Dear Diary,

Should a man date a woman with children if he doesn’t want to marry a woman with children?  Over the weekend, my friend–let’s call him Jackson–sent me a text message to ask me what I was doing. I had turned down a dinner date earlier in the afternoon and wasn’t doing much of anything. Since I’m not into to texting an entire conversation, I picked up the telephone.  Jackson couldn’t understand why I didn’t go out when I didn’t have my daughter. I explained that I was relaxing, enjoying my time watching a television show that didn’t star Dora or Doc McStuffins. Jackson mentioned possibly hanging out with a woman who was his perfect marriage match, but who would never be his future fiancée. The deal breaker? She was a mom.
No matter how sexy, how smart or how fun, she would never receive a ring–at least not from Jackson. I respected his opinion. Heck, I held the same one when I was in my twenties, single with only one mouth to feed–my own! But I didn’t respect his approach. I told him he should not date a woman with kids if he would never marry her.   Obviously, there are numerous factors that determine selecting your spouse. And sometimes you have to fish a few ponds before reeling in a winner. Nonetheless, I thought Jackson should put away his pole if he didn’t want to catch a family. We then went back-and-forth.


Jackson: The hesitation for not wanting to marry a woman with children is the fear of the phrase,”You’re not my daddy!” Nothing will make me feel as powerless as a six-year-old telling me that. When you have children together, those things like that do not come out of their mouths. Besides, I will never be number one in the mom’s life.  Kids come first.


Me: Whoever I marry will be my daughter’s stepfather, and she will be taught to respect him and listen to him as he would be a main caregiver. Although I won’t allow another man to spank her, I will allow him to discipline her in other ways with my input. We would teach the same to our own biological children. I wouldn’t marry a man who doesn’t love my daughter dearly. We’re a package deal! As far as ranking your loved ones, that doesn’t occur. I have a special bond with my daughter. She comes first, but that doesn’t mean my husband will get leftover love. My heart is big, and there’s room for lots of people. Just like a house, it has many doors and I have copies of the keys to hand out!


Jackson: A bigger factor for hesitating to date a woman with a child is the fact that you are setting yourself up to marry not only the mother of the child, but the father too. That man will be around forever. If the parents do not have a good relationship, you’re stuck with that problem forever! I dated a mom before whose baby’s dad and father would argue about who I was and if I was good enough to be around their child. He also told her that he missed her.


Me: There is no need for my daughter’s dad to interact with my future husband beyond cordial exchanges at birthday parties and school plays. Of course, I would love for the two men to get along, but if they don’t like one another, they don’t have to deal with each other. If the father is an uncooperative person, the mother should set boundaries. Communicate via email. Keep the conversations centered on the child. Agree to disagree. Remember, you cannot control what happens under the father’s roof–unless it is harmful of course–or what comes out of the father’s mouth. You are in charge of your own happiness. I’m not cheating with my ex just because we have a child together.


Jackson: When I date women without kids, I can call her up and take her out anytime.She can stay over my house without reservations. But dating a woman with a kid is different. When I did, looked out for her child more than she did. I never asked her to stay the night, and the times she did ask me, I would question if it was a good idea to hire a babysitter just to sleepover. I will say that I noticed women with children were naturally more giving, nurturing, and family oriented.


Me: I think you’re not focusing on the bigger picture, but that’s OK, because you have the choice of marrying who you wish. You also have to accept that your hesitation may leave you single. Moms can be spontaneous through planning ahead…lol. My child spends a lot of time with her father. That’s when I can date, sleepover, have company, etc. if I wish to do so. I have a circle of support and no problem getting a sitter at the last minute. I’m not saying you should date someone with kids. I’m just saying all women with children do not have the same stereotypical situation. And we want to be treated like women!  I’m not your mama! I’m not a bad mom, because I need a night away from my child. It’s stressful at times, but motherhood makes me a better person, a better girlfriend and a better (future) wife.   I learned how to be selfless. I learned how to sacrifice for the greater good. I learned how to be more appreciative of a good man. I used to take it for granted when someone, say, assembled my furniture, but now that I’ve put cribs, bookshelves, desks and countless toys together, I would be very happy for someone to do it for me. Heck, I would cook a meal for a man carrying my groceries up from the car when it’s raining cats and dogs. I also think a mom must remember that she was a woman first. It’s real fun hanging out at the zoo, but set a bedtime for your little one, and then you can have an adult evening on the couch watching a movie or drinking a bottle of wine. This is exactly why I transitioned my little cuddle bunny out of my bed and into her crib!   Jackson, it will work out if you put in the work with the right person. Just think, some women deal with crazy baby mamas when they get married to someone with children. Others deal with crazy mother-in-laws if they marry mamas boy.

Closing Arguments:

Jackson: There are so many factors that can break a relationship up, such as the Facebook, Twitter, exes and miscommunication. That along with a crazy baby daddy, a child who wants their parents to get back together, and the search for a babysitter every time you want to have a Redbox night without interruptions can get stressful. I will date a woman with children knowing I have no plans on marrying her. And, I would date a woman without children knowing I have no plans on marrying her. Why? Because I’m not ready to settle down and get married!

Me: Well, Jackson, you can’t complain to me about not meeting the right woman! We’re in our thirties. Most women my age want to get married one day, so why date someone who doesn’t? And that my darling, has nothing to do with whether or not she has children!

Hey DFTM Fam–Do you date people with children when you know for a fact that you don’t want to marry them? If you married someone with children, how do you balance being a mom and a wife?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

One Response

  1. Eva

    I dated a man with a kid, and it was definitely an eye opener. I was able to see him as a dad and I disliked what I saw. What is good about dating someone with kids is that you get a sneak peek into what they’d be like as a parent.


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