illustration by photonoodle.net
Happy Sunday I got up pretty early today I might add even surprised myself. I invested some time with my plants then revamped my bedroom closets and finished with sitting down to have some breakfast while I looked through some drafts and decided to go with this one today. Why I chose this topic is interesting because it actually came up in a conversation I had last night over dinner with a friend. I've had my perspectives for a while but listing to someone else who is dealing with dating while parenting lit the match I needed to share my thoughts. I am off to enjoy the rest of my sunny day happy read .
What's the right way or wrong way to handle ABC, seems to always be the focus on social media. Everyone has an opinion and not just an opinion but the "right" to post it and claim it as "truth" as an expert opinion. But who better to decide what is best for you or what works for you than...You?
As I mature I grow less and less comfortable with labels. I find them stifling to growth and development and I find they cause more separation than unity. I will admit that I too have been guilty of falling for that putting people under a certain label myself. Luckily I have a wonderful daughter who is teaching me better.
Because I have her and I am no longer with her father I happen to fall under the label of being a "single mom" and a "package deal". The package deal I have no issue with but the single mom thing pisses me off. You never hear "married mom" so why single me ( no pun intended) out? Why should I conform to a label you chose for me and why are women ok with that? I am a woman and I am a mom, who happens to be currently single period. No I am not a "single mom" that is not WHO I am that is just a current circumstance. If I allow you to call me that or if I address myself as such I am boxing myself in to only an x amount of possibilities and you are not seeing me for me and all I have to offer.
illustration by twitter.com
Oh poor me I'm a single mom, what? Really? Why would you burden yourself with someone else's perception of who you are? Ok I get that being single and being a parent at times has its challenges but that is not going to define who I am. We all have challenges and being a women a good women is challenge enough. Which brings me to being a "package deal"
For weeks now I've been hearing and seeing stories about singer Ciara and her new boyfriend football player Russell Wilson. Her x and baby's father is having issues with this man having too much interaction with his child. Hugging or pushing the stroller, diaper changes, holding his hand etc etc. Really?
etonline.com, enstarz, nypost.com (links for background info)
You have an issue with someone treating your child with love and kindness? Your concerned and everyone else is concerned with how fast this guy is in this little boys life? His mother isn't capable of making that decision?
Here's my perspective...there is a difference between someone you are just having a good time with and someone who you see a possible future with. We sometimes get hung up on time tables but reality is that sometimes strong connections happen quickly and there is no right or wrong. Even more so this is still a little baby we are talking about, not a toddler or preteen.
As a woman and as I mom who has been single on and off since my daughter was about 12 years old my set meeting time was and has been about 3 months. That number works for me. It's long enough for me to have built some trust and comfort as well as feel easy having you in my personal space which includes my daughter. For me shorter than that is still not comfortable enough.
illustration by ink361.com
After my daughter's father and I split up I had many conversations with my lil mama about how eventually both her father and I would meet other people and start new relationships. How it didn't mean that we didn't have love for each other it just meant we had a different type of love now that we were no longer a couple. That we both were good people and deserved to find other people to share our lives with and possibly build a new family. That it would only mean her family would get bigger and be different but that it would be a family non the less.
As women with children we must venture into new relationships with certain set guidelines. One size doesn't fit all so we really can't try to copy everyone we see. What we can do is evaluate ourselves and what we are looking for then set the rules from there.
-do we have a limit on how many kids we ourselves are willing to work with?
-how does he express himself regarding children?
-is he close to his own kids, how does he speak about the x?
-when you mention this person how do your kids react?
-is he mindful of your responsibilities as a mother?
-is he demonstrating interest in connecting with your child?
-does he ask about your children voluntarily or is subject only bought up when you say something?
We as moms pretty much have an idea about people's feelings towards our children. I feel confident that most of the time we know when to keep talking or when to keep walking. Getting back to Ciara, from what I see I think for now the direction they are going seems positive and if he or any man period shows interest and love for another man's child I say let's give them a chance.
It bought joy to my heart and still brings a smile to my face to recall all the times I witnessed my x boyfriend show love and affection to my daughter. There is love out there for all of us we just can't limit ourselves to labels and being part of a "package deal" can actually just be an added bonus! Don't let it stop you.
Do you think labels on people serve a purpose? Would meeting someone in a "package deal" be an automatic turnoff? What would be some of your guidelines and rules? Share your point of view.
Always stress free xo.