Hi! I'm new here, but desperate for some really good, level headed advice, so anything is appreciated!
Ok, short amount of backstory: I have three children who are 10, 8 and 5. Their father & I have been seperated (now divorced) since last September, so about a year. I have done a little dating here and there, but the kids have been completely seperate from that, they don't know about it, aren't involved in it, etc.
In June, I met a man online (at eHarmony) and we talked on the phone/emails for two months. We then decided to meet, which we did a couple of weeks ago. We spent 3 days together (the kids were at their dad's house) since he is from out of town, it was basically 3 day long dates in a row. Anyway, we found that the amazing friendship we struck up over the phone only grew stronger in person. We have continued to talk and have plans to see each other the next time we both have a kid-free weekend. He is also divorced and has children.
My question is two part....First, the kids and I are taking a driving vacation over labor day that will take us through the town he (let's call him Bob) lives in. He has asked that we stop when we come through and we could spend the day taking a hike with our kids and then have pizza and the kids could swim at the hotel while we talk and play with them. Of course, the day would be centered around kid oriented activities and just playing around.
He is not pressuring me to do this, he says he understands that it is an important issue for me (he has been divorced for six years and his kids have been through this already) and that I need to decide if I would like him to meet my children, but he wants to meet them and would like me to meet his. I am not against it, I just don't know if it would be good parenting to do so? Should I do it...what should I say to my children if I do...am I going to screw my kids up if I do?
I have no experience in this as my mom (who divorced when I was 1 year old) was adamant that I never know that she was dating anyone, so she hid it from me my whole life. I felt betrayed when I grew up and found out....
I am very torn, any and all advice or suggestions would be soooo welcome to me
Well I can't relate completly because I've never been married. But I am a single parent, so I understand the anxiety of "how do you date without exposing your kids"! I haven't figured that one out yet either! But I don't think theres anything wrong with meeting Bob as a -friend-. Like you said, you felt betrayed by your mother for her secrets. Letting your kids meet each other will introduce him 1st as a friend. Then, if anything were to come of this, they would already know Bob and his kids and feel familiar with him. Not just some stranger they may feel intruded by. Let me ask you this, is their father dating anyone? Maybe the "ice" has already been broken? I hope this helps. I know it's hard to juggle parenting and dating, but us moms always seem to figure out a way! Best wishes!
Thanks for the input I think that is what I am going to do, just say we are stopping in his town as a halfway point and we are going to hang out with some friends I have there. And just not make it any different than I would if it was girl friend. They have seen his name come up on my caller ID and when they asked who Bob was, I told them he was a friend of mine, so I am trying to get them used to the idea before we go.
I don't *think* their dad has started dating yet, but I'm not sure...they are always hanging out with a large group of friends when they go to his house (bbqs, trips to the lake, etc) so I am sure there are women there, just haven't heard anything from that camp yet!
I think you are right though and I appreciate the input
I was going to suggest introducing him as a friend as well. Maybe he can invite his kids, if they are similar in age, and it wont be so weird.
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I say by all means let you kids meet him. If you felt betrayed my your mom, do you really want to do that to your children?
I would do the friend thing as well, and at least get them exposed to him. Then if the relationship continues to develop, they'll already know him as a friend, and having him become potential step-parent won't seem so... drastic. Or something to that effect. Just make sure to keep it very G-rated. (obviously) And watch your kids at all times around him (just in case).
online dating is not always good. best of luck to you. i would waight 4at least a year b4 i would let my kids meet a man im tryin to date. randoom meetin men isnt good for kids.