When introducing you kids to your boyfriend, every divorced mom’s situation is different. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go like you imagined.
Divorced moms face many challenges, one of them is introducing the kids to their boyfriend.
I remember this all too well. Though my now husband came bearing gifts, a Super Girl cape for my then 5-year-old daughter, my daughter immediately staked her claim. She, very confidently, told him “this is my mommy.”
From the mouth of babes!
Introducing your kids to your boyfriend should be a time of bringing the people you care about together. The first meeting should be structured in a way that is relaxing for everyone.
Not so sure what that looks like? Use these tips to help prepare yourself, your boyfriend and your children for the first meeting.
1. Wait until you feel that the relationship is serious
It’s great that you’re dating again, acknowledging that not every relationship will be one of commitment. But what happens when one particular guy stands out? He may be the One and you want to introduce him to the kids. Before you make that leap, take the time to examine the relationship between you and your guy. Is the relationship serious? Have the two of you talked about committing to a long term relationship?
Don’t take this lightly because if there is no commitment, you don’t want to risk the children becoming attached.
What if I introduce my kids to my boyfriend and our relationship does not work out? This is not the end of the world. Be prepared to deal with the possibility of a committed relationship not working out. Allow yourself to heal and explain to your children that sometimes relationships don’t work out. (Hopefully, they won’t say “duh, mom! I get it, you and dad didn’t work out.”). Explain that life is full of challenges but success comes in how we handle them.
2. Reassure the kids that they are top priority
Prior to introducing your kids to your boyfriend, have an open and honest conversation with them. Tell them what he’s like, what you like about him and why you want them to meet. Allow them to ask questions about him.
Let the children know that your boyfriend is not a replacement for their father. This lessens the children seeing your boyfriend as a threat. Continue to encourage and support a healthy relationship between the children and their father.
Depending on their age, get their opinions on where the first meeting should take place. Going through these steps will help to relieve their anxiety and possibly eliminate any fears of abandonment.
Hopefully, you’ve talked to your boyfriend about the kids as well.
3. Keep your hands to yourself – watch the PDA
Holding hands may seem innocent to you but to your child, it could send the wrong message. When introducing your new boyfriend to your children be mindful of public displays of affection. You don’t want to make your children feel uncomfortable.
4. Have little expectation
Give it time. Chances are that the first meeting will be rough. Expect that. Don’t worry about everybody being on their best behavior. It’s best that everyone behaves normally in order to not set up false pretenses. Accept that anything can happen.
Your children have had to adjust to living in two separate households. It may be a hard pill for them to swallow knowing that their mom is in a relationship with someone other than their dad.
If there is no crying, tantrums or running off (from your kids or your boyfriend) consider it a win!
P.S., Just because they like him today doesn’t mean they will like him tomorrow. Be ready to deal with this.
Of course, when introducing you kids to your boyfriend, every divorced mom’s situation is different. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go like you imagined. Be gentle with yourself and your children. If your relationship with your new boyfriend is meant to be, things will align given the right amount of time, which will depend on your family and relationship dynamics.