First of all, let me acknowledge that what I’m about to say paints the perfect picture of a double-standard and yes – after having recently posted an article describing hypocrites, I’m probably not going to win any fans sharing my feelings about this, but here it is.
I do NOT like dating men with children and yes- I’ll share my hangovers to justify my saying this at a later date but for now, there were two reasons why I’m saying this now.
Reason # 1 is a phone convo between a good friend of mine (without child) and I (with one child) as we shared our dating woes and chatted up the subject of the men we’ve encountered who have children. She’s telling me about a conversation she shared with one of her Gulf Coast conquests, that she felt the two of them were on the same page regarding children and how she went on to explain that she’d much rather date a man who doesn’t have because (1) of the lack of availability he would have, (2) diminished funds and (3) because she wanted a child of her own and wanted her first to be his first.
Okay, all fair statements. The problem? Well, she’d met two men that previous weekend. One with children, one without so take a guess which one she was talking to confusing him with the other? Yep, you guessed it and her mission statement was met with SILENCE.
I’m anxiously awaiting the outcome of their friendship and anything it may blossom into, but in the meantime……on to reason # 2. I’d realized that Good on Paper presented the best example of why I would prefer not to date a man who has a child or worse, chilDREN. He has three, the youngest is THREE and while he has been divorced from their mother for three years, he still has major drama. Damaged goods for sure.
Just so we’re clear, I am by no means delusional and the statistics speak for themselves – the possibility that a man will meet a single mother is about 50% so I’m not exactly the crème of the crop in terms of dating material for some (or even most). But hey, what can I say – $hit happens. You get together with some, maybe in love, maybe not and procreate.
It doesn’t work and SOMEONE is going to bear the responsibility of raising the child and no matter what the involvement of the other, the sole provider is still a single parent and being one is draining. Still, single parenting women don’t want to be alone and want the opportunity to move on and find that special someone, a life partner even.
So my beef with the “baby daddy”? Well hell, the exact same reasons why there are hundreds of posts out there titled “Reasons Men Hate Dating Women With Kids”, and they include the following:
1. Time, time, time – There is no such thing as a spur of the moment date night, get away or booty call when you’re a single parent. From my experience dating a man who has a child, this has been one of the biggest problems – he simply isn’t able or refuses to make more time for me. In fact, I dare to say that the problem of finding a reliable sitter may be worse for men because women – well we have our girly networks. Women are more likely to have a group of friends, grandmother or aunts who may be more willing to watch our children while we get out and “have fun”. Unfortunately (because there are so many of us), I have several single parent friends who wouldn’t mind doing a little kid swap now and then. Men? I don’t think they’ve learned how nor have the ability to forge such alliances.
2. Funds shortage – “I can’t really spend because I need to…” or “this child support is…”. Whether the man is fairly active (meaning sees the child more pretty frequently) or is simply forking over a percentage of his pay check to the state, his funds are going to be severely affected. This works both ways because of course, I can’t necessarily throw away money either because I’m supporting two people on one income, but this is how I’ve lived. I’ve developed a system for budgeting so there’s activity money for my child and play money for Mom. I could do a 15-page post on the topic of how men are either getting worked over by the kids’ mothers or simply didn’t handle their business and the unavoidable things such as garnishment are in full force. Point being, their kid is going to absorb a significant amount of their income which is going to affect a single father’s dating lifestyle.
3. Baby Mama Drama – I hate, hate, hate using the terms baby mama and daddy, so let’s say the drama with the ex. Funny, each man I’ve ever encountered has always asked during initial conversations if I have drama with my child’s father and the answer is a resounding NO. The way I figure, most people create their own drama though there are some instances where the other parent simply will NOT let them have any happiness. I’d go so far to say that there are three main reasons a man I’m dating is having problems with the mother of his child and that is (1) he is still messing around with her or (2) she refuses to move on and let go or (3) she has moved on but is just bitter and vengeful. I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing # 2 and # 3 and it made being involved with those men a living hell. Something always made me wonder why the guy was hiding his testicles and wouldn’t just man up and handle their business with these women, but it never failed, instead, they tiptoed around the issue. Manic messages, repeated and harassing phone calls, unannounced visits, restricting visits etc… D-R-A-M-A.
And my personal favorite that I’ve experienced waaaaaaay too often
4. Daddy’s Little Witch – Of course, I don’t want to sound too harsh so I got a little creative with that third word but real talk – men take the relationships with their children, specifically the little divas in training too far. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Princess Who Could Do No Wrong, the Just Like Her Mother, Bad Attitude and All and the My Daddy is an ATM. I really tried to figure these men out, attempting with all my might to understand how and why they ignored the fact that their daughters were master manipulators. Was it because they weren’t doing as much for them as they should, and over compensated by not being as strict? Well no. Several of these hangovers had full, sole custody of their daughter’s and gave them the world, but these little monsters still demanding the galaxy. This is another one I could go on and on about.
The bottom line is this – I realize if I’m dating or attempting to become seriously involved with someone who has children, there needs to be balance. I need to be able to balance my life, the needs of my child, work and everything else so that I’m able to dedicate the time and energy needed to be with someone.
It just seems that some men with children are constantly putting out their “available” signs without taking into consideration whether or not they should REALLY be trying to date. I realize all that comes with me being a parent and am very much aware that no matter how attractive or appealing my characteristics may be, because I check the “yes” box under dependents I may not even be considered by some men. However, for those who are interested in taking a ride on the Carmen train, I’m open to dating and swapping kid stories as long as YOU know what it means to have balance while dating as a single parent.
So for the men complaining about getting involved with women who have children, it works both ways.
Until there’s a cure…