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3 Bumps

Need help with a somewhat difficult situation

I've been dating someone for about half a year now and we've become very serious. He's a widower with a child from his late wife who is four years old. She died a few years ago. He dated someone before me for a short time, but nothing very serious. We've already talked about moving in together soon, sometime in the next three to nine months or so.

I've always loved kids but knew I needed to wait to have my own. A lot of my friends have their own children that I take a lot of pride in considering my little nieces and nephews, as well as my own four-year-old baby sister. I never thought I would be thrust into a full-on parenting role so suddenly. I love his child very much, I look forward very much to the days that I can see them both.

Today I was very suddenly nervous over the prospective of being a full-time parent. I was wondering if there is any advice, any literature, articles, workshops, etc., where I could gain some skills to help me out in the coming years. I know that "dating a guy with a kid" doesn't sound very permanent, but I feel like I'm going to be in their lives for a very long time, and I would like as much help as I could get.

Any response is appreciated. Thank you.

Answer Question
 
DeeTucker

Asked by DeeTucker at 7:34 PM on Jun. 4, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I don't have a "full bucket" idea for you, but I can tell you one very important thing you can do with her each day to build a strong, loving relationship with her. Take her to the library every week, and get lots of picture books. Let her pick them, but add in a few that you've heard about from moms here and people like me (a book-loving teacher!), that are quality stories that we know most kids love, too.

    Then, every day, day in, day out, have a special time when the two of you read together. Let her know how much you treasure this time, and as you read, chat about the story, answer all questions she has as honestly as you can, and if you don't have an answer, be honest and tell her. This will do many wonderful things for your relationship.

    Build trust. Build a love for books, thinking, and words. Build her character. Enrich her life. Help her future in school. Explore emotions. Share yourself = LOVE.

    WillRead

    Answer by WillRead at 7:42 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • I'd start out slowly and just do weekends & vacations then build up. The good news is that she's young enough to step in and be a "mom" to her but it's a big responsibility and she'll get attached. So if you are not serious, don't do it. She has been hurt enough.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:42 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • Well....no one becomes a parent overnight by reading books, articles etc but...they sure can't hurt. You could probably start reading now and read until you're 50 there is so much parenting info out there, omg.
    I think any of that would be good. Do I know of any? I would just suggest starting online and finding things that strike you personally, things you feel like you're going to want to know.
    What is his idea on your taking on part of the responsibility and being her mother? Does he talk about it? Does he talk about any expectation? Does he feel possessive of her or will he be more than happy to share some of the parental role...etc etc. etc....too many questions I could come up with about the situation. But, to help yourself learn more about mothering...start online, you will probably even find way more groups in your area where you live.
    Best of Luck to You!!!
    KellyGirl_TX

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 7:43 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • Always talk about the biological mom and the good things she did when she was alive. It is going to be your job to honor the biological mother.
    Withthreeboys

    Answer by Withthreeboys at 7:44 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • Thank you both. Yes I think I am very serious, and I know that he's been through a lot of hurt, and I don't want to add to it. We've bee reading together a little bit and I'm trying to teach him how to spell out some words. I answer questions for him, hike with him, chase him around and tickle him. I'm just worried about... how should I discipline? How can I help him with issues when he gets into preschool, kindergarten, and so on? I've seen the "What to expect when you're expecting/the first few years" kind of books, but is there anything out there for something like this kind of situation? I'm looking at you, WillRead. :-)
    DeeTucker

    Comment by DeeTucker (original poster) at 7:47 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • There isnt much advice I can offer you but can say that i think that jus tthe fact your trying to reach out for advice and learn as much as you can about being in a parenting role shows that you care about this child very much so.. There isnt much to learn honestly. First time moms take breastfeeding classes, CPR, and birth classes but when the child actually comes your pretty much thrown into the unknown.. My only advice is if your going to be a part of this little girls life just work on your relationship with her.. Talk to her and spend time with her one on one and let it be known your not trying to fill her mommys shoes.. if you build a friendly relationship with her it'll eventually blossom into more and it will all fall into place. Shes at an age where she can tell you her feelings and thoughts so i would just listen and enjoy your time together !
    kp0469

    Answer by kp0469 at 7:49 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • Also his father has told me, "Any kind of help you can give is greatly appreciative." If I try a certain tactic on his son, he does not object. We talk about it a lot, and my boyfriend is behind me 100%. He's been pretty devastated by suddenly going from married with kid to being a single parent, and he thinks that I have a pretty good head on my shoulders (his words). So he's not possessive, and he hasn't contradicted me or anything, but I'm only going off of the kind of "fun stuff" I do with my baby sister and my friends' kids.
    DeeTucker

    Comment by DeeTucker (original poster) at 7:50 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • I was quickly thrust into being a full-time parent in a situation like this. My husband has two daughters who are twelve and when we moved in together I quickly became the odds out 4th in our family. I quickly got pregnant and now we're a family of five, but they're still adjusting to me and the baby. It's been tough so far, so I feel for you.
    jteffs

    Answer by jteffs at 8:54 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

  • Being a full time mom is a hard job. I wont lie. I have 5 myself and I remember hearing on a movie or TV someone saying no matter how hard you are told parenting is it ends up being 10 times harder. It is absolutely true. I would start with the basics. Call social services explain the situation and ask for a referral to parenting classes. They have them for the bad parents out there but also for people in your situation or those looking to adopt. I would also go to Barnes and Noble and check out the parenting section and start with some books on early child development since she is 4 and maybe into older child development since she will be going into school soon. Those are all good places to start.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 9:52 AM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • Go to a good book store and browse the parenting books on being a step parent. I am sorry I can not remember the title of a good one I heard of recently. Hopefully Dad has a structure already set up for discipline. A loving consistent structure where the rules are clear and there are consequences for not following them. Plus I agree that you always want to honor the mom. No need to go overboard but let the child know you are not replacing her but being a friend. Best wishes to all of you.
    whitepeppers

    Answer by whitepeppers at 9:57 AM on Jun. 5, 2011

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