Falling in love with someone who has kids is a complicated journey that not everyone might be ready for. You have to remember to be open-minded and kind through this rollercoaster of an experience. Here are some signs that you’re not quite prepared to take this step.
1. You’re not ready to handle some emotional ups and downs – getting a divorce or dealing with a partner’s death, while simultaneously feeling the shifted burden of complete parenting, is a vulnerable and complex experience.
2. If you feel extremely jealous seeing them regularly co-parent. If their ex-partner is still in the picture, you need to play it cool and be accepting of this inevitable dynamic, with zero jealousy.
3. If you’re not ready to cut corners and want to live lavishly or be taken out all the time. Understand how expensive childcare is for a single parent – a $5 coffee for you is food out of their child’s mouth, and a good chunk out of a sitter’s pay while they’re on a date with you.
4. If you don’t value their time and are constantly making last minute schedule changes. A single parent can’t afford to be so spontaneous, or come to meet you at your place if it eats up a large chunk of time.
5. You randomly expect them to spend the night at your place or vice versa. A sitter usually won’t stay all night, and having someone new meet the kids is kind of a big deal.
6. Their kids will always be their number 1 priority. If you expect the spotlight to be on you over them, you’re wasting both your own time and your potential partners.
7. You need to be understanding and flexible – if the kids are sick and he/she has to cancel a date, offer to bring them soup or meds instead of being bitter about it.
8. Always wait for your opinion to be asked of, rather than sharing independently. You need to earn the right to co-discipline, remember that.
9. You’re just not into kids or don’t want to raise someone else’s kid. This might seem obvious, but people think that they’ll get over their anti-kid mentality eventually, only to find themselves renting that decision later on.
10. If you need to control and micro manage every aspect of the relationship. When one has kids, many of their decisions soon become out of their hands and in the best interest of the kids. If you can’t go with the flow, this lifestyle choice might not be for you.