Monday, October 12, 2009

Change happens

Today as I was catching up with my co-workers, I told them about my trip back to Louisiana to visit Gentleman Jack this past weekend.

Friday night, Jack and I spent a nice evening, just the two of us. On Saturday, he had both of his boys. Saturday evening was spent watching the LSU/Florida game with Jack, his boys and his mom.

I noticed my co-workers' look of shock as I told them this.

"What?! You've met his family already?!"

Already? Yes. We've been seeing each other for 5 months. I've actually met his ex-wife, her boyfriend, his mother and both of his children already.

Then I recalled my own fears from last week. I was nervous too about my girls spending more quality time with GJ. What if they fall in love with him?

My girls DO love my Gentleman. His mother thinks I hung the moon. His sons (and their daddy) were practically glued to my legs as I tried to leave yesterday. His ex gives me hugs and tells me that she trusts me to "be around (her) babies."

I can't predict the future but as with anything, I'm doing my best with what I know now.

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This seems to be a hot topic among the single parent blogosphere:

How soon do you introduce the kids to the person you're dating?

Some people says 3 months. Some say 6 months.

I find that funny because my daughters want to know what I'm doing and with whom I'm spending my time ANYTIME I'm not with them. Of course, I reserve the right to say, "Nunya" but... as I've said before, the children of single parents get exposed to things that other kids don't.

I am quite sure my daughters are more "up in my stuff" than other children are with their 2 parent families.

Why do we worry so much about introducing our children to someone that they may actually like? Are we worried that they might get attached?

Then it occurred to me: People come and go.

Isn't this a good lesson for them to learn?

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I had a nanny the first 6 months of Rose's life. She spent more quality time with her than I did. She still shows up now and again with little gifts.

Since then there have been numerous teachers that both Rose and Grace have grown attached to. Some of those teachers have moved on or found other jobs.

They have friends that they spend every day of the school year with... only to find that friend is moving away or going to another school the next year.

Sure they get sad about this. Change is sad. Period.

But it happens ALL THE TIME!

Why would we try to hide that from our children?

12 comments:

  1. I completely agree!

    Also, once I stopped giving a crap about how others judged me for living my life as a single parent - something they themselves knew nothing about - we ALL (me and my girls) could enjoy that moment in our lives more completely.

    Everyone comes into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime but they ALL have meaning - even if its just in learning to let go and deal with disappointment.

    Great post, T.

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  2. T- I have been lurking for quite a long time as I looked for stories as I am going through my own divorce.

    All I have to say about this post is.....word.

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  3. I am with you on this one T!

    My kids havent met many of the men I have dated simply because up until this year none really stayed around long enough!

    But like yours they want to know where I am going, what I am doing and I dont see any point in lying to them OR excluding them!

    Plane Boy hasnt spent extended periods with them yet but he has met them, they know who he is - it makes it easier for us all!

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  4. I totally agree. It's real life, and I personally don't thing there's anything wrong with "exposing" children to life.

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  5. As for when to introduce our kids to the person we're dating...well...that's up to each of us to decide individually, in my opinion. No two situations are alike, we each have to decide what's best for us.

    I think it's good for our kids to be exposed to many different kinds of life experiences. The more they live, the more they will know.

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  6. I am going to have to agree on this too. It is our responsibility to teach our children about LIFE. So that they can get through the goods, bads and uglys when they are grown. People coming and going is all a part of that.
    This poat actually helped me see that with my own situation.
    Again Thanks

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  7. This is an interesting subject. T you are correct, people do come and go in our life, that is part of life. I also agree that there are not time lines, be it 2 months, 6 months, whatever, the time would be based on the situation. I believe the concern is that even though people come and go from our life the dynamic of a romantic relationship does change things when children are involved. Children are subjective to the comings and goings of a single parents perspective partners and the fact that they may see the partner as a surrogate parent. I do believe we should be cautious as we introduce potential partners into our children's lifes.

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  8. Mark, you do have a good point.

    I personally think my kids simply enjoy the energy of another man in the house. They HAVE another parent in their very-involved father. But I can see where, perhaps, in another situation, a child would attach to a partner as a surrogate parent. That is something that the single parent needs to consider anyway:

    Are you dating to replace the absent parent? Or for a companion?

    Rascal and I are not trying to parent each others' children. At this point, I think our children are enjoying having another playmate and seeing their parent smile more!

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  9. 5 months would be fast in my world, but on the other hand, my world is very different than your world. I've only introduced close friends (I have no family except my kids) when something was really serious. In 8 years, that's been once. I waited about 9 months I think, though I introduced my kids at about 6 months.

    But you and Rascal seem to real share something very special. If that feels right to you - and having your kids' enthusiastic affection towards him - it's probably just right!

    I think the disappointment factor is there when kids are younger. When they're older (older teens, 15+), I think they just want to see Mom or Dad happy. My kids and friends would welcome seeing me with someone, but there are no timetables for those things.

    So enjoy! Go by your gut! Sounds like your young ones can feel how good you are together, so why not?

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  10. My kids have met 2 of my girlfriends over the years, both times after said woman and I had been dating two months. My kids loved both of them, but when we broke up, my kids circled the wagons with me. Yes, people come and go. That's why it's good to have family and friends who are always there.

    You're doing fine.

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  11. The only constant in our lives is change!

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  12. I think it all depends on each situation. I stopped introducing my daughter because my track record is bad. Most of my relationships have lasted at the most 6 months and I don't want her to get confused by parading men in and out of her life. It's all about how stable their little worlds are. And each little world is different.

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