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Old 02-02-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
Boundless_Sky
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Where to begin. Perhaps it is because she's always been old in spirit, but my daughter's always had an uncanny knack for mulling over certain ideas and tactlessly sharing them once she's reached a decision. We've always been close with a lot of common interests so I was a little surprised a few months ago when she told me I should really consider dating again. Without writing my own long tale, it seemed easier to focus on other aspects of my life when she was younger. There was parenting, my education, work, church, and family. Life left little time for thinking about romantic possibilities.

At first, it seemed she was messing with me. This was just another retort because she wanted more space, a little more freedom. It took a while but she finally explained her statement. Kids really do take note of the strangest things. She quickly laid out the facts as she saw them. Most of her classmates had older parents so she stated mid 30's must not be very old. She said I looked young and still acted young to her and her peers. She didn't understand why I wouldn't want to try dating again. Bear in mind her father and I are still good friends but he was automatically disqualified. She says she can't figure out how we ended up together the first time.

I'm curious to know if there are other parents who have experienced this. It doesn't surprise me that she would be trying to plan my life. It's just that dating doesn't really matter to me. I like my life. My daughter will be going off to college in a few years and I've already written my list of adventures. Things not done while young and dumb that are going to still be worth the effort. Do other children share her need to arrange the lives of adults as if we are not capable?
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:13 PM   #2
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Where to begin. Perhaps it is because she's always been old in spirit, but my daughter's always had an uncanny knack for mulling over certain ideas and tactlessly sharing them once she's reached a decision. We've always been close with a lot of common interests so I was a little surprised a few months ago when she told me I should really consider dating again. Without writing my own long tale, it seemed easier to focus on other aspects of my life when she was younger. There was parenting, my education, work, church, and family. Life left little time for thinking about romantic possibilities.

At first, it seemed she was messing with me. This was just another retort because she wanted more space, a little more freedom. It took a while but she finally explained her statement. Kids really do take note of the strangest things. She quickly laid out the facts as she saw them. Most of her classmates had older parents so she stated mid 30's must not be very old. She said I looked young and still acted young to her and her peers. She didn't understand why I wouldn't want to try dating again. Bear in mind her father and I are still good friends but he was automatically disqualified. She says she can't figure out how we ended up together the first time.

I'm curious to know if there are other parents who have experienced this. It doesn't surprise me that she would be trying to plan my life. It's just that dating doesn't really matter to me. I like my life. My daughter will be going off to college in a few years and I've already written my list of adventures. Things not done while young and dumb that are going to still be worth the effort. Do other children share her need to arrange the lives of adults as if we are not capable?
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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Absolutely. Especially as they get older. It's like they feel guilty or something for having their own life, even though they still do stuff with us, they don't like to leave us sometimes to do stuff with their friends (and boys). And she sees you as being a young, beautiful mom that she feels is eligible and she wants to see you happy and loved--especially because, depending on where she's going to college, she's probably going to want you taken care of and happy when she isn't there.
My little girl used to save up money in her piggy bank to "buy a new dad." If only that was how it worked! Luckily, her father and I also get along pretty well now, but I'm not dating either and it sounds like you are as preoccupied (yet happy being single) as I am. Remember: all kids think they know more than their parents until they become parents themselves. It seems to be one of those universal truths...
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:01 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback! Somehow I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one. I'm sure as her own social life is gaining steam, my daughter will eventually forget about mine. As far as feeling guilty, she's pretty perceptive and she knows there are sacrifices sometimes made when there is only one parent. This makes it easier to explain why certain decisions are made. There is no denying I've enjoyed almost every moment of parenthood. (We must exclude the colic and times when she was ill). She knows that as well. Raising her and being able to provide a good home environment has always been top priority.

Some parents can do that while dating and having an active social life, but I didn't feel like I was one of them. For one, I didn't want men in and out of our lives. Not everyone is trustworthy especially with children that aren't theirs. I've seen that happen with other single moms and yes, single dads. Second, you often don't know what mistakes you've made in parenting until your kids are grown. I'd prefer not to hear it from her after she's a parent herself that she felt neglected,overlooked, or was somehow traumatized. We're trying to avoid the drama of daytime talk TV here.

Lucky for me, my daughter is turning out to be a remarkable young lady although a bit outspoken and highly opinionated. I keep thinking that is it's own reward.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by coffeebls2000:
My little girl used to save up money in her piggy bank to "buy a new dad." If only that was how it worked! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm so glad that's NOT how it works!

With what's in my savings account, I shudder to think of what kind of a new dad I could afford for my daughter!

I'll just have to hope that my dynamic personality and irresistible charm is enough to reel someone in.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that doesn't want to date while kids are young. My son keeps asking me "Mommy when are you going to get married?" I really hate when he ask's that because it makes me feel bad. The other day he said he wanted a bother or sister. I haven't had luck in the dating department. I have told people that I don't want to ever get married and their response is "You'll meet someone some day." I figure that I'll have plenty of time when he's older to do all that.

I don't have the time cuz I work full time and go to school two nights a week and when I'm not doing that I have my son. His father is not part of his life and he will get attached to any guy I date. So I guess if I wanted to date it would have to be when he is sleeping (between 8 and 10 and if I don't have homework). Just the thought of that makes me exhausted.

Sorry for rambling, it's been a topic with my mother a few times recently.
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
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My youngest had done something similar a few years ago. Sometimes the weekends are tough becuase they see a lot of families with moms and dads together and there would be something minor we would wish a guy was around to help. (like put up a tent, or figure out where all the parts go to something new we bought...)

Anyway.. out of the blue my youngest says, "Mom, you should date" I asked him whatever for? and he says, "I need a dad. I want him to be fun. He has to like traveling, go paint balling with us, and he needs to know how to cook... or help you because you're not very good." (gee thanks?) I may have forgotten how to cook but I do have good aim with a paintball gun.

I thought it was cute ... maybe I should put those requirements on a dating website. LMAO
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:41 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tessmit:
he says, "I need a dad. I want him to be fun. He has to like traveling, go paint balling with us, and he needs to know how to cook... or help you because you're not very good." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I've got a good start on that list.

Dawg
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:21 AM   #9
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Yeah ladies, Good man ...right there under your noses.

Uh uh...dont even look in this direction...too far. LOL
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:52 AM   #10
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I don't really like to talk but I love to write so let me know if my posts are too long.....

It doesn't seem to be a secret that most kids have a simple criteria for suitable suitors. Frankly, I think most are looking for a playmate who will also play well with mommy or daddy. I don't think words like stable, mature, honest, and self supporting makes their list of desirable attributes. Theirs is more like fun, adventurous, laidback....oh wait...that might be from my list. I'm sure you get the point that expectations are a bit different. It's hard choosing a crowd pleaser. Just seems easier to me not to choose.

Not dating was my choice and not all the reasons, contrary to my daughter's belief, were about her. Some of our interests aren't necessarily traditional female ones so there have always been some male friends around us with common interests. Most are great guys, but that isn't enough to make me want to date any of them. Especially when most of the guys I've associated with are younger than I am. To her, that would have been the ideal and she has mentioned some that she really liked.

From reading the other comments, it sounds like others have children who are shopping also. When they are younger, it makes sense that kids would want a traditional family. Society as well as the entertainment industry doesn't exactly place their stamp of approval on nontraditional or single parent families. So it's not as if they see a positive reflection all the time of their family unit.

To me, it's just like dealing with their personal image and self esteem. Your appearance and personality may be different from the ideals you encounter outside, but you were divinely created to be you. It doesn't make you any better or worse than anyone else. Families are the same in my book. Just because there's only one of me doesn't mean that my daughter's any less loved, cared for, or supported. If anything, you end up being more attentive to your kids because of the "statistics." More likely to engage in drug use, engage in *** earlier, less likely to go to college...I'm not hearing that. My job is to set the standard and instill the values. If she strays from them it's not because she didn't get them but because she chose to ignore them. It isn't because her father has a different address and there's no man in the home.

To bring it to a close, children and perhaps some parents may wish for the normal All-American family but I'm not convinced that it is intrinsically better. The people within the family are the ones who define it. Your kids may never know all the struggles you face providing them a safe, stable, loving home but there are kids out there in two parent families who are faring much worse than they are. I listen to my daughter talk about her classmates and what some of them are doing and it just reinforces this fact. Being single and unattached isn't the worst thing I could be for my daughter or myself.

Oh, and Paul, I absolutely agree there are a lot of good men out there and you may be one of them. I just don't think most of us women know which good man was meant for us. Personal experience has taught me two good people aren't always good together. You can be miserable with the nicest of people. Personally, I don't foresee getting involved with anyone unless he sneaks up on me from behind and bites me on the leg. Even then, we'd have to see who wins the fight.
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