Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Baggage

Dating nowadays has changed. Trying to find a good person (man or woman) seems to be harder than it was when I was “looking”. Maybe it’s my perception, but people do seem to come with more baggage’s than they did. To add to it all a lot of people come with kids.

I always knew I didn’t want children. Some people do from a very young age. I was the opposite. When I started dating, in college, I remember thinking that I didn’t want an “instant family”. If I was to raise a child I would have liked that child to be mine. These days, kids are having kids, so finding a significant other in your age group without kids, can be a challenge. I can only imagine how that would be for me. I don't know if I would be capable of doing it now. It might be all wrong of me, I might be too selfish for it, but after last weekend I know it would be very difficult to be a "step-mom" or the "weekend mom"...

Two friends of mine recently started seeing men with children. One girlfriend never had kids and ended up marrying the father of two young teens. He has custody of one full time and the other on weekends. My other girlfriend, who's also a mother of three (two adults and one grown teen, almost 17), only sees her beau’s kids once every other week. Those kids are younger than hers. We met them this past weekend. The little girl was pleasant, but the boy. I’ve never seen a kid with so little social skills. When talked to he grunts. I couldn’t believe it. I thought my friend was/is amazing to tolerate this. She laughed when I would ask the girl: “what do we say?” after handing her a glass of milk. Those kids were spoiled rotten. They smelled they were so rotten! I even told them, in front of their father. (It was our first time meeting him as well.) I really don’t know how she does it. I don’t think I would be capable to detach myself like she does.

Both these women have told me they tried to “educate” these kids when with them, but then they go back to their respective mother and it’s to redo the following week. The things I’ve seen on Saturday disturbed me. That boy was so shut off from the rest of us, and it seemed normal. To add to his charm, he was mean to his pets. They have two cats and a dog, and those pets are not well treated by this boy. He almost strangled a cat while we were there, and when I saw it, I reacted and called him up on it. He ignored me but untied the poor kitty. My friend had a little chat with him, but to be answered by a few grunts. I know it's not easy, for any of the parties involved, but where do you say "this is enough"?

I’ve dated a guy who had a son. His son was three years old at the time. When I first started dating this guy I didn’t know he had a son. He told me on our second or third date. I was surprised because I didn’t really care (not about the son, but about the fact that he did have a child. It didn't bother me.) But, I also realised that I didn’t like the fact that he never saw his kid. That sat wrong with me. If you do have a child, take care of him or at least care about him. He wouldn’t see his son because he didn’t want to deal with his ex. I explained to him that what he was doing was wrong, he was punishing his son because he wasn’t getting along with his son’s mother. I even managed to convince him to go get his son for a visit. He did. His parents were so happy to see their grand son, and so was the kid to see his dad. When came time to bring him back to his mother it was a whole different story. It broke my heart to see this young child, almost hysterical, holding on to his father in tears and begging him not to go. I couldn’t believe how sad it was. While we dated he did visit with his son more often, but each time it was emotionally hard on the child when came time to go back to his mother’s.

Both his parents were full of guilt, so this boy was King. He could get away with murder, but not with me. I wasn’t feeling guilty about anything, so whenever he was in my company he had rules. He knew. He would tell me: “My dad will say yes” to which I would answer: “Yeah, but I’m not your dad”. His father knew as well, and relied on me for discipline. I didn’t really enjoy that role, but I didn’t like seeing him walking on my leather sofa with his shoes, either, so I had to say something. In the end, it didn’t work out with that man for other reasons. Sometimes I wonder how good or bad that kid turned out…

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Image: Divorce Child

6 comments:

Marius said...

It sure as hell ain't easy. At first I tried to rule with an iron fist. I suppose in a way I still do, but it is a parental truth that one must choose one's battles. For every rebuke that escapes my lips, a dozen get choked back. But my kid behaves herself in public and at other's houses. And I don't let her abuse the cats...not that they'd put up with it.(they are both fully armed and will stay that way) But I will say that being a parent has made me a bit more understanding of the beleaguered moms at Wal-Mart who can't seem to control thier little rug rats. Not always, but a bit.

Kara said...

my last boyfriend had a son full time. teenager. i was only 11 years older than the kid...which i think helped with "relating". still...i got out before all the shit hit the proverbial fan. can't say i'm sorry.

that being said, i love kids. my kids, other people's kids, mean kids, shy kids. teaching was natural to me because they were all mine...even the difficult ones. problem is...i've never found a man that wants them. even kansas is resistant. i'm starting to think it's going to come down to a very ugly choice.

Purple Pigeon said...

I've always known that i never wanted kids either. I've never cooed over them either.

Its tough when other people have such low standards that you end up having to discipline their kids for them. The amount of rude kids i've come in contact with is phenominal, and their parents just dont care, as long as they dont have to deal with them. If you say to them ''don't kick your football at my car'' or something, they look at you like you are crazy that you dared to speak to them! Its mad!

Ananke said...

Twenty years ago I worked in a grocery store and I'm still amazed at how rudely kids talked to their parents in the checkout line. If I'd ever spoken to my mother like that, I wouldn't have been able to sit down for a week! People don't realize that letting kids do and say whatever they want isn't going to help them in the long run. My mother set limits for me and because of that I know how to behave in public and that the world doesn't owe me anything just because I'm in it. I know being a single parent isn't easy but people have to at least try. I feel for your friend because as a step-parent, she's really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

lizgwiz said...

I would have a problem dating a guy who ignored his kids, for sure. But dating a guy who puts his kids first has its own challenges. Dating is never easy, is it?

Stinkypaw said...

marius: Totally agree with choosing battles, but behaving like a person vs an animal shouldn't be negociated in my books, anyway!

kara: Often I'll say it's not the kids I don't like, it's the parent or lack of. That's not an easy choice, but if it is something you really want a choice will have to be made...

pigeon: I hate that, and will not refrain from telling a parent off if necessary. There is such a thing called "respect"...

ananke: I just know I don't think I could be in my friend's position. I wonder what happened so that people became so weak in discipline. There is something between beating up a kid and some discipline.

lizgwiz: Nah, dating isn't easy at all, especially as we get old..er! ;-)