Shes got a kid

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by wicker_ne, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    How to Date a woman with a 6yr old daughter - Go:
     
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  2. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    1. Enjoy activities geared around kids;
    2. Have patience and understanding;
    3. Respect she's a mother and that her kid comes first;
    4. Love her because she's a mother, not in spite of it;
    5. Remember that she still likes adult time too;
    6. Remember that being a mother is only one aspect of who she is;
    7. Accept that things do not always go according to plan;
    8. Have a sense of humor and take things in stride;
    9. Love her and yourself enough to know whether you want to be involved with someone who has a child BEFORE getting into the relationship.
    10. Recognize that if you do date her, you're getting 2 for the price of one. Your impact in their lives is probably greater than you realize.
     
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  3. Eloise

    Eloise Well-Known Member

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    Number 3 above is a big one. She will not only put her kids first, but if you get really involved, like close enough to talk moving in together, you'll never be able to tell her kids what to do. They aren't your kids. They won't mind you. She won't like you telling them to behave. There will be fights. And, that's only if you actually move in together. She may not want you to because of the kids. She might not want her kids knowing she's dating a woman.

    Let's us know how it goes. Me, I'd never date a woman who even had adult kids.
     
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  4. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    Thanks ladies. Her and i have been eyeing eachother for a while, we're in the same circle, ive only met her kid a handful of times at friends events/what not. Never thought id date someone with a child. We've got together a few times now, im interested in pursuing, but im not exactly sure what im getting myself into.

    She had the kid at 21 didn't stick around the dad- although hes very active in his kids life from what i hear. Still trying to wrap my head around the idea of getting involved - and whether or not i can drop my egotism to come second best
     
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  5. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wicker, I think it is wonderful you are mindful of the kid. I agree with all the advice above. I want to add that you might not want to take on this super sensitive all about the kid responsible adult thing too quickly. She picks you because she likes you and spending time with you is fun and you giving her lovin' and attention is probably what she really needs right now. It is the beginning, if you can't have fun now then when can you? Her love for her kid is different, very different and on another plane with what she needs with you. Her kid is her piority just like making a living, eating and breathing. If you get really involved you are not second fiddle to it you are weaving into her life as she is weaving into yours.

    Don't change yourself too much about the kid. And please do look at her like a woman and not just a mom. She got to be a mom too early and way long with a ways to go. But kids will leave one day and they are sometimes the most fascinating people you will ever meet but you won't know it till they are all independent. I hope if you really like her, you will enjoy this journey with her.
     
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  6. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    Thank you Greylin. I am confident I can learn to blend into a different type of lifestyle than what im use to.. Infact, opening myself up to her world might be a breath of fresh air.

    She is a young beautiful woman, and a go getter. She returned to school, finished her degree (plus 2 years specializing), works very hard and cares for her friends and family very deeply. She's only 28.

    I think i needed to hear that im not going to be "playing house" with her. I am not ready to be a mother. I think i still need that distinction between her as a woman and her as a mom. I just need to respect and cherish both.

    She's going to pour her heart and soul into our relationship. I want to be sure i'm ready to do the same before becoming a potential prominent figure in her and her childs life.
     
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  7. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    Update- if anyone is reading- I formally met her daughter last night, on a "date" to the farmers market, then out for smoothies.. Pretty kid friendly. It was awkward at first, and I thought it would subside, but it didn't really?

    It was an odd mix of her having separate conversations. The kid is 6 and shy, so interacting was difficult. She was in "mom mode", which was (rightfully so) completely different than anytime we've spent together prior.

    Anyway, I came home feeling weird about the evening. She called later and said thanks for spending time with them, and that the kid had fun. So thats a positive?
     
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  8. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Remember that getting to know kids is as complicated and delicate as making friends with any other person. Some kids instantly warm up to new people and are used to taking the initiative; others hang back, and need to feel totally safe to be themselves. Just like adults, kids have different needs in new situations but are less able to manage those needs for themselves.

    I would not be discouraged by the awkwardness, and if you want to pursue a relationship with the mom I'd go on another date. Maybe something chill like a picnic, or a movie (Pixar movies make great family dates!). Ask the child about favorite books or play a game with them; build something or experiment in the kitchen a little. Talking is hard for a lot of kids, but doing isn't! Be a little silly, and think about what seems fun to YOU because probably it'll be fun for them too.
     
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  9. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Once I met a kid under a much more relaxed circumstance. I was blowing through town far from home and was in the living room of a friend of a friend. The adults had something to discuss so I made myself comfortable when the friendofriend's kid, about a 5 or 6 year old girl came to the living room and didn't quite know how to approach me. I ended up spending the next couple of hours just having a lot more fun than I would ever expect. We read everything in sight including every coin and its origin that was on me. At one point my phone buzzed, it was a text I was waiting for and I started looking at it and she almost immediately started looking low and backing up like she was giving me space. I quickly put the phone away and resumed engaging the kid. Everything is visible and huge and interesting when you look through the eyes of a child, and all you ever need to engage a kid is sometimes everything in front of you. That was years ago and I haven't been able to travel there again, and even if I do now, she will no longer be five or six and I somehow feel the loss. I know you met your little girl under a lot of expectations, but children can open up if you show them interest. I was a shy child and I would know when an adult showed interest and then no one could shut me up around that adult ever again!

    I am writing all this in case you are interested in the mom and doing more family time with her. Good luck to you, and, once again, I want to say that you are a good person to be so mindful of this person you are dating and her child.
     
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  10. sallyseton

    sallyseton Member

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    I'm a young mom, myself. Had my daughter when I was 17 and basically have no idea what it would be like to date without a kid in the mix.

    My advice in addition to everything said above and in addition to continuing to be conscientious like you are about this: Don't hesitate to talk to this woman about being a mom. If things keep feeling awkward with the kid, for example, make a joke about it to her some time when the kid is away. "Am I doing this okay? Does she not like me?" Moms know their kids very well and you shouldn't feel like you have to kill yourself trying to make a good impression without any support or insight to the kid. Talk about it directly. "How is this for her? Is she doing okay with our dating? Is there anything I could do to make this better?" Anyone mature and aware enough to have that conversation with me would earn so many brownie points right away. If things get more serious, ask her things like, "What kind of relationship do you envision us having? Do you want me to be a friend to her?" Just don't ever feel like it's on you to become a parent overnight. Lean on the mom for direction.

    Along these same lines, ask the woman you're dating about how she'd like to spend time with you. Is one date with the kid for every one date you have without her a good balance? Is she looking for more chances to get away for adult time? Is it hard for her to get a sitter and is she looking for more chances to hang out with all three of you together?

    And this is a big one: If at any time you think, "Hey, this is not for me!" PLEASE PLEASE tell the woman you're dating that as soon as you can. The time of a single mother is precious. Don't waste it. Nobody wants to be dated out of sympathy or because you're too afraid to end it or because you're just looking to get laid. If you don't see it going somewhere, end it right away. It's the most generous thing you can do. Trust me.
     
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  11. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    Lorienczhiu - Thanks for your reply. I went out after work today and purchased a "bracelet beading kit" .. I felt like a goof at the cash.. but if I do manage another date with the two of them, I figured it's a nice icebreaker for me and the kid? I stormed up a few ideas out of your suggestions, Much appreciated.

    Greylin - Thanks for your story and kind words. Its reassuring to hear other stories - I don't have much experience with kids..yet. I plan on continuing seeing her, she is really a remarkable woman. I really didn't/still don't know what is expected for family time, or what my boundary's are. The fact that she planned a neutral outing to introduced her daughter into our "blossoming relationship" seems like it might have been big step on her part?

    Sallyseton - Thank you. Communication is a definite - I think when/if I established more of a presence in their lives, I'll feel more comfortable discussing my role. My preference is obviously to spend more one on one time with her, but i realize it cant be all giggles and kisses 24/7 with a kid around. She is very good at connecting with me when she's free for "adult" time - It was a nice feeling to be included in family time too, however awkward it was. Tell me though, as you are a mother yourself - Did you find it difficult to introduce new/potential partners into your childs life?
     
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  12. sallyseton

    sallyseton Member

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    wicker_ne, I think you should absolutely take it as a great sign that you were invited for that outing at the farmer's market. That's a huge deal. It also indicates she maybe wanted to test the waters because she's getting a little invested in this, and she wanted to make sure you wouldn't be an absolute disaster with the kid before she took things to a new level. It sounds like you passed the test! :) And of course you prefer to spend time just with her, and you recognize that it unfortunately can't be like that all the time. My advice was really just that you talk openly about it instead of trying to guess what she needs and wants. It's very very likely she too wants to spend just time with you, so it might be helpful to you to know that and to know what kinds of limits there are going to be.

    As for whether it's difficult introducing new people into my daughter's life, you've actually caught me at an odd moment. I introduced her to one woman I was dating when she was about 3 years old, and that was a big decision, which totally paid off. They bonded pretty quickly (which is definitely easier with a 3 year old than a 6 year old), and because she was so young, my gf really became like a 3rd parent. We worked seamlessly for 8 happy years. Unfortunately we just separated earlier this year. I've only just begun dipping my toe in the dating pool and am very nervous about it. Honestly I feel overwhelmed just by flirting with women and asking them out, let alone thinking about introducing them to my child who is now a full-fledged person with opinions and personality and curiosity and so much pre-teen drama that the days with full-on emotional meltdowns seem to outnumber the ones without them. I'm gonna take this one day at a time and see what happens. I'll let you know if I get any more insights along the way!
     
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  13. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome! And yeah, you feel like a goof, but you know what actually matters? That you are able to build a relationship with a tiny person who is the world to a big person who you care about. What the cashier thinks matters a whole lot less than that.

    I have friends with young kids, and I work with kids, and the biggest barrier to hanging out with children is our own sense of adultness. I would focus on just being a friend to the child: let their interests and meandering thoughts guide you. And building phrases like, "That would be fun! Can you ask your mom if that's okay?" into your vocabulary. It lets both mom and kid know that while you're super fun, you're not trying to be an authority figure or the one who lets her get away with stuff because you're NOT mom.
     
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  14. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Goodness, everything you just said was spot on. Especially the vocabulary part. I have seen adults who are "too much fun" and say or do inappropriate stuff around kids. While I don't think that is Wicker_Ne, saying things like asking your mom are teachable moments where the kid's authority, safety and security lies. Quite brilliant, actually. On the few times I babysat, I asked parents directly via texting or what not and there are times I would have the child talk to the parents when they are calling and checking in.
     
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  15. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    Thanks for this. I want to be involved but don't want to cross the line.
     
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  16. wicker_ne

    wicker_ne Member

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    Thanks you guys for your input on my now blossoming relationship. Im trying not to be so intense about it, and being more thoughtful about what their needs are.

    It's all still pretty damn new, so not many things can develop over a week, but i got to spend another evening with the two which went well. I now possess a "friendship" bracelet from the kid, and she proudly sports the one I made her. So that was a successful endeavour, which also won me (without going into detail) some adult time.

    With Canadian Thanksgiving quickly approaching, she suggested I consider joining them for the big day. I didn't give a concrete answer, and (1) partially because they've celebrated holidays with the kids father since she was born (in an attempt to restore normalcy, i guess) - and I don't know where I should stand amongst that. And (2) partially because it seems sudden and i'm only just easing into this.

    Again, your thoughts are valued and welcomed
     
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  17. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    I would say if she is asking you then take it at face value it is ok. If you are uncomfortable then it is easy to take this time to visit your own family instead. It is fine I think to ask her if you need to anticipate anything since it maybe the first time you will meet her ex.
     
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  18. jellohead

    jellohead Well-Known Member

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    Oh my God you guys! I can't believe no one mentioned the secret weapon for kids! PIZZA! Ply that child with several pieces and you will have a friend for life plus several points from the mom to cash in at a later time ;-)
     
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  19. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Pizzas are great and making them together is fun too! There are lots of markets (cough trader cough joes) with premade pizza doughs, sauce and bag of cheese and you are in business! Like Lorienczhiu said earlier, ask the mom first.
     
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  20. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Whether you go to Thanksgiving is up to you; when people offer things, it's not your job to second-guess their motives and intentions, so let's just assume she wants you to come and thinks it's a good idea. If you feel uncomfortable and nervous, you don't have to jump in too deep; on the other hand, family meals are usually lots of food prep (which is a group activity and can be super fun, and also a good way for you to demonstrate your chillness and your usefullness in the kitchen), tasty dishes, and board games on the floor/movie watching afterwards. The first holiday I spent with my wife's extended family, I decorated cookies and did dishes and drank wine with Uncle Bill; no biggie.

    I think it is also a bit of a risk on her part to invite you to the meal, especially given the family nature of it; if you're nervous but interested, I would recommend biting the bullet and going, letting her know that you see her out on a limb and you're joining her there. (If you want to, which it seems like you do).

    Just like the child is a person you're getting to know, not your kid, the child's father is a person you're getting to know, too. If they have co-parented since they split, he's an important person in both of their lives, and it's probably important to her that he be comfortable with her partners and their role in his child's life. That being said, though, I think approaching the situation the same way you have been - that you can hang out with the child as a caring adult and friend, but are not trying to be mom and respect her parenting decisions - is the best course. Just adjust a little to acknowledge that she does have two parents, and step back if any conflict or tension arises.
     
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