about all kinds of things we could do with the kids on his son's visit.  Whoa!  I mean, we've only been spending time together for 2 weeks.  We don't really have a relationship status and I am nowhere near ready for him to meet my kids.  Maybe this will have changed or evolved by December, I don't know, but at this point it seems too early to even talk about the possibility.

Am I crazy?  Too guarded?  Am I being too over protective?  Am I using it as an excuse to compartmentalize and not allow him to get too close?  All of these thoughts have crossed my mind.  One of my girlfriends even went as far as to say, "When it's right, you'll know and you won't have all of these questions."  I'm not sure I agree with that either.  Anyone care to weigh in?

14 comments:

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I can't really speak from experience, but I was raised by a single mom who never remarried or really even dated because she was afraid of the affect it would have on us 3 kids. I wish that she had! Although I think a few weeks is too soon to introduce your kids, I think once things are more serious and you see a future with the person, then the kids can be involved. Good luck!

Mike said...

You're right on the mark. IMO I think you need to be going out a while before all this happens. Now I would expect the guy to make the offer to go to the ER, but I would hope it would be declined. Usually people who move too fast are insecure and these big shows are in the hopes to secure a beachhead in a relationship so that their fears will be diminished. Usually they're just replaced with something else.

semihippysinglemum said...

I've gone both ways on this. I thought that it would be better for my daughter to meet the guy I was dating because if they didn't get along there was no reason for me to continue dating him. Then I kept my daughter from the guy I was dating because I didn't want her to get attached. I think the best way, especially if they are older than say 3, is to keep them seperate. You really don't want them to get attached and then wonder why he isn't around anymore. They need a home that is a stable as possible.
And, I agree, you don't want them to remember a flood of men coming in and out of your life (not that this one guy is a flood but you get my drift).

Just remember that you know what is best for your kids.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

I think you are on the mark. You need to follow your gut instincts. They will never steer you wrong. I personally can't tell you from personal experience. But I can tell you that my sister was even careful when I was single of me bringing around my boyfriends. Teaching the kids about stability is one of the most important thing.

The other side to the coin is. You need to really know the person before you can trust them around your kids.

You are the best judge of that.

Samantha said...

I 100% agree with you that kids you meet your man only after you can in fact call him that and have been doing so for a bit of time. I'm even careful about men that I have no romantic interest in because my son chase men around longingly and I don't want him to form attachments that will have to be broken over and over again.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

I agree with you. . .that seems very fast. However, I'm not walking in her shoes, so who is to say what's right for her and her family.

Beth said...

I was a single mom for a decade and I dated my current (and last) husband for 9 years. I think we were a good year into the relationship before we involved the kids. I had many of the same thoughts as you. And I think I was right - so you are, too.

Cat said...

I struggle with this, especially because my divorce coincided with the birth of my son and I'm still breastfeeding. I keep joining online dating sites (only free ones) posting profiles, then freaking out when someone "winks" or "nudges" or tries to contact me. Go with your gut. If you're not sure the time is right, I don't think it's worth taking the chance when there are kids involved.

kys said...

I don't know from experience but I think you're right to be cautious. Trust your instincts.

That One Mom said...

You guys are awesome. I'm glad to know I'm not crazy. I am certainly not in a position to introduce my kids to ANYONE right now. I've always been very rigid on that. I just worry about the choices some of my girlfriends are making and wish knew how to share my concerns without soundling like I think they're bad mommies, because they are GREAT mommies that just have a hard time separating their needs from their kids.

blueviolet said...

I think you're totally wise to feel the way you are. I think keeping the kids out of the picture is a very wise thing to do. I think it's just too confusing for them.

MindyMom said...

I agree 2 weeks is too soon to intro the kids. And as far as your new guy? From my experience when someone is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, it's usually not a good sign. On one hand it's nice for him to look ahead as a couple but two weeks in seems odd to me.

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

First, I think you are awesome for really contemplating this question.

I do think you have to take it slow, very honestly. I have single friends with young kids and single friends with older kids and I've watched how they really keep the relationship and the kids seperate for a good length of time.

One gives it a time frame. No meeting the kids before the relationship is 6 months old. The other waits until she is feeling very comfy in the relationship and is confident that the man is stable. :)

Go with your gut.

Shan said...

My son was almost six when I started dating the man who is now my husband. It might seem ridiculously long, but the deal that Tom and I made was that we weren't involving Corey unless and until we knew we were committed and likely to wed. So Corey was almost seven when they met (ahem... and 12 when we finally got around to the wedding/moving in together parts... I wouldn't necessarily recommend waiting so long on *that* part, haha). For me, it went hand in hand with what I'd been teaching Corey about dating: it's for getting to know what kind of person you want to spend your life with.

Related Posts with Thumbnails