For the parents who love to use their children as a way to protect themselves from the "danger" of a relationship: quit it. You’re only hurting yourself and preventing your children from having the opportunity to learn from another loving person. I was raised by a single mom after my dad passed when I was little. While I respect that my mother was able to handle it all on her own, she also missed the opportunity to be loved by a man and denied me the chance to have another father figure in my life.
“No one will want to date someone with (so many) kids.”
One, two or ten children, parents need love just as much as anyone else. A friend of mine married a man with six children when she had none herself. She delights in being a stepmother to his children, and finds fulfillment that she wouldn’t have with a non-parent. Sure, blended families have their unique challenges, but that doesn’t mean that everyone isn’t better off for being together. My friend’s marriage just goes to show that just because you have children, even if you have lots of children, it doesn’t eliminate the opportunity for you to find true love. If her husband had believed that, she never would have met him and found the happiness that they share.
“I’m worried my partner will try to raise my children for me.”
This might seem like a wise parenting decision, but it’s more an excuse not to put yourself at risk, rather than protecting your children. Obviously, if you find yourself with a partner who wants to weigh in on your parenting, you should listen but remain in control of your decisions. Another person’s input may actually be a good thing, especially if they’re coming from a place of love. You hold the power to veto anything you don’t agree with, and set boundaries that your partner needs to respect.
“I don’t want my children to be forced to share my attention with another person.”
This is a sticky one because while your children should be at the top of your priority list, they should also learn that you are human, and deserve to have a loving partner. This excuse would never even come into play if you were in a nuclear family scenario. Mommy and Daddy aren’t doing anything wrong by loving each other when baby comes along. More importantly, no good comes from children who never know adversity of any kind, and frankly, if sharing your attention with another person is their greatest challenge, they’re doing great. A balance between togetherness time with the children and alone-time needs to be a priority, so that the kids feel loved and nurtured, but so does your relationship with your partner.
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