Dating is hard, and when you’re a mom it’s even harder….What about getting dumped?
When you date, it’s usually a fun and flirty experience filled with late nights at the latest hot spot, cuddling on the couch or what the hip kids call Netflix & Chill these days, texting, swiping right and the butterflies and potential new beginnings. But when you’re a mom, suddenly dating is no longer about all the fun, it’s a serious and dangerous world of having to not only protect yourself from harm but also your kid/s. When they are involved, the whole dating scene changes, now you have to worry about babysitters, how much you should or shouldn’t talk about your kid/s, bringing them along for outings, if your date has kids to consider as well and how fast your kid/s bond with this person. It becomes a complicated and stressful strategy instead of fun and flirty. Making sure your child doesn’t get hurt becomes a huge priority, as if worrying about yourself getting hurt wasn’t bad enough. If things don’t work out, how is your child going to handle it?
What happens when your child gets dumped too?
When a break up occurs, it’s not just about you, your child has been left as well.Not that your devastation is any less or less important, but you can’t forget that your child knew this person too and is probably feeling sad and confused. Depending on the depth of the relationship, length of time together and how this person and your child bonded, it will naturally affect how things go down afterward. Whether the relationship lasted years or months, your child probably spent decent amounts of time around this person and got used to them being in their/your life and is feeling quite confused about the sudden shift. In most cases, there usually isn’t a goodbye and explanation for them leaving and continued contact. So they may be feeling a little abandoned, especially if your child got close to this person, developed a relationship of their own and saw him as a father figure. In your heart, you probably hoped that this person would become a step parent to your child and the relationship would end in a beautiful wedding. But, things happen and when that hope was severed, the disappointment won’t be felt by you alone. Your child was probably sharing that dream right along with you.
All children react differently to situations like this in life, some may be heartbroken, some may just be a little sad while others may not even really care. You know your child best and will more than likely see the effects unfold over time. Questions will be asked, and you may or may not have the answers. There’s a good chance you have questions of your own and are not entirely sure yourself why the relationship ended. Even if you have all the answers it may be painful to explain them and say them out loud, most especially to your little one.
How do we comfort our hurting child when we need comforting ourselves?
It’s not easy. It may be hard to get the words out as we may be feeling just as lost as our child. Probably more.
In my case, my last serious relationship ended very abruptly and mainly because of my child. This person could not handle my son and all the realities of dating a woman with a child, and all the things that came with that. It all just got too much, and it all crashed and burned in a matter of breathless moments. When my son asked why this person was no longer in our life, I refrained from saying “it’s your fault” when even though in that moment, in my anger, pain and utter despair, I wanted to. It’s been close to a year and a half now, and my son still occasionally asks questions like “Why doesn’t (so&so) love us anymore?” ” Why can’t we ever see him again?” “Why doesn’t he call us?” The fact that’s it’s been this long and he still brings him up kills me. This person was the closest thing my son has had to a father figure since his actual so-called “father” is not in the picture. Even though we dated less than a year my son bonded with my ex very quickly and deeply. To be honest…so did I. Much to the heartbreak of us both. What really twists the knife into the open and rotting wound….is when my son says things like this…”Mommy, do you remember (so&so)? He was my best friend and I miss him. Why can’t we just go to his house? I want to play with him today. Do you remember him, mommy?” As if I have forgotten….I wonder how long I will have to respond with “Yes, I remember him baby, and we can’t see him anymore, I’m sorry.”
When will he forget? Will he forget?
Everyone’s way of dealing with breakups and heartache are different. Being brutally honest with yourself and your little one/s may be the way to go. Or, being more dismissive of the whole thing is best? You are the mother and adult, so you decide. Every case is different for each family. Things may be even harder if you lived together, now the entire family dynamic has changed. Your world and theirs are rocked. Some couples may take things slower and more traditional and opt for more casual dating and keep a lot of their personal lives out of the picture, at least maybe at first. A lot of women decide to not even introduce their children to their new partner until a certain milestone in the relationship has passed if even ever at all. But some mothers like me, don’t have the luxury of keeping their children hidden away for every date and day spent together. Some of us, don’t have babysitters, relatives nearby or anyone to watch the munchkin while mommy goes out. There are even times when we can’t help but have a wee one in tow because let’s get real. We’re moms. So at one point or another, our boyfriends and our kids will cross paths and the realities of being grown ups comes to a head.
No matter the situation or decisions we make in our dating life, we must never forget that our children come first. We must not lose sight of what’s most important, and that is our child’s well being. Emotional well-being should always be a priority and damage can occur with them the same way it can with us. Being vulnerable to let down’s, heartbreak and getting dumped is just a part of the dating cycle we all suffer through. It just shouldn’t have to be that way for our kids too, but unfortunately…it is. So going forward, how do you go on and put yourselves through it all over again? Do you just dive right in and hope for a better outcome this time? Do you learn from certain mistakes and try again doing things differently? Do you become one of those moms who drops the kid off somewhere to go on a date and in turn be selfish? Or heck, do you swear off love and dating altogether until the kids are grown? Only you know what is ultimately right for you and your family. You are stronger than you know and are an empowered woman worthy and any man’s respect, so hold your head high, feel confident in your yoga pants and carry on. A real man would want you, stretch marks, screaming kids, mom van and all and if he got hit by a bus and never shows? It’s ok girl, you got this. I promise. Now go take care of those children of the corn…I mean precious little angles…..
Love & Light,
Your girl – Jess. XO