Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PYHO: Protecting the Kids

While I was being all "glass half empty" a few weeks back, I sort of mentioned that things were going swimmingly with Lawn Boy.  I've been going slow...well, trying to anyway; I think he'd like things to move along...

I've always joked that I just needed someone to show up at the door a few times a week after the kids went to bed and I kind of have that, *blushes* because when you are a single mom with full physical custody, you have your kids ALL.THE.TIME and hiring a babysitter gets expensive. I do make time to go out, but if he wants to see me more often than that, and he does, that is when I have time.

I do, however, have one conundrum... seeing each other in daylight hours... it's a lot harder to keep the kids out of it this time around, than it was with Cute Boy, who lived so far away.  Lawn Boy has his own children every other weekend and he likes for us to do things together and they all do get along well ~With five kids between the ages of 6 and 9, you know we look like crazy people.  Come on, you know you'd be trying to figure out that math!~ so it is nice. He's also wanting to come over on the weekends he doesn't have the kids and do things like mow the lawn, which I truly do need done.  It's hard to say no.

This means my kids see him a whole lot more than his kids see me.

I won't even pretend I'm not freaking.

I DO NOT want my kids getting attached. It was the one thing I got right last time ~okay, not the ONE thing, but its the most important thing~ and even still, my children will ask about Cute Boy every so often. I think, because the few times they did meet him, we had fun and it was a big adventure.

Lawn Boy respects my feelings, but I don't think he truly understands. I don't think a lot of people do, because I'm a little extreme about it. He thinks this is wonderful and he's all in and I think I've been down this road before, it's still early days and I'd like to give it some time to see if it sticks before I go playing family ~not that I'm not hoping it heads that way, not that it doesn't feel like it will~ I'd just like to exercise a little caution!

My kids do not remember having their dad and I live together. Other than relatives and really close family friends, they have never had a man come over and do "manly" things. What to many children would probably just be "things a guy does," to mine is a Very Big Deal ~ or at least it's not normal.

The kids' radar is up.  He has come to a few functions with us, although we never drive together and we always meet there.  I had him meet us with a  big group at the beach a few weekends ago.  We've gone to the pool with him and his kids and of course, I had them over for dinner last weekend.

As we got into the car after one such visit, The Girl said, "Mamma!  Lawn Boy is nice. We should take him more places with us, like when we went to the beach!"

I'm scared.  I do not want my kids to get hurt and I'm struggling to find a balance.

What do you think?  Am I overreacting? 
 


19 comments:

myevil3yearold said...

I think I would be just like you but I also think that whatever happens your kids will adjust better than you think.I always find that I worry so much and they adjust way better than I do.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

No, you're not overreacting. My friend is an attorney, and he teaches a divorce adjustment class. In it they suggest that couples don't make their relationships know to their kids until they'be been dating for six months.

Eep!

But how to do that in the real world is tough...

ChiTown Girl said...

I don't think your overreacting at ALL. I'm so with you on this one.

For the 16 or so years that I was separated/divorced from my husband, I dated lots of men, some of them pretty seriously. Not one single ONE of them EVER met my son. The one who I was "most serious" about actually met my family a few times, and spent a holiday with us, but that was only because my son was with his father.

I am 100% with you on not wanting the kids to get attached. I've always believed that unless you're about to walk down an aisle with someone, there's no reason for kids to ever meet the person their parent is dating. Now, your situation is a little different since you guys have young children who all get along and like to be together. But, I totally understand why you'd be apprehensive about having him over without his kids.

Bottom line - you're doing it right, Sista! At least in my humble opinion. ;-)

Tara Lotufo said...

You are not overreacting one bit. These are your children...of course you dont want them to get attached and/or possibly hurt.

I'm not even sure enough I would be brave enough for them to meet at all.

Lots of luck!!

Jennifer said...

I think this is one of the hardest parts of being a single parent. I have always made it a rule that my son won't meet any guy until I know for sure there's potential for long term. I don't want people coming in and out of his life...not when I can prevent it anyway. Stability is something I really didn't have as a kid, so it's important that I provide that for him.

From what I read in your blog, you are a good mom and you care about your kids very much. You will make the right choice and you'll know when the time is right to move forward :)

Andrea (ace1028) said...

You're protecting your kids. How could that be overreacting in any way at all? And you're possibly protecting yourself, too, right? Your heart? It deserves protecting when you're unsure, nervous, watching things change. I'm happy you're having happy moments and if that's what it takes to get you to a comfortable place - so be it, right? Hugs to you and hoping you find your way together slowly.

Erin said...

I don't blame you one bit. I think you're right to be cautious.
He sounds like a nice guy. Hope things work the way that you want them to.

Mimi B said...

I think what you're doing is the right thing! Protecting their hearts is an important factor. I'm not looking forward to the days of dating and trying to figure out when to introduce them to my boys. I know it'd take a long time because I don't want them hurt either. You'll know when the right time is to be spending more quality time together with all the kids.

Robbie K said...

I have NO first hand experience with your situation but it sounds like you are doing the exact right thing...protecting your children.

Shell said...

I definitely see your point. My experience with this is as a child, not my own, but I'll share anyway.

My mom introduced us to everyone she dated. Even when it was just one date. That was way too much.

My father didn't introduce us until after he'd already proposed to his second wife and that was like WTH?

I think it's good to have them be around each other some- to see how it all works. B/c that's important for the long term. :)

Blond Duck said...

Maybe he could just be a friend....like not a boyfriend or dating friend, but introduced just as like a co-worker type friend.

Kristi said...

I can't imagine how hard this must be. I would be insanely cautious too. It's just mommy instinct and I say trust it until you've got a really good reason not to.

Tiffany said...

I have no experience with this, but I know that if I was single with my kids, protecting them would be my first objective. Lawn Boy may not feel the same about him being seen with you around his kids, but if it gets any more serious I think you should tell him. Even if he doesn't understand. For you to feel comfortable, you have to do that.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

That's exactly how I've presented him to my children!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...
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Sorta Southern Single Mom said...
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Blond Duck said...

Happy Thursday!

Amy said...

Over the last 14 years when my son had met someone I was interested in, I introduced him as a friend.

I think it is perfectly fine to be cautious and I suggest you let things happen naturally, when it feels right to include him in activities - then do so. Trust your instincts and you will be just fine.

Charlotte Klein said...

I wish I had some sage words of advice but I think I would feel just ad conflicted in your situation. That being said, how wonderful that your kids enjoy his company as much as you do. I am so happy to hear that things are going well with lawn boy! I've been thinking about you!