Hey, new member here. I just wanted to post up about the guy's perspective a bit.
Now, I'm 25 and my gf is 32 with 2 kiddos. 9 and 7. I'm gonna be honest here, I NEVER, and I mean NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS thought I'd be dating a single mom at this stage of my life. Not because I look down on them or anything like that. It's just that it's very overwhelming. ESPECIALLY if you don't have your own kids to bring to the relationship.
We started out as friends. I figured I wanted to have some female friends in my life so that when I started dating people, I'd have some good perspectives from "the other side" to tell me if I'm out of line or not. Well, we wound up falling in love despite my initial hesitations. She's a VERY strong woman (it seems most good single moms are) and she is all about me and making this work. I've never had a woman treat me so well, and be so caring and affectionate and supportive of me.
But it is overwhelming. There are unique challenges that dating a single mom brings to the table. The father is still around, and I think it's hard for any man to come to terms with the fact that his beloved had been intimate with anyone else before. I, for one, just try to ignore it. But that is hard to do when he's still in the kids' lives and you have to see the guy a few times a week.
It's also hard to get used to kids so soon. Even mother nature gives people 9 months to get ready for it all. With dating a single mom, BOOM. There are the kids. And if you start staying over there regularly, it's hard not to start feeling like a husband/father-figure because, well, that's the life that a husband and father lives... waking up to kids bouncing on the bed and getting them ready for school, the whole nine yards. It's shell shock. It's an instant family. Most guys take things in steps... dating, relationship, marriage, a few years and then one kid, two... Instead, what you're dealing with is essentially jumping forward several steps in the "natural" progression of things.
And different ages bring different challenges. Youngsters need to learn the basics of life, like pee-pee-in-the-potty. A few years go by and they're in school and doing homework. Before you know it you're having "the talk" with them about sex. And teenagers are trying to get to know themselves, and generally resist adult authority as a result of that.
It's hard and its overwhelming. In my own relationship, I actually broke up with her for a few months because of it all. But she killed me with love and dedication. I'm not the first guy she's dated as a single mom, but she's making me actually believe that I am the best and the person for her. So I'm giving it another shot, and I've actually started to become open to the idea that this REALLY IS what my life is going to be like. We work great together and she's a wonderful woman, and I can still have my freedom, my life isn't "over" just because there are kids. A huge change for me that I'd been greatly resistant to before this. I'm not all the way there, yet. But I'm making strides, and she's there to help me along when it's becoming difficult.
So my advice to you single mamas out there is this: I know things are difficult on your end, but you have to understand what it's like on the guy's end too. ESPECIALLY if they don't have their own kids. It is overwhelming and there is no "lead up". It really is an "instant family". And some guys can handle it, others can't, but especially in the beginning try to be supportive of your man. Try to allay his fears. You can't expect him to take on the role of a father from the get-go. Some men can, most can't. Just work with them and encourage communication. And while you're all strong women for doing what you do and probably have some resentment left over for the past jerks... don't lose your ability to be sweet and affectionate and loving. If you find a great guy who is freaked out by the kids, be patient with him, SHOW him that they aren't as scary as we think they are. He'll probably come around eventually, but he'll need you there for him so he can get to that spot.