Confession – The man I’ve been dating since June has kids. Two to be exact.
When trolling for men on websites, I habitually checked the box labeled “no kids.” No job, no college education, no car, pack a day smoking habit, divorced, missing limbs – they all took a backseat to the notion of dating a man with kids.
Kids were my ultimate deal breaker. I’m simply not keen on other people’s children. They aren’t cute. They annoy me. The less association I have with other people’s children, the better. With babies, well, pretty much any child under the age of 8, all I see are these little screaming creatures swathed in various forms of crud. The younger ones release a lovely scent that can only be described as play-doh mixed with macaroni and cheese and feces. Forget trying to communicate with a child. A half hour of pretending to be interested in incoherent babbling regarding what I think is might be about Disney princess or maybe last night’s dinner? I’ll pass.
I almost didn’t say yes to the first date because he had kids. Then this little nagging voice in my head warned me that I was getting older and should accept the fact that more and more men will come with baggage. The fact that he was insanely hot didn’t hurt either. Why pass on something that could be incredible, right? Maybe I could learn to like, or at least not mind, the whole kid thing? He only had them like four days a month after all.
Turns out the whole dating a man with kids is much harder than I anticipated. But not in the way I imagined.
I want to like them. But I can’t stop wishing he didn’t have them.
I want to find them cute. But when he shows me their baby photos and expects me to be excited, I feel nothing but disinterest.
I don’t want to feel annoyed, resentful or angry at the fact that he’s already had the experience of having and raising kids. But I do.
Here’s the thing – I’m not a baby-crazy female. I’m on the fence about having kids. (Probably because I haven’t met a man I can envision myself settling down and having them with). However, I’m starting to feel he’s finished with the whole having children thing. Me? I haven’t ruled this out.
If I met a man without kids and we (together) decided to marry and forego the whole babies thing to travel and see the world, I’d be okay with that. No stretch marks, perky boobs and still fitting into a small pant size? I’m down.
My boyfriend has two kids. How will I feel watching them grow up and interact with the knowledge that I’ll never have that? Do I want to play “mom” to another woman’s children without any of my own? Absolutely not.
I need to explicitly inquire about his future plans, but it’s a hard question to pose. My gut tells me I know the answer - it’s what quells any desire to spend time with his children. It’s fueling jealousy and resentment that I never expected. If I honestly felt he was looking for marriage and a possible family, I would NOT feel this way…. At the beginning, I wanted to be a part of their life. I was willing to try, but now this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach cautions that my efforts might be futile.
He asked my thoughts on having children awhile back and I answered truthfully, “I’m not totally sure, but I may want to in the future.” Kids were never a big deal, but I WANT THE OPTION. So what if I don’t appreciate the company of other people’s children? That doesn’t mean I might not want one of my own eventually.
Here comes marriage? I was met with sheer uncertainty when I questioned his thoughts on marriage in his future (not necessarily to me!). His answer? “I broke off an engagement only a year and a half ago, so I’m not even thinking about that right now.”
Not the answer I wanted. Maybe there is too much baggage?
This doesn’t bode well. We need to talk. I keep putting it off and putting it off…. I care for him and the last thing I want is a break-up. Still, it makes no sense to be with a man who doesn’t want the same out of life. It’s kind of a big deal.
For me, dating a man with kids was always a dating deal breaker. I understand why… Because this might be what breaks us.
*Note- this wasn’t the easiest post for me to write. Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts or advice. I could use it.