SIngle Guy Here, Needing Input For Dating Single Mom

Nick - posted on 01/28/2013 ( 13 moms have responded )

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OK ladies, I am going out on a limb here and want some input from everyone. The explanation is a bit long, and I am not sure if I have an exact question.

A little history about myself. First, I am a 43 year old male. I have been divorced for a while and have a 19 year old daughter in college, and run 2 businesses. I am friends with my Ex-wife and have a personal/business coach/counselor I work with each week.

OK, here is my situation: I have been dating a very nice woman for quite some time. We have talked about getting married, and even had the ring designed and made. I have spent a lot of time with her kids, and we all seem to get along. She is a single mom of 2 kids 9 & 11. She works 40+ hours a week and has 50/50 shared custody. She loves her kids very much and only having them 50% of the time kills her.

Recently, w got into a fight because she yelled (she said snapped) at me in front of the kids and that goes against how we agreed to treat each other, and it took her a very long time to (she has her side and I have mine to this story.) But it has caused us to ”break up” even though we still talk/text each day and she does not want me to go out with anyone else and same back to me.

Now we are to the meat of the issue. I couple of night ago, we got together to talk, argue, break up for good, or figure out how we wanted to treat the other person and how we want to be treated. After an hour or so of discussions things finally seems like they would work out. Some misconceptions were realized and we were on the road to recovery. But then I got some new info.

Her daughter is the younger and is a cheerleader, and her son is a football player and quiet a good athlete. Last year she was the “team mom” so she could spend more time with the kids and volunteer for the youth group. It takes about 3-4 nights during the week, plus games for each on Saturday and Sunday. During the week, the team mom duties keep her away from home until 8 or so. Once or twice a week she has to work to get emails out to everyone involved.

She is also a Girl Scout troop leader.

However, next year she was asked, or asked to take over the entire cheerleading organization and run the football side. This now looks to be a 7 day a week job being 20+ hours per week, not including games and emails and such, leaving no time for she and I. I told her I could not be in a relationship with somebody without some sort of compromise on the time. I don’t want to sit around and wait for her to say “Hey, I have couple hours next week if you might want to get together” especially if we were headed towards marriage.

I all for supporting the team mom stuff, and willing to have dinner ready for her/us on the nights she is out late and all of that. However, if for 4 months out of the year I have little or no time as a boyfriend, then I know I will be upset.

She says she her kids are her life and come first. And it looks/feels to be at the exclusion of everything else.

She will say that she is volunteering to help give back, but also if she volunteers she gets special access to her kids on the weeks she does not have them. To her, this extra time (an hour or two total) is worth throwing away our relationship. If I can’t realize that she will sacrifice everything for her kids and any additional time, then I am unreasonable.

She says “My kids are my world” and “I want them to know I will do anything for them and they are the most important thing in my life.”

She says she doesn’t want to “sit on side(line)” She wants to be involved in what they do, and know who her kids are around, and what is going on.

I get wanting to be involved and active with the kids.

My argument is, be team mom, so she can get some additional time, but she don’t have to sacrifice every second of every day and a relationship, to get an extra hour or two every other week for a third of a year. Oh, and one additional issue, if she takes on the cheerleading position she wants. It’s a 3 year commitment.

Being a divorced dad and from divorced parents myself, I asked her to look forward 10 years and try to figure out what going to be best for both kids.
A. mom giving up everything for them, but being single
B. b. them having a stable balance mom and step dad, that still supports them in their activities and gives them an example to follow.
She then said this was analyzing her kids, and that’s not healthy.

What advice would you give either one of us, or both of us?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Samara - posted on 04/14/2013

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Dating a single mom or any mother for that matter is a tough place for any man because you truly must be ok with only getting the little pieces left of her. Being a good mother is very time & energy consuming but children only have one mother and one childhood. They are lucky to have a mother who will devote so much to them and sacrifice her needs for them. Soon they will grow up and not be a factor as much in her relationships so this is her time to be the mother that she wants to be and needs to be (for her self to be happy). I understand that you love her & it leaves very little of her to you but in all honesty that is the tough part about dating a GOOD mother. Many other women will compromise but they are then giving everyone half of her love & efforts. For adults or young adults this may be acceptable but for kids under 18 they thrive from the sacrifices their parents make to be a huge part of their lives & activities. I would say you too need to feel right in a situation like this and feel that you are getting something back from the relationship as well. I don't think this is the right woman for you right now. I don't think she will ever feel 100% good about compromising those issues as her heart already knows where it stands. Just my thoughts.

Lindsey - posted on 01/03/2014

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I feel that you should not ever expect her to change her viewpoint on this. I commend her for caring so much for her children, we need more parents like that in this world; more strong women who would not ever put anything before the people who most need her. It seems as though you do care for her, but if you really want to be with her then you should accept this and if you can't do that then I would recommend not being with her at all. You should try to think about how hard it must be for her to be away from her kids 50% of the time. All she is trying to do is be an involved parent, a "soccer mom", and she has every right to be. To me it would be a big turn off for my partner to not understand this, being in her shoes I probably would have broken it off with you already.

Jeanine - posted on 09/17/2013

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I would say to scale the relationship down to a friendship. Keep in touch with her without trying to control what she does or who she sees. She should give you the same freedom.
If you really love her then it will work out in time. Loving someone isn't always spending a lot of time with them. Sometimes it is just being there for them when they need you.

Ebony - posted on 08/12/2013

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Im not sure if you have tried this as yet but maybe you can try getting involved too. Im kind of like your potential fiance and I am a mother that says "my kids are my world and id do anything for them" Its pretty difficult being the a single parent for both of you im sure but i do agree with you that this situation is a bit much... the initial volunteering was good enough.

Rebecca - posted on 05/15/2013

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This woman has found a way to connect with her teenagers, at an age where many teenagers are pulling away from their parents. She has put herself in a position where she knows her children and their friends. She enjoys working with them and their teams. This is extremely valuable as a parent. I'm sure her children appreciate it and feel loved. More important, she feels like this is something that she needs to do.
Since you aren't married yet, you may want to consider the fact that you are willing to use your relationship as leverage to try to pull her away from doing something she feels is very important. You are committed enough to try to "sell" her on your vision of the future, but not committed enough to stay with her until her children are past this critical age. I don't mean this as a critisism - it's important to know how you feel before getting into a long term relationship of any kind. Remember that she may not feel like she has a good option - she will feel like she's giving up being the mother she wants to be, or a relationship. I'm sure you care about each other, and respect each other - but I agree with Samara - you may not be right for each other right now.

13 Comments

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Alma - posted on 09/21/2015

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She seems a very good woman. Don't lose her like her first husband, he is a loser big time. why would he leave a woman like that? May be it was not his idea to leave her but hers. Still he must be a jerk(sorry for offensive word) for not letting his kids spent as much time as they need with their mom.
Please don't pressure her into doing less for her kids. She will never forgive you and herself for cutting those opportunities. Instead of asking her to reduce the time she is out you should be out with her that way you spend time with her and earn a future dad point with the kids.
Most importantly, she will love you more and drawn to you and make time for you both. She will be a happier mom and will have more stable successful kids.
Please never ever mentioned to do any less than what she wants to do for her kid.
they are only a kid very short time.
It seems you are a nice man and hope you guys worked out.

Diana - posted on 06/19/2015

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10 years from now she could meet someone new, so that's not an accurate question to ask. You either support her activities and help her where you can, or exit from her life. If she wants you in it, she will make time. If you want to be in her life, you accept her as it is. You won't change her mind on this because single moms feel the need to overcompensate for their kids. Trust me. I'm a single mom who does everything for my one child and can't fit a man into our schedule. Just a piece of advice.

Alicia - posted on 07/21/2014

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How old is your girlfriend? Im assuming shes younger than you ( which is fine) since her kids are still at home and at ages where being involved in their lives is pretty critical to how they will deal with things and behave as a teenager. and even if she isnt younger than you, you both are in different stages of your lives and your kids lives.

I wonder if she feels like you are making her choice between her kids and you. You did say that she uses that extra time to see her kids more often like she would if she had them all the time. I honestly couldnt image not seeing my son everyday. but he doesnt have a father that wants him around.

I get how you dont see it that way, as asking her to choice between her kids and her. at least I hope you arent trying to do that. But if you two were to get married, You would be a father or a second father to those kids, You would be involved in their lifes and activities just like any other parent would be right?

If she really wants to take one these extra responsibilities, Could you get over that fact that you feel like shes choosing them over your relationship and maybe do it with her? it sounds like she could use the help. Go to the games, help set up and run things, It wouldnt as good as maybe date nights and sex. or whatever you guys do :) But it would be time together, plus if you were to get married down the road, family activities and the children's games would be apart of your life anyways, just like they probably were when you and your wife were raising your daughter together

and its completely possible that you two arent a prefect match for eachother, i think you both need to talk about it more, and try and compromise, let her know your not trying to make her choice between you and her kids. and If shes or you arent willing to try and figure it out, or you just cant see eye to eye, Than maybe you guys arent the ones for eachother, or at least not right now.

no idea if that was helpful at all. But good luck!

Joanne - posted on 05/28/2014

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Hi Nick, your situation was clearly defined. This is just my opinion but I don't think you and your girlfriend are compatible. The 10 year plan was very good and made sense but if your girlfriend were to go your way, she will end up unhappy. Ideally, she should be with someone who could participate with her at those games that she is so involved with. As a mom, I understand her point of view because your children are your blood and soul and giving them her attention now will pay off in the long run especially during their teenage years. There's an excellent book that just came out that possibly you may want to read it. The book is called, "The System to Finding Mr. or Ms. Right and Why Relationships Fail. Your situation is similar to some of the examples stated in this book and why those relationships failed. You can find it on http://truekidsstories.org Good luck.

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