It is always interesting to me how I think I know exactly what I want but when faced with the reality, I realize what I wanted is no longer a good idea, in my best interest, or simply, I have evolved to a new place in my thinking/feelings. Last week, the guy that I am dating casually mumbled “I do not think you will ever meet my kids”. I heard him very clearly but I decided to pretend that I did not and I kept watching YouTube. The reason that I pretended was because I am not a person who can respond to the unexpected immediately, especially if I feel anger or shock. We have been dating for almost six months and our initial conversation about his kids was that he and I would get to know one another and at some point in the future, the kids and I would meet. I have kept the thought in the back of my mind that one day, the kids and I will meet and I have felt, I thought, pretty darn good about it. Hearing him say that I would never meet his kids was shocking.
At this point, I should add some background about my lifelong relationship with kids. A very long time ago, I made the conscious decision not to have kids and I have never regretted it. Even thought I did not have kids, kids are always in my life, I have a lot of fun with them, I teach them lots and they teach me more, and I would be devastated without them. However, about a year ago, as the youngest was starting kindergarten, I realized that I was thrilled to be able to get back to being an adult a few days each week. The kids still come over but not nearly as much as before and I am not nearly as sad when they are gone. I enjoy our time together as much as I enjoy my adult time, which brings me back to the boyfriend’s unexpected announcement.
Once I had time to really think about what he said, I immediately went to the “what’s wrong with me” place. What does he mean, I cannot meet his kids. Why would this be? Am I not good enough to meet his kids? For a moment, I wanted to ask him about the comment the next time we were together but I very quickly calmed myself. He is a very nice, compassionate, caring person and I know that I am good enough for him so therefore, I am good enough to meet his kids. I do not need him to validate this for me. Pushing that thought aside, I moved on to think about why I would not be able to meet his kids and I quickly realized why he said it. He hates drama, conflict, and any highly charged, emotional situation and so do I. I know that he has been thinking about the possible outcomes of me meeting his kids (daughter especially) and he does not want to deal with the potential problems, questions, etc. I am glad that he is thinking about this and not jumping into something that he will later regret. More important, his comment actually made me think, “Do I want to meet his kids ? Within a few days, I came to the humbling and startling realization.
I absolutely DO NOT want to meet his kids! At this point in my life, I have done all the mothering, nurturing, correcting, holding, coddling. loving, grimacing, cringing, crying, shopping, feeding, medicating, temperature taking, screaming inside, worrying, and all the other things that kids bring, that I can stand. What I want right now, is what I said I wanted when I met him 8 months ago. I want to build a relationship with him that is solid enough that it can withstand whatever comes when I do meet the kids. This type of relationship is not built in five-ish months.
When we do not have kids and can get together, I want to get to know him. I want to focus on being an adult and building a relationship with him.I want sit on the couch and watch TV without having to turn it off when the kids enters the room, I want to be able to have adult conversations without have to stop for all the reasons that kids force you to stop. I want to wake up on a weekend morning and just enjoy our time together without having to get up because the kids need…well, you know, whatever kids need. Do not get me wrong, I love the kids that are in my life and I always get along very well with kids. I will do anything in the world for a kid and I have committed a large portion of my life to kids. However, right now, I want to focus on being an adult and doing adult things in the limited amount of time we have.
At this point, one might think I am wrong to say these things so I will attempt to clarify. The relationship that we have is based in two different cities, 75 miles apart. During the week, we try to see each other once, for an overnight visit. I am committed to my “kids” on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (overnight). He has his kids every other weekend and whenever something comes up that he wants/needs to be with them. Sometimes, he has his kids two or three weekends in a row. We have discussed that we both came into this relationship with existing responsibilities and we both accept this willingly. If he has his kids three weekends in a row, I am completely fine with that because I believe that we should spend time with our kids because they grow up fast and one day, they will not want to spend any time with us. Seize the moments! We both make attempts to alter our schedules if there is something that we really want to do together but those times are rare because little is more important than the kids.
At this phase in our relationship, meeting his kids is not what I want to do. When I meet his kids, we then become more of a “family”. Now, we are all heading out to do “this or that” on the weekends or we are all at his house at the same time and again, that “family” thing goes into full swing. We are eating dinner together, making rules, and doing all the things that I have no desire to do right now. Basically, I am not ready to for the role that “dad’s girlfriend” is known to play.
Right now, I just want to be in a relationship with him, give him my undivided attention and receive the same. As our relationship grows and the time is right, I will be very excited to meet his kids and I know that he will feel the same. At this point in our relationship, neither of us is comfortable with bring the kids in and I am glad that I did not protest his statement. I am thrilled that he said it, which forced me to get real about my feelings. I truly do think kids are wonderful and I know that his kids and I will become friends and it will all work out. But, right now is not the time and I am glad I was able to think it through rationally.