single dad. advice on introducing kids to new girlfriend

(58 Posts)
paulos103 Mon 16-Dec-13 18:19:07

Hi all, single dad here looking for a bit of impartial advice as me and my ex are at loggerheads.

We separated earlier this year and we have 2 kids, a 7yo boy and a 4yo girl. We weren't married, not that I think that is relevant.

A couple of months ago I met a new girlfriend and we've become very close and I would say we are at the start of a serious and stable relationship. She's been divorced for a few years and has 3 teenage daughters who I've met and we all seem to get on well.

I have my kids 1 night midweek and most of the weekend so I'm now in a situation where I want to spend time with both the kids and my new girlfriend at weekends.

My ex is dead against this and has suggested we need to be together for a year before she'll let it happen. This sounds mad to me and I'm not prepared to go along with that.

With the Christmas break coming up, this seems to be a perfect time to introduce the kids to my girlfriend starting with a couple of short meetings on a neutral venue such as a soft play area and building it up from there.

This doesn't sound like I'm being selfish does it? I have my kids best interests at heart and wouldn't introduce them to someone I thought was just a casual fling, but I also have my life and happiness to think about as well.

Advice welcomed. Thanks

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 17:57:27

I do myself - you, me and the vast majority of the population buffy, the 'semantics' of it being that 'single dad/mum' lives alone with children.

Since posting on here, I've come across a lot of people who use it to describe relationship status while being a lone parent too. It surprised me as well the first time I saw it. You can have a lone parent who has a partner. You can have a lone parent who is single. Some posters use single parent to cover the second one.

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:11:43

There is a huge difference of being a single parent and a lone parent.

But calling someone a part time parent is rude unless they are a useless parent who only has their dc as and when it suits them with no regular contact time and responsibilities.

That's like saying a mum who works isn't a full time mum.

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:12:49

no it isn't, it is nothing like that at all.

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:15:14

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NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:16:11

no actually he didn't, did yours then?
now who is being rude?

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:18:47

Oh I'm not being rude smile I'm just trying to think of a reason why you sound so bitter and rude about dads.

elastamum Wed 18-Dec-13 18:21:15

2 months is way too short and Christmas probably not the best timing, as the DC will be missing having mum and dad together - but then my DC have met all 5 of my exes 'long term' partners since we split so maybe I am biased hmm

onedev Wed 18-Dec-13 18:22:18

I'd say it's too soon Op, sorry! Totally agree with others that if the relationship is going to last, then there's no rush. Given the age of your DC & the fact that it's their first Christmas after the break up, I honestly think you need to put them first & solely focus on them for the holiday period. Your new partner should understand.

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:23:28

"Oh I'm not being rude"
well you are actually muffpie.
what happened to your husband ? did he wake up one morning in the cold light of day and run away screaming ?

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:28:40

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NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:30:19

gosh you really are a sweetie aren't you?

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:33:35

I understand why your doing this, it's horrible when your wrong and you keep digging that hole deeper to make yourself in the right. Is so much easier to just say oh yes that didn't come out quite right didnt mean to be so rude.

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:37:11

i havent called anyone a 'bitch' love

TalkativeJim Wed 18-Dec-13 18:41:27

This is the first Christmas your children won't have their daddy at home.

At the very least, PLEASE don't introduce your new gf over Christmas.

I'd say 6 months is the MINIMUM.

You may not like it and I can see why. But if you really think this is the one, then think long term. Right now, for your children this is all new. If you want you relationship with them to be strong, you need to focus as much as you can on them just AS A DAD - one on one - just you and them.

Not you, them and suddenly some total stranger smiling at them from the sofa next to their dad.

It WILL NOT be what they want, no matter how much you think it will be good. It WON'T BE at first. The longer you wait and the more time you concentrate JUST on them at contact, the more secure they will be and the more accepting they will be able to be.

A couple of months is MASSIVELY too soon.

Preciousbane Wed 18-Dec-13 18:46:46

I would say at least a year, seriously.
The few months after a relationship break up are traumatic and I think many of us are vulnerable post break up even if we think we are ok.

I actually think the worse possible time would be Christmas.

Oh FFS you two, take it outside

GinAndIt Thu 19-Dec-13 10:43:09

I don't think the OP is coming back. Probably because we all told him something he didn't want to hear.

Monetbyhimself Thu 19-Dec-13 15:56:28

I think you're right Gin. And I rather suspect he's going to do what he and the girlfriend want anyway. To hell with the children and the Ex. All so depressingly familiar.

girliefriend Thu 19-Dec-13 16:11:11

I think a year too long, not realistic to never see your girlfriend at the wend.

Two months not long enough.

So somewhere around 4-6 months I would say.

Agree with pp about needing to know your new partner will get on with the kids to know if the relationship will work long term and unfortunately there is no way of doing this without them meeting the children.

I am a lone parent and have just started seeing someone and even though I would love to leave it a year before introducing him to my dd its just not realistic. For a start I am not getting any younger and if I want to have more kids need to get a move on grin also I have my dd all the time with no break so its extremely difficult to see him at all.

That said 3 months is my minimum before introducing them.

honey86 Fri 20-Dec-13 00:47:22

what gin said. x

MissWinter01 Sun 22-Dec-13 20:40:27

Personally I think it's a bit too early. I would wait until around the 6 month mark and if you think things are going well would introduce the "girlfriend" as a friend. I don't think your children need to know she is your girlfriend immediately. This way you can see how they get on etc and after a few months you could tell your children you are a couple...

Whether your ex agrees or not it isn't actually up to her who spends time with your children while they are in your care and vice versa.

Good luck

screamadelica Fri 27-Dec-13 12:28:40

Hi, my ex introduced his new partner to my daughter. Sadly it caused her months of anxiety and upset. She was 10 at the time.
My dd will only tolerate her now. I think she felt abandoned by her dad and then he goes and brings his new gf into the picture....only ever thought of himself and how to get at me.
She didnt see her again for months. When she did her older brother was with her.
My advice tread very carefully the implications are massive for a child and once damage is done it will be very hard to undo.

AnnieOats Tue 31-Dec-13 15:27:05

I'm a bit on the fence here. I would say it's too early but we don't know how much child free time the OP gets. If when he says that he gets then most of the weekend it means Friday to monday every weekend then I can see that it would be difficult for him to spend time with a girlfriend without the children being there.

On the other hand if he has them only 1 evening every weekend or has them every other weekend then I think he should wait a few months before introducing them as he's still able to see his girlfriend when the children aren't with him.

If the OP just wants to introduce them so that they can all do things together then he needs to think hard about who will benefit from this because I don't think it will be the children as I'm sure they will find it hard to share their dad with someone else.

He could see the girlfriend on weekdays if his weekends were 100% full of children. Small sacrifice to make for a while to ensure the children aren't disrupted even more.

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