Over the weekend, my friend–let’s call him Jackson–sent me a text message to ask me what I was doing. I had turned down a dinner date earlier in the afternoon and wasn’t doing much of anything. Since I’m not into to texting an entire conversation, I picked up the telephone.
Jackson couldn’t understand why I didn’t go out when I didn’t have my daughter. I explained that I was relaxing, enjoying my time watching a television show that didn’t star Dora or Doc McStuffins. Jackson mentioned possibly hanging out with a woman who was his perfect marriage match, but who would never be his future fiancée. The deal breaker? She was a mom.
No matter how sexy, how smart or how fun, she would never receive a ring–at least not from Jackson. I respected his opinion. Heck, I held the same one when I was in my twenties, single with only one mouth to feed–my own! But I didn’t respect his approach. I told him he should not date a woman with kids if he would never marry her.
Obviously, there are numerous factors that determine selecting your spouse. And sometimes you have to fish a few ponds before reeling in a winner. Nonetheless, I thought Jackson should put away his pole if he didn’t want to catch a family. We then went back-and-forth.
Jackson: The hesitation for not wanting to marry a woman with children is the fear of the phrase,”You’re not my daddy!” Nothing will make me feel as powerless as a six-year-old telling me that. When you have children together, those things like that do not come out of their mouths. Besides, I will never be number one in the mom’s life. Kids come first.
Me: Whoever I marry will be my daughter’s stepfather, and she will be taught to respect him and listen to him as he would be a main caregiver. Although I won’t allow another man to spank her, I will allow him to discipline her in other ways with my input. We would teach the same to our own biological children. I wouldn’t marry a man who doesn’t love my daughter dearly. We’re a package deal! As far as ranking your loved ones, that doesn’t occur. I have a special bond with my daughter. She comes first, but that doesn’t mean my husband will get leftover love. My heart is big, and there’s room for lots of people. Just like a house, it has many doors and I have copies of the keys to hand out!
Jackson: A bigger factor for hesitating to date a woman with a child is the fact that you are setting yourself up to marry not only the mother of the child, but the father too. That man will be around forever. If the parents do not have a good relationship, you’re stuck with that problem forever! I dated a mom before whose baby’s dad and father would argue about who I was and if I was good enough to be around their child. He also told her that he missed her.
Me: There is no need for my daughter’s dad to interact with my future husband beyond cordial exchanges at birthday parties and school plays. Of course, I would love for the two men to get along, but if they don’t like one another, they don’t have to deal with each other. If the father is an uncooperative person, the mother should set boundaries. Communicate via email. Keep the conversations centered on the child. Agree to disagree. Remember, you cannot control what happens under the father’s roof–unless it is harmful of course–or what comes out of the father’s mouth. You are in charge of your own happiness. I’m not cheating with my ex just because we have a child together!
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