Co-Parenting: Dating with Kids

One of the hardest things to do is date when you’re a parent. Whether the other parent is active or not, I think we can all agree that it is hard dating when you’re a parent. Whether it is coordinating schedules, your child gets sick or you are exhausted, we all have things that get in the way.

When I started dating one of the things that I made a point to say to prospective men was that I was a mom first. That meant that you needed to be flexible with me when it comes to my son. I remember that I had met a guy and we had gone out a couple of times. He knew I was a mom. He was nice enough. Well, one Sunday he wanted to go out and I told him that I didn’t want too.

I explained that my ex-husband had sent me a text that Munch was not himself and not feeling well that day. My ex said that he would monitor Munch. I was asking for more information and he just responded “If he gets worse, I’ll take him to urgent care.” That statement stopped me. It meant that I wasn’t going to go out that night. The possibility that my son could be in urgent care was too much for me. My son had never been to an ER or Urgent Care without me.

This was the new me. A single mom and my son would always come first. Needless to say I sent a text back to the guy to say that my son was sick and I wanted to stick close to home in case he had to go to urgent care. The guy didn’t get it. He was disappointed and I never heard from him again.

Okay. His loss. Munch did end up going to Urgent Care and was later diagnosed as having shigella, but that didn’t matter. That man had broken a cardinal rule…being upset that I told you no over choosing to be a mom. I wasn’t hurt. I stood my ground. I was a mother first.

Dating is hard as hell whether you have a child or not. How are you expected to cater to your man and to your child too when you just meet someone? How are you expected to balance it all? The truth…carefully.

You have to meet someone who understands and values your commitment to your children first. I would never be upset if someone’s child was sick or they needed to be a parent first. Remember that I told you that I wanted someone to love me and my son as though we were flesh of their flesh. That was a requirement.

Mr. C is an incredible father who respects and loves the fact that I’m a mom first. He tells me all the time that I’m a great mother. Even when I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. He’s encouraging. I remember the first time I cried when I told him my fears about parenting. He soothed my spirit and calmed me down. He’s a parent.

We have two different parenting styles. He doesn’t believe in allowance (but secretly spoils his son) and I am going to start giving Munch an allowance. He believes that driving is a right of passage that a boy must undertake by his senior year in high school (I think it depends on their responsibility level). He’s strong and a provider and I’m a tough as nails educator who will dole out kisses and hugs and lots of encouragement and support.

Different. I think that’s why we work. He respects that I’m a mom first, a girlfriend second and knows that I will always trust his judgement. I am blessed to have met someone who gets that parenting is hard and it comes first. Someone that gets that I may have to reschedule plans or include Munch when things get in the way. He is flexible.

Find someone that encourages you to be a better parent. Who supports you in raising wonderful and good human beings. Who believes that there is nothing more valuable than creating and crafting the minds of the future leaders of America. Okay, well maybe that’s too much…but find someone that loves your kids as much as you.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of ViewΒ and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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42 thoughts on “Co-Parenting: Dating with Kids

  1. Great post! I once dated a guy who became jealous of my son. Needless to say, that relationship ended very quickly. Being a single-parent is stressful enough, then you add dating to the mix… well that just increases the level of stress. After my last nightmarish encounter, I’ve decided maybe it’s best to just wait until the kids are gone, then I’ll date. 11 years to go… but who’s counting. Lol πŸ˜†

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL. 11 years? Ugh! My son has accepted my man, but it was rough in the beginning, but I think it helps that we are both parents and he is understanding of my situation. He’s constantly telling me that I’m an amazing mother. I love that.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Don’t wait 11 years!!! I have an aunt who keeps telling me that she did the same thing and now she’s dead set in her ways and getting into her life routine is like getting into the Navy Seals. Lol. Maybe dip you toe in from time to time. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol… I almost choked laughing at your comment. Lol!!! I think sadly, I might already be headed in that direction of being set in my ways. Although, I might entertain the long distance relationship thing. I don’t know. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve dated a little bit since my divorce but the kids only met one of them and since he was my friend before, it didn’t strike them as odd to see us hanging out together. Other guys have to be showing solid potential for quite a while before I would ever make introductions. So far, it’s been crickets…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This article hit the nail right on the head.

    I understand the struggles of co parenting, and dating as a single mom. Those days are far behind me because like you, I met an awesome man who is a great father to my son. We got married! We even had another baby and both of the children are his boys.

    Being a mother is the most noble job of them all. Only a mother understand the meaning of unconditional love.

    I’m so glad you found happiness in a man who values you as the woman and mother that you are! More importantly someone who will walk beside you and support you and your child.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Most guys I meet are immediately put off by the fact I’m a mom. It was always awkward for me trying to figure out how to get it into conversation right away, but now I waste no time. it helps with the sifting. Still, I do get nervous that someone will just pretend to like my kids but secretly resent them or something. There should be a class to help us look for signs. Thankfully my kids are a bit older and better at sensing bullshit. I don’t want anyone around who doesn’t make them feel loved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! He’s amazing and I’m excited that I get to share this journey with him. His son is 18 and a freshman in college so I won’t be a real step parent in the sense that I’m raising a child when we marry, but I will be assisting in that college tuition.

      Like

  4. Dating with children can be rough! This can be a difficult question. Regardless of the family situation, dating someone with a child(ren) comes with extra commitments. It’s only natural for different issues to arise before and after meeting the child(ren). Obviously, the situation is different if you have your own child(ren) or not. Either way, you almost have to consider their well-being from the very beginning, and here’s why:

    If you already have children of your own, you’ll want to consider how the other person’s child(ren) will affect yours, should they spend time together. The children could be different in every way, from personal habits, to behavior and manners. Believe it or not, these things can seriously affect the relationship with your partner. So, when you are going to date someone with a child(ren), do your homework first.

    Generally, I recommend that my members wait at least six months before meeting children. Now, this is much, much different if your children are grown. Waiting really does benefit everyone involved. At six months in, you can really assess the relationship and decide if you are ready for that much bigger commitment.

    If you do not already have children of your own, dating someone who does has its own set of rules and regulations. Overall, the same premise goes. BUT, make sure you’re ready for the obligations, understandings, commitments, rejections, drama, and all other negatives that can come with children. I am expressing this so strongly and negatively because you should be prepared for very tough times. This should not discourage you in any way. Like most aspects of this book, we are focusing on truth in order best prepare you for success once the opportunity to find the love you deserve presents itself. Simply be ready for the inherent struggle of raising kids, but know that all of the positive rewards children provide are real too!
    justaskmisty.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought I was weird for insisting – even to my ex-wife – that my children would always come first. I was told that my ex should be number one as we were a team, but that never sat well with me.

    Now that I’m single and starting to date again I certainly feel the same. Hopefully I’ll find someone who “gets it” – I’m sure they’re out there!

    Oh, and if you’re at all interested I’ve started tracking my own dating thoughts on my blog – diaryofadatingdad.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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