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Introducing my new guy to my small children? UPD #35 - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_rodgers View Post
No, and if you'd read what I'd said above, you'd have seen what I did say. I said this:



Which was not what Seie was after.
How does a man know he wants to marry you without meeting your child? Single Mama's come as a package deal and the men they date need to know what that package entails. I can't imagine a situation where a man commits his life to a woman who's child he does not even know?!

I'm not saying have every man over to the house to meet your kids and get them all involved .. but I do think there is a happy medium. And yes, that medium includes letting a man you are getting serious about meet and spend time with your kids, well before he talks marriage.
post #22 of 44
Thread Starter 
Well for marriage - I think that is a very cultural thing. Some dont even get intimate before marriage - hey - I've never been married in my life, but managed three kids anyway so..

Just trying to say that in my world people wait years to marry.. and waiting that long is not an option.

I personally dont plan to introduce my kids to lots of men. I would never introduce them to a casual date ever. But we are talking the first man I have ever met that I feel certain I want a life with.. I think that counts for quite a lot. I have been in love plenty of times - but not this way I haven't.
Anyway the decision has been made - by me and him together. We both agree that we should be together, and that he should meet the kids soon. We just havent set the date or planned in detail how to do it yet..
post #23 of 44
I have to say that I don't really see the big deal about introducing someone to your kids... I introduce people to my kids all the time: co-workers, old friends, new friends, doctors, etc, etc. My kids have yet to be traumatized by one of my friends coming over for dinner or going on an outing with one of my husband's friends. We've had friends that have come over consistently (weekly-ish) for a while, then stopped coming over because life just got too busy... and my kids did not show any signs of trauma when they didn't see them anymore.

I guess what I am saying is that I don't go through this long soul-searching journey everytime I bring a friend into my children's lives... if you keep it casual and low-key, I don't see why it needs to be seen as this potential trauma for them to even meet him, or even to hang out with him on more than one occasion. They are 5, 3, and 1... they shouldn't really know the difference between a friend and a potential future mate.
post #24 of 44
Ditto.. :

And I wouldn't have a relationship with someone who wasn't my friend, and I really would hope that they would still my friend if we didn't work out romantically. There are a lot of different types of relationships. My ex and I are better friends than we were husband and wife. We realized that and moved on and have dinner as friends together and do school functions together and so on. I guess what I'm saying is who says that it has to be traumatic? Why can't everyone just be honest and open and get along? It actually does happen.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_rodgers View Post
If he says in clear, plain language that so long as it's good for your daughter and you, he wants to marry you, then I'd go ahead. Otherwise, wait.
What's marriage gotta do with it?

Sorry, but marriage was no guarantee of forever for me. I was married to ds' dad for 3 years, sure didn't last as forever as I expected. My gf's 15 year marriage is also currently coming to an end.

So what if he wants to marry you, still doesn't guarantee the relationship (marriage) will last.

There are absolutely NO guarantees in ANY relationship... none. Marriages and relationships end all the time, whether after 1 week, 1 month, one year or 25 years+. Relationships are a gamble, regardless of the promise of marriage or not.

Seie: When I first introduced my bf to ds (after 3 weeks of dating ), it was at our apartment. Bf came over for dinner. It was a great night. Both of them got along very well with each other and still do... 1 year later. Granted, ds has always gotten along with anyone I have brought into our lives (friends, a former bf, etc).

Do what feels right for you and your children. Trust yourself.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistymama View Post
How does a man know he wants to marry you without meeting your child?
In addition, it would be very irresponsible for a single mama to even consider marrying a man without seeing how he would interact with her child?
post #27 of 44
But shouldn't the single parent know that they want to spend their life with the other person and then see if it is compatable with the kids? Make sure that the single parent (can be female or male) is sure this is going to be a very serious relationship before getting the kids involved?
post #28 of 44
I think it's best to let the relationship take it's course and not force the future. the first guy i dated after divorce i introduced to dd after 4 months we us to meet at the park and then he started coming around the house. towards the end he stayed over couple nights and we coslept due to space issues. after it ended, i kind of regret it because it didnt last and dd was really heartbroken. she was about 2.

then current dp of 2 years, i was lucky that dp and i were friends first so dd got to know him on that level. about 6 months later we started dating, dd was 2.5 yrs old and caught on pretty quickly. however he doesnt sleep over when i have dd as he doesnt feel comfortable cosleeping because of dd's age and i respect that.

each person is entitled to her own opinion and we should not push our opinons and beliefs onto others.
post #29 of 44
"There are absolutely NO guarantees in ANY relationship... none."

I disagree. My children have a guarantee from me that I will care for them as long as they are children, and be involved with their lives to the greatest extent possible thereafter, and always love them and think about them even if some extreme circumstance (incurable addiction, they join the Klan, they emigrate to Mars) means that we don't see each other often.

On paper, I made the same promises to my dh, but when I look around me I don't see that marriage vows have the same track record as the parental bond. (And frankly, I don't see that the paternal bond has the same track record as the bio-or-adoptive-or-foster-or-step maternal bond, though Thank God for the exceptions to that rule.)

There are no guarantees in any relationship between adults. That's something all kids will learn at some point, even if their parents stay happily married forever. I'm not sure that it's wise to totally insulate any kid from that reality. If people we know break up, I tell my kids about it. Heck, they can SEE it - they don't need a news bulletin from me! Obviously it's more intense when it's mom's boyfriend who stops showing up, and that's why discretion an friendship-first are good goals, but ultimately it's the same lesson. Men may come and go, but Mommy will be here for you as long as she's living.

(My dh is a great guy and a devoted father, btw. No disrespect intended to him - but from where I'm standing, women in our society are very much the ones holding the sack when it comes to always-there-for-you parenting, and I don't think my kids will fail to notice growing up that all their friends have a mom in their house, and some of them don't have a consistent paternal figure. I wish it were different, but it's not.)
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I disagree. My children have a guarantee from me that I will care for them as long as they are children, and be involved with their lives to the greatest extent possible thereafter, and always love them and think about them even if some extreme circumstance (incurable addiction, they join the Klan, they emigrate to Mars) means that we don't see each other often.


There are no guarantees in any relationship between adults.
I was talking about relationships between adults, as we were talking about adult relationships.

But, tragically, my statement about there being no guarantees in any relationship can also be true for children. About 1/2 the students in my 1st grade class have not been blessed with the wonderful, amazing guarantee that you have given to your children.

Your children are blessed and I only wish all the other children in this world were equally blessed.
post #31 of 44
Thank you. I wasn't trying to say that ALL kids have unconditional love from a parent, just that I believe such a relationship to be possible in a way that I don't think it's possible between adults. And I think that distinction can made by a single mama who is considering introducing a boyfriend - "you and me are forever, no doubt, and Bill is around right now and we like him and we can hope that he always will be. But his presence in your life has nothing to do with my presence, upon which you can count."
post #32 of 44
I really think it's best to trust your judgement on this Seie and allow the natural progression of your relationship to lead the way. If this man is serious about being in your life, a natural meeting time/place will emerge in a way that will work for everyone and won't require a lot of effort.

There is a natural flow to life and things that happen, whether we like them or not. The best example we can ever set for our children is to let them experience the natural flow of life be there to help them through it the best we can.

In my life, people have come, people have gone, people have lived, people have died, people have had to move away, people have chosen to just disappear. Sometimes it's hurt, sometimes it's been mutual, sometimes I've hurt others. But, it is a real part of life on this planet and I am grateful for my parents who helped me through it when I was younger and friends who've helped me through it as I got older.

Preventing a child from experiencing this as a means of 'protecting them' has the potential to backfire and falsely lead the child to believe the world is a different way than it really is.

I don't find either extreme to be a positive experience for a child. Having a revolving door of partners or having our child really bond with someone we aren't sure about maybe isn't the best choice, but not allowing them to see, experience and be part of a healthy, happy relationship dynamic and isolating them from 'hurt' that is part of life doesn't really seem to be the best choice either.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
I really think it's best to trust your judgement on this Seie and allow the natural progression of your relationship to lead the way. If this man is serious about being in your life, a natural meeting time/place will emerge in a way that will work for everyone and won't require a lot of effort.

There is a natural flow to life and things that happen, whether we like them or not. The best example we can never set for our children is to let them experience the natural flow of life be there to help them through it the best we can.

In my life, people have come, people have gone, people have lived, people have died, people have had to move away, people have chosen to just disappear. Sometimes it's hurt, sometimes it's been mutual, sometimes I've hurt others. But, it is a real part of life on this planet and I am grateful for my parents who helped me through it when I was younger and friends who've helped me through it as I got older.

Preventing a child from experiencing this as a means of 'protecting them' has the potential to backfire and falsely lead the child to believe the world is a different way than it really is.

I don't find either extreme to be a positive experience for a child. Having a revolving door of partners or having our child really bond with someone we aren't sure about maybe isn't the best choice, but not allowing them to see, experience and be part of a healthy, happy relationship dynamic and isolating them from 'hurt' that is part of life doesn't really seem to be the best choice either.

well said MCA That is exactly I mean exactly what I was trying to say!!!!!
post #34 of 44
Hi Seie, I just wanted to say best of luck as regards custody., Given that you ex has been abusive, I wouldn't imagine you'd have any problems. Also given the cause, you have clear grounds for divorce so if re-marrying is what you want - and I know it isn't for eveyone, but if it is for you, there should be no legal impediment to it one divorce is complete.
Ah Ginger, 40 surely isn't middle aged - I still consider myself young and my Mam tho' retired only sees herself as middle-aged now! Could I please ask tho that you don't refer to the children of solidiers / military as "army-brats". The term "brat" just hs really negative connotations.I do think however that its a bit extreme to wait for a proposal of marriage just for a single Mom or lone parent to introduce a new guy or gal , just as a friend, to her children.

"How does a man know he wants to marry you without meeting your child? Single Mama's come as a package deal and the men they date need to know what that package entails. I can't imagine a situation where a man commits his life to a woman who's child he does not even know?" Wel said MistyMama
I think Holand is right - marriage is no garauntee of forever and is entirely a personal and individual choice.
post #35 of 44
DF introduced me to the kids rather quickly, but we were friends to them and nothing more, then when DF was working i would take them to parks or movies, something fun with out him so that they would get used to me. Luckily they are great kids and it was very easy. I think that if you feel this is the right thing to do, that you dont push the adult relationship into focus that its ok to let them meet in a kid friendly place. I mean why waste months or years of your life with someone only to find out they dont want kids, dont want your kids, etc. It takes patients and time. be open and honest with your kids, dont try to force a replacement parent, but your boyfriend should be their friend. We had a really easy transition, the hardest part was that biomom was not around and it breaks my heart that now that she is she wont let them call me what they want etc. wait til your custody battle is over then he wont have leverage over you.

good luck
post #36 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

So it happened. I introduced my guy to the kids yesterday.

I decided to do it at home on a normal weekday/after work and daycare. I picked my BF up after work, drove him to my place and then went to get the kids. I had prepared them in advance that he would be waiting at home.
It was all very natural and easy. I cooked us some dinner while he entertained the kids. We had agreed to introduce him as a "friend" and the kids seemed to think that was very normal. He was a natural with the kids. He was very easy and calm. No hi pitched voice, no overly "funny-uncle" kind of behaviour. He listened to their stories about their day, and he let my 5 year old ramble on about his main interests "Star Wars" and Lego It didnt surprise me that he was so wonderful with them though. He has two children of his own - and a stepdaughter from a previous marriage. Unfortunately he lost contact with them for complicated reasons that I wont go into here - just trust that I know what happened and it is of no concern to me at all.

He did spend the night - I told the kids it was because he lives far away and doesnt have a car (true - and to those who wonder then car prices here are ridiculous, so that is why) He slept in the guest bed and the kids thought that was normal too.

I mentioned in advance to my ex that I have met a man that I care a lot about and that I was planning to introduce him to the kids. Ex took it very well and just said, thats fine, go ahead so..

All in all - it went amazingly well And it feels so good that he finally has gotten to meet my children after I have talked so much about them for so long
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie View Post
Hi everyone

So it happened. I introduced my guy to the kids yesterday.

I decided to do it at home on a normal weekday/after work and daycare. I picked my BF up after work, drove him to my place and then went to get the kids. I had prepared them in advance that he would be waiting at home.
It was all very natural and easy. I cooked us some dinner while he entertained the kids. We had agreed to introduce him as a "friend" and the kids seemed to think that was very normal. He was a natural with the kids. He was very easy and calm. No hi pitched voice, no overly "funny-uncle" kind of behaviour. He listened to their stories about their day, and he let my 5 year old ramble on about his main interests "Star Wars" and Lego It didnt surprise me that he was so wonderful with them though. He has two children of his own - and a stepdaughter from a previous marriage. Unfortunately he lost contact with them for complicated reasons that I wont go into here - just trust that I know what happened and it is of no concern to me at all.He did spend the night - I told the kids it was because he lives far away and doesnt have a car (true - and to those who wonder then car prices here are ridiculous, so that is why) He slept in the guest bed and the kids thought that was normal too.

I mentioned in advance to my ex that I have met a man that I care a lot about and that I was planning to introduce him to the kids. Ex took it very well and just said, thats fine, go ahead so..

All in all - it went amazingly well And it feels so good that he finally has gotten to meet my children after I have talked so much about them for so long

Did he lose contact with all three children, or just his stepdaughter? That seems really sad for those kids. My mom had "friends" when wse were kids, after my parents divorced. We knew what was up, even if she thought we didn't. And it made us uncomfortable.
post #38 of 44
He "lost contact" with his own children?
post #39 of 44
congrats Mama: I am so happy for you!!!!!!! Thanks for updateing us
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie
He has two children of his own - and a stepdaughter from a previous marriage. Unfortunately he lost contact with them for complicated reasons that I wont go into here - just trust that I know what happened and it is of no concern to me at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom View Post
He "lost contact" with his own children?
x2 I'm trying to find the best possible light for this. I can understand why he might lose contact with a stepchild - the child's bioparents could keep her away. But his own kids? How could that happen? Maybe his kids are over 18 and choose to never accept his visits and phone calls? Hardly makes him look innocent. His kids' mom moved far away and he can't afford webcam, phone calls, or even email? I doubt anyone is this poor. The kids committed crimes, are in jail, and he is practicing tough love by not contacting them until they get out? Ugh. The kids are alleging that he abused them, and your boyfriend says he's innocent, but won't fight to be a dad? I'm really trying to understand your compassion for your boyfriend's complete absence from his own children (and your trusting him being near your own kids), Seie, but I am drawing a blank. Can you help us understand? I'm not being nosy - instead, like Shonahsmom, I'm seeing a possible red flag here (especially since you just left an abusive man; sometimes abuse survivors fall in love with new abusers) and I'd like to help.
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