Why A Woman With Child Doesn’t Scare Me
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.