Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

October 2, 2008

Brady Bunch Dating

Thursday morning on the Russ Parr Morning Show there was a discussion about women who refuse to date men with kids. These women stated that having kids would be a deal breaker and that they consciously kept these individuals out of their dating pool. Surprisingly, many of the callers who commented on the topic had children themselves. The reason I heard over and over was the women's desire to avoid "baby momma drama" and not have to deal with the mother of their man's children. But generally, it was just to avoid the extra issues that come along with having kids.

I personally think this is bollocks, first of all from a logical and fairness perspective (having kids and not wanting to date someone else with kids), but also because I don't believe in arbitrary checklists without looking at the underlying factors. As adults, we all have history, we all have baggage, we've all made mistakes, and we've all had changes in life circumstances. It's how we handle these things that should be looked at in order to determine whether or not someone is "datable". If a man has 7 kids by 5 different women at the age of 27, or is absent from his child(ren)'s life and/or avoids caring for his children financially, then that's something that may give you pause because it's indicative of what type of person he is and his level of responsibility and maturity. As far as "baby momma drama" is concerned..... well, I know there are psycho women out there, but I think you also have to look at WHY he has baby momma drama and what that "drama" actually is, and also how he handles it. If he's an uncooperative jerk toward her, then yes, she's going to be a tad cantankerous. She can only interfere in your life as much as he allows her to interfere, and also as much as you allow her antics to get to you. That's true for ANYONE in your life, not just individuals in these situations.

At this point, I think I would actually prefer a man who has a child/children. There's a certain commonality there that is not going to be present with someone who has never been a parent. Parenting changes who you are radically and permanently. As a mother, it's nice to have someone who understands what I go through as a single parent..... the demands on my time, my priorities, the things that I have to go through and the struggles I have dealing with two household parenting. I need someone around that understands that you will only get large chunks of my time every other weekend. Sometimes it's good to be able to trade baby daddy/momma drama stories, laugh and woo-sah it out together.

A man having a child also makes it more likely that he's going to be more understanding of a few of my kid-related quirks. I've been watching Nick and Disney for the past 14 years (and really never STOPPED watching from earlier in my life, if we want to keep it all the way real..... maybe a 5 year gap at most..... teenage parenthood, you know....) so yes, I will subconsciously stop on Hannah Montana and maybe even laugh. I went and saw Kung Fu Panda by myself (yes, sans children), I have an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter (a "Potterphile") and I'm just an all around silly person. It's nice to have someone around who doesn't give you a blank www.WTF.com stare when you make references from children's entertainment or state that The Lion King is one of the greatest movies of all time.

Another plus to men with kids..... they are less likely to expect me to pop one out for them. I've had child-free men actually come out and ask me fairly early on "So are you willing to have more kids?" (which often evokes a fight or flight reaction in me). I haven't 100% decided whether I'm willing to have more kids..... I'm only 30, but on the flip side I have a high schooler and a damn-near middle schooler. I like sleep and not having to look at anyone else's poop. I know that blended families have their own set of problems and issues, but so do new babies. My relationship with The Ex was centered around parenting..... it would be nice for once to have a relationship centered around enjoyment of each other's company, even if that's just for a little while.

So to the women (or men) out there who refuse to date someone with kids..... you may just be missing out on someone great. I won't totally knock a person's individual choice on this matter because I know it's a challenge.... particularly for someone who does not have kids themselves (I have a friend with no kids struggling to play the "instant mom" role in a relationship with a widower, and I feel for her). But for me, I've decided that this isn't going to be a deal breaker.... if anything, I think it helps me connect with a person in an area that is a major part of my life and who I am.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous IntrospectiveGoddess said...

Considering your situation,and the way you laid out the pros and cons I could understand why you would like a man to have children. Me personally if I am looking at a guy for a serious relationship, then yes children is a deal breaker for me, I dont have children and I'm selfish. All the time that he is willing to give, I want it for myself I dont want to share that time with a young child, that and the baby momma drama which seems to be the norm rather than the exception now a days, is not something I am prepared to deal with...on top of that I really dont like kids all that much so I probably wouldnt mesh well with a man's kids anyway.

But I find it highly hypocritical , selfish and a little delusional to suggest that a man cannot have kids when you yourself have children...that just seems all kinds of wrong

October 3, 2008 at 6:45 PM  
Anonymous rena said...

I'm still on the proverbial fence on this question whether or not to date a man with chidren. I don't have kids and I would like for the man that I am going to marry(when God sends him to me.)not to have child(ren) because I would ideally like for us too experience together. However, as a 32 yr. old women I realize that a majority of men 30-40 yrs. old have a/or child(ren)so I will have to except that our child won't be his first.

I do look at men with a side eye and keep it moving quickly if they have kids with several different women and have never been married.

I agree with introspectivegoddess that it is completely selfish to require a man not to have kids when you yourself have them.

October 3, 2008 at 8:36 PM  
Anonymous kela said...

I would like to preface subsequent statement by saying that I LOVE MY HUSBAND! I truly believe that he was made, by God, specifically for me. However, it's been a long, hard, rough 8 year journey for us, due to the fact that we BOTH had children coming into our relationship. When one dates or eventually marries someone with children you not only have to contend with "baby momma" drama, but you also have to deal with integrating your respective children in your household; deal with a range of emotions resulting from the aftermath of a separation or divorce (sometimes this takes YEARS) and still work on your relationship! IT IS A LOT TO DEAL WITH! It's ideal to think that..."oh because we both have children, we are going to both be more understanding." NOT! Sometimes, because you both have children it's a breeding ground for misunderstanding. Not only that, unless you can coordinate weekend visitation with the exes you will often find that ALL of your dates will involve either yours or his kids.

My husband and I are so looking forward to our children being grown and gone! We don't want any children together because we have spent our ENTIRE relationship and marriage raising them. We rarely get those "walk around the house butt naked" moments together specifically because we've always had either his son or my son. We are anxiously awaiting the moment that we can begin to rediscover each other.

So, as you can see seriously dating (which eventually leads to marriage) a man with children can present some challenges that I can understand why some women would not want to take on. Ideally, it would work the way you described in your blog, but trust me, the blended family world is anything but idealistic.

October 4, 2008 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anesidora said...

Bottom line.....kids just add a whole 'nother level of complexity to life period. I can understand everyone's point in the comments. If I had no kids, then no I wouldn't want to have to share my man's time and have to do kid stuff. I tell my friend that I mentioned in the post that she's better than me...if I were her I couldn't do it.

And I'm taking to heart what Kela said as well about the serious relationship issues....I'm not to the serious point yet, but already I deal with some of those issues like us having our respective children on alternating weekends (we watch a lot of movies on TV).

I just don't want to rule out a guy from the jump over this. And I guess too I'm just looking for the upsides of what I know can be a challenging situation. That's how I've learned to deal with a lot of challenges in life....everything has a positive spin to it somewhere. :)

October 4, 2008 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Kela said...

I definitely feel you and certainly wouldn't rule out dating a man with kids. But, it's MUCH harder than one might think. And, although I've never seriously dated a man without kids, I know people who have. They say that doing so presents a different set of challenges. Those men (without children) don't understand the complexities of parenthood and often aren't trying to understand it either. Now that I think about it, I guess both dating men with children and without children (when you have children of your own) can be quite challenging. It's just about which challenges one chooses to contend with.

October 4, 2008 at 2:25 PM  

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Adventures in Divorce: Brady Bunch Dating

Brady Bunch Dating

Thursday morning on the Russ Parr Morning Show there was a discussion about women who refuse to date men with kids. These women stated that having kids would be a deal breaker and that they consciously kept these individuals out of their dating pool. Surprisingly, many of the callers who commented on the topic had children themselves. The reason I heard over and over was the women's desire to avoid "baby momma drama" and not have to deal with the mother of their man's children. But generally, it was just to avoid the extra issues that come along with having kids.

I personally think this is bollocks, first of all from a logical and fairness perspective (having kids and not wanting to date someone else with kids), but also because I don't believe in arbitrary checklists without looking at the underlying factors. As adults, we all have history, we all have baggage, we've all made mistakes, and we've all had changes in life circumstances. It's how we handle these things that should be looked at in order to determine whether or not someone is "datable". If a man has 7 kids by 5 different women at the age of 27, or is absent from his child(ren)'s life and/or avoids caring for his children financially, then that's something that may give you pause because it's indicative of what type of person he is and his level of responsibility and maturity. As far as "baby momma drama" is concerned..... well, I know there are psycho women out there, but I think you also have to look at WHY he has baby momma drama and what that "drama" actually is, and also how he handles it. If he's an uncooperative jerk toward her, then yes, she's going to be a tad cantankerous. She can only interfere in your life as much as he allows her to interfere, and also as much as you allow her antics to get to you. That's true for ANYONE in your life, not just individuals in these situations.

At this point, I think I would actually prefer a man who has a child/children. There's a certain commonality there that is not going to be present with someone who has never been a parent. Parenting changes who you are radically and permanently. As a mother, it's nice to have someone who understands what I go through as a single parent..... the demands on my time, my priorities, the things that I have to go through and the struggles I have dealing with two household parenting. I need someone around that understands that you will only get large chunks of my time every other weekend. Sometimes it's good to be able to trade baby daddy/momma drama stories, laugh and woo-sah it out together.

A man having a child also makes it more likely that he's going to be more understanding of a few of my kid-related quirks. I've been watching Nick and Disney for the past 14 years (and really never STOPPED watching from earlier in my life, if we want to keep it all the way real..... maybe a 5 year gap at most..... teenage parenthood, you know....) so yes, I will subconsciously stop on Hannah Montana and maybe even laugh. I went and saw Kung Fu Panda by myself (yes, sans children), I have an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter (a "Potterphile") and I'm just an all around silly person. It's nice to have someone around who doesn't give you a blank www.WTF.com stare when you make references from children's entertainment or state that The Lion King is one of the greatest movies of all time.

Another plus to men with kids..... they are less likely to expect me to pop one out for them. I've had child-free men actually come out and ask me fairly early on "So are you willing to have more kids?" (which often evokes a fight or flight reaction in me). I haven't 100% decided whether I'm willing to have more kids..... I'm only 30, but on the flip side I have a high schooler and a damn-near middle schooler. I like sleep and not having to look at anyone else's poop. I know that blended families have their own set of problems and issues, but so do new babies. My relationship with The Ex was centered around parenting..... it would be nice for once to have a relationship centered around enjoyment of each other's company, even if that's just for a little while.

So to the women (or men) out there who refuse to date someone with kids..... you may just be missing out on someone great. I won't totally knock a person's individual choice on this matter because I know it's a challenge.... particularly for someone who does not have kids themselves (I have a friend with no kids struggling to play the "instant mom" role in a relationship with a widower, and I feel for her). But for me, I've decided that this isn't going to be a deal breaker.... if anything, I think it helps me connect with a person in an area that is a major part of my life and who I am.

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