Helping someone mourn the loss of not being able to have a normal courtship with a single parent... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-18-2013, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
SoulJourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In a state of perpetual motion
Posts: 1,298
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

For those of you out there who are full time single parents without an ex nearby to split regular custody, how do you date? My DS is 8 years old and I homeschool him. I am a freelance artist so my job schedule is all over the place. My GF of seven months works a lot of hours at a corporate type setting. She is AMAZING and tries so hard to be a loving supportive GF but sometime selfish needs come to surface and she finds herself mourning the fact that we aren't able to "date" the way she is used to dating. I can't hop a plane at the last minute for a quick trip to the mountains, I can't go to several concerts a month with her, I don't want to use up the time DS spends the night with his friends to go out with a bunch of friends and not have one on one time AND try to find EXTRA childcare for actual date nights. I stay with him until he falls asleep at night and often fall asleep with him. He's a super sensitive little being and needs that reassurance.

 

So, tell me your story...how DO you do it??

SoulJourney is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-28-2013, 03:57 PM
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Well, I don't mourn the loss of anything. I love being a single parent and anyone I date, we go in knowing that I am a package deal. I know that isn't very helpful for your circumstance but I am hopeful that someone else will come along and add some advice.


Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is offline  
Old 12-29-2013, 02:27 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I find time for dating by swapping childcare with a friend, sleepovers, and the occasional sitter. Mostly we just hangout at my house after dd is asleep.

I think this sounds more like a compatibility issue than one that requires help with mourning a loss. I think compromise is important in a relationship and children can handle us having personal time to.date or pursue friendships, but it is also important to be willing to let a relationship go if your desires and expectations are drastically different from those of your date. I really doubt your Gf would talk about mourning the way she likes to.date if you were single and didn't like concerts and travel. Maybe you shouls encourage her to do what she would do with a childless partner who isn't compatible and reflect on whether the relationship is worth pursuing. It's not a bad thing to reevaluate a relationship and decide it isn't what you want, that is part of the point of dating.
One_Girl is offline  
Old 12-29-2013, 05:39 AM
 
mama41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Your GF needs to realize that you're a mom. This is normal courtship when you date a parent.
 

She's entirely free to go on trips and go to concerts. No one's stopping her. But if she can't acclimate to the idea that this is family life, and she's dating a family, then she's not ready for you. It's certainly not your job to "help her mourn" -- you've got more than enough to do.

 

My boyfriend is a mid-forties man-child who's run away from art hoping to find a more grownup life -- okay, if he says so. But he also understands and respects what a family is, and throughout he's looked at this in what I think is a terrific way: I'm in charge, but his involvement with me means behaving responsibly toward both my daughter's childhood and my job as a mother.  He doesn't lean on me to do things I can't do, or complain that I'm not single and free. Instead he looks for ways to support both of us without overstepping, and is patient while recognizing that I'll never stop being a mother.

 

Maybe your gf is looking at this as though you're both cool fun women and one of you happens to have a child in her house, which is entirely different from the kind of almost holy respect I've had from men who value a good mother very highly. I don't think I've ever had a guy pout because I have responsibilities here. Of course, two of the three were fathers and understood why it's important.

mama41 is offline  
Old 12-29-2013, 09:42 AM
 
sillysapling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 807
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I find time for dating by swapping childcare with a friend, sleepovers, and the occasional sitter. Mostly we just hangout at my house after dd is asleep.

I think this sounds more like a compatibility issue than one that requires help with mourning a loss. I think compromise is important in a relationship and children can handle us having personal time to.date or pursue friendships, but it is also important to be willing to let a relationship go if your desires and expectations are drastically different from those of your date. I really doubt your Gf would talk about mourning the way she likes to.date if you were single and didn't like concerts and travel. Maybe you shouls encourage her to do what she would do with a childless partner who isn't compatible and reflect on whether the relationship is worth pursuing. It's not a bad thing to reevaluate a relationship and decide it isn't what you want, that is part of the point of dating.


I agree with this. There are people who don't like travelling or concerts- I imagine she would just break it off, or realize that the person is worth not having those things, rather than talking about 'mourning' a "normal" courtship. She can still travel and go to concerts with friends- just because she can't go with you doesn't mean she has to miss out on what she likes to do. It's not your job to help her mourn. It feels a bit concerning if she's asking you to or if she makes such a huge deal out of what you can't do rather than loving you for what you can and do do.

 

Is part of it that this is also how you used to like to date, and you're also mourning not being able to date the way you used to? It's okay if that is the case- it doesn't mean you don't love your child or that you wish he wasn't around. We need to allow ourselves to mourn whenever one part of our life ends, even if the next part is a happy one. When we get married- we need to let ourselves mourn being unattached. When we graduate, we need to let ourselves mourn being a student even if we're eager to get on with our lives. When we have kids, we need to let ourselves mourn what we aren't able to do now- even if we love and want our children.


sillysapling is offline  
Old 12-29-2013, 02:43 PM
 
mama41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 982
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post
 

 

Is part of it that this is also how you used to like to date, and you're also mourning not being able to date the way you used to? It's okay if that is the case- it doesn't mean you don't love your child or that you wish he wasn't around. We need to allow ourselves to mourn whenever one part of our life ends, even if the next part is a happy one. When we get married- we need to let ourselves mourn being unattached. When we graduate, we need to let ourselves mourn being a student even if we're eager to get on with our lives. When we have kids, we need to let ourselves mourn what we aren't able to do now- even if we love and want our children.

 

This. Also, if you're feeling apologetic about what it takes for you to be a good mother, or are afraid it makes you undesirable -- please don't. You've got nothing to apologize for or be afraid of.

mama41 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off