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Why A Woman With Child Doesn’t Scare Me

September 20th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

This will happen to the best of us.

We will meet someone and be swept off our feet by them. The chemistry will be there, the attraction will be there, and everything about the chance encounter will feel right. You will ask for her number, or for some type of contact information so you can stay in touch. She will oblige.

Days later, you will use this contact information to ask her out on a date. She will say yes, but before she does, she has something to tell you. She has a child. She wants you to know that now, before she even says yes to the date. This is not to say her child is an issue or has anything to do with whether or not she accepts your invitation for a date, but before date one even begins, and just in case you two have a fantastic time, she wants you to know she’s single, yes, but she’s also a mother.  And now it’s your move.

The move I made was to go out on the date anyway. I was only 20 years old, young and care free enough to not making her having a child be an issue. Her being a mother wasn’t an issue. She was a single mother, but very stable. Her child wasn’t a baby, so years before we met, she made and handled all the adjustments a parent has to make to raising their child on their own.

So we went out on our date. And it was indeed fantastic. Days later we went out on another date. And another date. And another date. All the while, I never rushed or pushed to meet her daughter. I didn’t avoid it either, or refuse to broach the subject. I can honestly say, it never even came up. Not for a while. The only time she brought up the goings on of her daughter was when she was recapping her day, and every once in a while, if we were talking on the phone, I would hear her in the background.

Eventually, after a lot of discussions, I met her daughter. I’d like to say we did it the right way, but I would be lying, which is not to say we did it the wrong way. We just, well, we did it the awkward way.

About four weeks into seeing each other, this woman and I were getting serious with one another and started playing with fire. Whereas in the beginning we only saw each other when her daughter was visiting her father or grandparents, I started coming over after she put her daughter to bed. Late night visits were fine, but they started becoming overnight visits, where we would sleep on the couch and I would leave before her daughter woke up. We took these risks because when two people are in the throes of a promising new relationship, they do some uncomfortable things for just a taste of comfort with one another, like, sleep on a couch all night together in the clothes we wore all day.

So this is what we did for a couple of weeks, until, the early morning I won’t ever forget.

In my lifetime of doing things I perhaps shouldn’t be doing, I have been caught red handed a couple of times. All of those moments were uncomfortable, but none of them compared to being caught sleeping uncomfortably on the couch with this little girl’s mother in the clothes we wore all day. I heard her small voice say, “Mommy” and it startled me. Not in the, “What is that?” sense, because I knew exactly what it was. I knew where I was and who I was with, what time of day it was and who was asking for her mother. The mother woke up just as quickly, hopped off the couch, and rushed her child upstairs.I sat on the couch, thinking heavily, while waiting for my lady friend to come downstairs. After about 15 minutes, she appeared looking nervous, so I self-medicated myself to get the nervous off my face.

“Well, I’m sure that wasn’t part of the plan,” I said.

“No it wasn’t,” she said.

We looked at each other with apologies on our faces, kissed, and then said goodbye.

Later that day, the two of us talked on the phone but not so much about what happened that morning. We talked about what to do next. I told her I was serious about her and so I would be serious about meeting her daughter. Again, I wsa 20-years-old, so the newness of this situation didn’t phase. My lady friend was 28 at the time, so she had been through this maybe once or twice, I don’t know. I never asked. But I could tell she was hesitant and rightfully so. I reassured I wasn’t asking to be a part of her daughter’s life so much as I was asking to be introduced to her daughter. Just an introduction. I knew it would open a can of worms later, but I was only worried about the now of it all. She said she had to think about it, and she took the day to do so.

The next day she called me with dinner plans at her place, and said her daughter would be there. All that care-free attitude I had before about the situation the minute she extended the invitation. I thought I was way in over my head. I have always been awkward around children. I just never felt like I had that thing the people who are good with kids have and I didn’t see this being any different. But I really liked this woman a lot, and I wanted to be with her, so I knew this was a part of the process.

Of all the dinners I have ever went on, I was never more nervous than this one. Still none have compared. I remember giving myself a headache over what to wear and what I would say and how I would present myself. The child was six at the time, but I was acting like she was the most important six year old in the world.

When I arrived, I was greeted at the door by my girl, and then properly introduced to her little girl. IT went smoothly enough, as did dinner. So smoothly in fact, there really isn’t much to recap here. I can just move on to the next part of this story, which was my ex and I ended up staying together for a year and a half.

The relationship was great as was the relationship with her daughter. I never felt like a step-father to the girl, but I was always very aware of the responsibility I had to both of them whenever we stepped out of the house together. I knew if anything bad happened at any given moment, and I was with them, the order of people to be removed from the danger would be woman and child first, then me. That’s how I was raised, and even though I wasn’t raising this little girl, there was a part of me that cared very much what she thought of me. I didn’t know how long her mother and I would be together, but I knew of the time we spent, the three of us, I had an opportunity to show the both of them what a good man looked like.

When the mother and I finally ended things, it wasn’t dramatic, it just had to end for reasons I can’t really recall right now. I do know to this day the mother and I remain friends, albeit distantly. She was a major part of my life and I know I was a major part of hers, though I don’t know if I was a major part of her daughter’s. But when the mother and I talk, I still ask about her, and the mother says she’s doing fine. Occasionally I tell the mother to tell her daughter I said hello and I hear her daughter in the background say hello back.

If there is such a thing as happy endings, I would like to believe this story was one of them. Far too often, those of us who don’t have kids discredit the person who does have kids. We think they’re not right for us, but maybe, we’re not right for them. When I think about the relationship I had with a woman who is a mother, that’s where I made my mistake. I was in over my head at an age where I shouldn’t have been, and coincidentally, it’s the same mistake I made with a lot of women I dated when I was younger. So what’s really the difference between a woman with kids and a woman without kids? I’m sure there is one, but I never saw it. All I saw back then was a woman I liked and doing whatever I needed to do in order to be with her. And if I could do it over again, I most definitely would.

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  • tamia w

    I like this post … My Boyfriend has a son.. and I never thought twice about it. I actually looked at it as a plus, because to me is showed that he was responsible as well loving. He loves his son more than anything in the world.. and that made me love him even more. We have been together for 7 years now and I love his son like he was my own… A lot of people out there cannot handle being with someone who has a child but to me its no big deal … I fell in love with a man who had a child, who was man enough to take care of his responsibilities and do what he needed to do for his child and all I can do is respect that !

  • Stephanie

    A MAN with a child scares me. In a word…guilt.

    Men just don’t know how to handle those situations as well as women. Your girl seemed to be able to create a positive experience and that is to her credit. My experience has been that men can’t seem to figure out a way to do both well and invariably end up sacrificing his relationship with you over the child (which of course is the only way it can/should go). Oftentimes they’re still in a relationship with the ex that involves negotiating on every point involving their child and decisions that affect you (the third party) get made without any of your input. It is a rare man that can handle this situation with skill.

    No thank you. I’d rather be alone than choose that.

  • BoomShots

    I have dated women with children, a few times. They are not necessary my first preference but there is no prohibition on prospective dating/relationship with a single mother. I do however pay close attention to how that lady relates to her child because I have to be comfortable with that situation too.
    I always putting off meeting the children though, until I am sure I am serious about the mother. Don’t ever want to there to be any confusion on that kid’s part. Dating parents require much more diligence in my book.

  • MadScientist7

    when i was 23 i dated a woman with a 7 year old son. honestly at the time i thought i could handle the fact that she had a son but i realized that i couldn’t. that was the last time that i did. don’t see myself doing anytime soon either. at this point in my life i don’t date for fun, i date with a purpose. honestly i don’t want a ready made family. i want to start my own. *shrug*

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  • Nadia

    I love, love, love, you! Did I mention I love you? Lol..I wish more guys thought like you. It’s tough dating and being a single parent. I am so proud that you chose this topic to talk about..Thanks for being so open-minded…

  • Michelle

    “Far too often, those of us who don’t have kids discredit the person who does have kids. We think they’re not right for us, but maybe, we’re not right for them.”

    Thank you for shining some light on this topic of relationships. Like Nadia said, it is tough dating and being a single parent. I’m in the same boat. I commend you for being such a young adult at the time and knowing the responsibility and consequences, if any, to this type of situation. It goes to show that you are very mature. I think a lot of men avoid women with children because they simply just can’t handle it. It’s never a good thing to know that you could’ve had a chance with someone due to the fact that I have a child, but in the end the parent with their rightful mind would choose their child over anything, I WOULD! It’s just very unfortunate that this could be a factor in whether or not continuing a relatioship. Still waiting for the right person to understand my situation and appreciate me for me. Thanks again!

  • AlesiaMichelle

    I will never date a guy with kids, at this point in
    Life I’m young enough not to. Maybe if I’m in my 30s
    I’d reconsider.
    I have half siblings and I’d honestly prefer to not do that
    To my children… Idk this is a sticky subject… This is where I
    Conclude my post eeek!

  • heaven

    When you’re over the age of about….. 27 or so, you will find that many single people have children. Blended families are far more common now than before… “ready made” families can work… if you allow them to… if the stigma and the drama is X’ed out of the equation…. dating/getting to know someone and moving forward in a relationship with a child/children involved can work…. I think that some folks forget who the children and who the adults are in relationship….

  • Sinnamon

    Very nice post. That’s all I have to say. I likey!!!

  • Daree

    Awesome post! It’s great to know that a young man without kids dated someone with a child and had no drama. Too often, the men I date have kids (which is fine) but the kids’ mothers are full of drama (not cool). I have also talked to some of these men with kids now, and they say that before they had kids, they would NOT consider dating a woman with kids. Great story.

  • Danni

    I’ve never dated a man with children, so I can’t really add my two cents. I’m not at all opposed to it, though. Anyway, one of the things I’ve admired most about Jozen during my time reading this blog is how open-minded he always seems to be, and this post just adds to that thinking.

  • Nellz

    As a twenty year old woman who just got out of a relationship with a guy who had a son, I totally understand exactly what you’re talking about. I wasn’t ready for that relationship and in the end I was moving to another country and I felt like I was doing the right thing in pushing him to salvage his relationship with his son’s mother. I’d known I was probably moving and that our relationship was either going to end or become long distance very soon so I never really wanted to meet his son. He and I unfortunately don’t talk that much now, but that’s partly because I’m in a different country and neither of us really wants to rack up the long distance bill for someone we’re not even seeing anymore.

  • Ronnie6676

    Probably one of the best pieces that I have read on your site in quite a while. Well written and a nice point of view on the topic.

  • Toi

    Love this post! The voice of this post is so clear and profound…if you want to be around and experience someone…their situation will never matter…

  • Coco

    It is a matter of choice and the person. Some people prefer not to date people with children because of the aforementioned drama. Most women say they have no choice because most men have children. I always say, then you are not meeting the right kind of man, every man over 25 does not have children. What I have advised is not to date a man that has more than one child or rather has more than one baby mama. That shows something about his character. You have to look for the initial signs and a man that goes around making babies w/o benefit of marriage is not the kind of man I would want to be involved with. And I understand men who don’t want to deal with women with kids; there can also be drama. I know a guy married a woman with a child. They then had a child together, then the father of her child came back in the picture (he had been in jail- need I say anymore) and created drama by insuating there was a difference being made between his child and the newborn. Just a whole lot of nig*& sh*$. The mother was in the middle trying to maintain her relationship and wanting her child to have his father in his life but it got to be too much drama until they got into and husband said, I’m outta here.
    All in all something of this importance should not be entered into lightly; is is a very serious issue.

  • v4c

    Loved this. Single mothers need to have a grip on their home life prior to bringing a “new man” into the situation…or he will run. When a single mother has this and clearly communicates her routine and what she’ll potentially expect from the “new man” concerning her children, it makes it easy for him to decide whether or not he can see himself in her life.

    I’m a single Mom but you wouldn’t know it. My children’s father has his Daddy thing on lock. We have joint custody…he gets a week with them, I get a week with them, and the cycle continues. This makes it easy for me to date and have a social life outside of my children. I tell guys from the jump…I’m not looking for a father for my children. They have one…a good one…and he wouldn’t appreciate someone else attempting to fill his shoes. I’m looking for a partner for me who, as a part of our partnership, will back me up in whatever I decide for my children. This partner will need to care about them, respect them, and support me in what I do for them. He will NOT need to parent them. That’s my job. But, my boys will be taught to respect him from the beginning and, if we marry, they will have to respect his authority in our home.

    And with that mindset, I haven’t had a problem dating yet!

  • Nadia

    Well, v4c I do agree with you about having the parenting on lock, but everybody isn’t as fortunate to have a understanding relationship like you have with your kids father…

  • Shana

    “Far too often, those of us who don’t have kids discredit the person who does have kids. We think they’re not right for us, but maybe, we’re not right for them.”

    This statement is all so true!! As a single parent, one must choose who is right for them rather than feeling as though they’re at a disadvantage because of their situation. As a single mother, I am very particular about who I date, because 1) I’m at the age where I’m not just looking for a good time, but a life time with someone and 2) I want the best for my child so I will need to find the best man to be in our life. Jozen – I commend you for your maturity and your enthusiasm on this topic. Thanks for shedding some light…

  • v4c


    No, they aren’t. However, an absent father does not make it okay for single mother’s have to have home lives that are disorderly and disruptive. We’d still need routines, structure, and “me” time. If a man sees that, he won’t feel like he’s coming into a chaotic situation.

    T’is all I’m saying. I’m not saying everyone needs to have my particular parenting plan at all. I wish all baby daddy’s had my children’s father’s mindset as it relates to playing an equal role in their lives. #wishin

  • citygirl22

    @ Jozen I think it’s rare for a 20 year old to immerse himself in such a situtation, particularly with a woman who is significantly older than he. I’m guessing that you learned and became comfortable with what it means to “be a man” earlier than many of your peers, perhaps due, in part, to your parents’ split and your close relationship with your mother and sister. Kudos for not letting the fact that she was a parent get in the way of what turned out to be a great relationship.

    Years ago, I dated someone who had a child. He did not have primary custody, but I eventually met his son and spent a great deal of time with him. I also had a cordial relationship with his son’s mother. He and I remained together for 6 years, and although I never felt like his child was mine, I did grow to really love his son and felt a responsibility to be a positive presence when he was around.

    Recently, I saw father and son at an event I attended. Without missing a beat, his son hugged and kissed me, and then beamed as he told me he was about to leave for college. Tears welled up in my eyes… it was truly a joyful moment that I’ll never forget. When you care about someone, you simply embrace every part of who they are, including their child(ren).

  • Angela Panama

    When I was younger I only dated men without kids cause I didnt want to deal with “baby mama drama” (my brother had it bad with his sons mother) lol well Im older, the men I date are older & their “baby mama’s” are older” so no drama. I now have a child & dont care for anymore kids so I only date men with kids LOL