The Sassy Housewife is weekly advice column on Momaha.com by Danielle Herzog. She’ll cover the adventures in housewifery — from parenting, entertaining and recipes to the interests of a been-there-done-that and somewhat-know-it-all wife. Sassy Housewife runs every Saturday. Have a question for her? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Sassy Housewife,
I’m a divorced mother to two children who are ages six and nine. My ex-husband and I are on good terms and co-parent very amicably. We have been divorced for over two years and I’m back in the dating world. Up until now, neither my ex nor I have ever gotten serious with someone we’ve dated. However, a few months ago, I met someone that it now turning into a committed relationship. My boyfriend has children who are older (out of the house) and I recently met them, but I still haven’t introduced him to my kids. They don’t even know that I’m dating again. Should I introduce him to them? When’s a good time? And am I obligated to tell my ex about him?
Divorced and Dating
First of all, a few congratulations are in order here. First, congratulations for actually ending a marriage with kindness and respect. It’s rare to see divorced parents be able to focus on the positives and have an amicable relationship. That’s awesome. Secondly, congratulations on getting your groove back! It’s hard to get back into the dating world after going through divorce, I have been there girlfriend. Though let me tell you, I never looked so skinny and hot as I was after a divorce. Now that I’m remarried and happy, the love of food has returned, as has my larger waistline…
As for introducing him to your children, I would air on the side of caution here. I’m sure you want to shout your love from the rooftops and see how he is with your kids, but that can actually do a bit more harm than help. You don’t want to throw everything at them at once. I would start with letting them know that you are dating. If they ask you if there is someone in particular, I wouldn’t lie, but I would let them know that you aren’t ready to introduce them yet to anyone and when that time comes, you will let them know. Remind them how no one is ever going to replace their father and that you aren’t looking for a “new daddy” for them, just some hot lovin’ for yourself. Ok, don’t say that last part, that wouldn’t be good.
Then, give the kids some time to process that. Be honest when you go out on dates, but don’t share the details. You are the parent, they don’t need to hear about your butterflies, or that you think his butt looks awesome in jeans. Save that for girls night out – we love hearing that stuff.
After a few months, try opening that door for them to meet. Keep it light, don’t make a big deal about it, maybe just all go out to pizza together or catch a sports game. As for the ex, do the right thing and tell him. If the kids are meeting him, he should know about. Heck, he might confess to having his own girlfriend that he’s scared to tell you about. However, I bet you are far better looking and much skinnier than she is…
Danielle Herzog, a married mother to two, blogs for momaha every Wednesday. She taught middle and high school students and served as a student counseling advisor in the Washington D.C. area prior to moving to Omaha. She was a project manager for the Washington D.C.-area’s Boys and Girls Club and is currently completing her master’s degree in counseling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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