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Friday, June 22, 2012

Introducing the Children

I'm just coming off a week of extended time with my guy and his family and it was truly wonderful.  They helped me feel comfortable and welcome.  I was struck by how dear this group has become to me and how familiar we are together.  It's been less than a year since I met Mr. Wonderful and soon after his daughters. 

Some people recommend waiting a considerable amount of time before introducing children to their date.  For me, my chidlren were such a part of me, that I needed my guy to meet them and know this aspect of who I am.  Part of getting to know me, is to know them.  This is how it happened for us.
We were both aware that the other had children from the time we first spoke on the phone.  I could tell how important the girls were to him, it is part of what I admire about this man.  The fact that his girls are tween/teens meant that they were aware that he was dating and asked lots of questions about each date.  He was very open and honest. 

My children were aware that I was going to see a friend, and so one night when he came to pick me up, he just stopped in for a few minutes to say hello.  We had been dating for almost a month and seeing each other only during the times my children were with their Daddy.  This night, I hired a babysitter because of some schedule changes.  Mr. Wonderful greeted each one, made them laugh and then we left together without much fanfare.  From that point forward, my little ones were able to put a face to a name.

The same day I met his oldest daughter.  I was not apprehensive, but also didn't quite know how to predict the situation.  I imagined how strange she must have felt.  Mr. Wonderful was relaxed and open.  He made things comfortable for both of us.  I remember feeling a great deal of admiration for his parenting style. 

It was a week later that I met the younger daughter.  I was struck by how much she looks like her Dad and how delightful she was - so sweet and polite.  I was glad to see the family dynamics with both girls and dad interacting. 

Our introduction to the children was very low key and as natural as possible.  While Mr. Wonderful is the first man I've dated since divorce, my three were used to having a sitter while mommy went out with friends.  Mr. Wonderful had dated several woman since his divorce and his open style of parenting meant that his girls were aware and even curious, asking questions about the ladies he was seeing and how he felt.  

So the introductions went well and all continued rosily ... actually not so much.  I think we handled the initial stage properly, but then we made mistakes that created some resentment without even realizing it.  I'll share what we did wrong next. 

Does anyone else have a story to share about introducing their children to a date?  Or perhaps you were the child and your parent brought a date home?  Any questions?  I would love to get some feedback from the children and share that soon, too!

Have a great weekend!