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When did you introduce new partner to kids?(26 Posts)
I have been seeing someone for nearly 3 months. My kids (11 and 7) have no contact with their father and I have no local family, so I never have time without them apart from evenings.
I'm just wondering when it would be acceptable for my boyfriend to join us for a day out, and when it's OK for him to stay over night.
I really like him and of course I totally love my kids, so I want to get this right.
I think it's generally thought to be about a year?
I waited a year and had three boys. I wanted to get it right and make sure it was going to last (well as much as you can)
I wouldn't wait a year.
Your dc are old enough to be told the difference of getting to know someone, boyfriend and girlfriend and serious relationship.
I'd personally wait 3/4 months and do day trips and then another few months on that before overnights although I'd have him round for dinner and to spend the evening once the dc know him.
If it's going to work your dc will have to like him and if they don't like him after you've invested a year in him you're going to be really disappointed that it can't work.
So did you have a whole year of not spending a night together?
I waited 6 months with my DC, who were 8 and 6 at the time. Mine do see their dad regularly so I had more opportunities to spend time with DP. I personally think a year would have been too long - IMO you need to know sooner that everyone will get on together or not.
I waited a good six months but he did visit in the evening for food/ drinks once the kids were in bed. Innocent enough to explain him as a friend if they had woken up (fortunately they did not!) Do the children ever go to stay with family? Could you have a weekend away?
I waited almost a year. It's been 18m now and he's never stayed the night while kids are here.
We have several child free nights a week to see each other, but I don't think I would have introduced them much earlier even if that wasn't the case.
About 3 months but he didn't stay over for a while after that. We're getting married next year so a different time line to others on this thread!
I'll break convention here and say that I said I'd only introduce someone to DD if I knew they'd be in both of our lives for a very long time. I'd been a single parent for 8 months, after leaving her father because of his serial cheating and emotional abuse, when I met DP and DD was 13 months at the time - he met her within 2 weeks of us becoming a couple and we move in together next week, 6 months into our relationship. Most will say it's too fast, but it was very much a case of 'when you know, you know' and he is the most wonderful father figure to DD, more than I could have ever imagined.
Conversely, I came from a single parent family and between the ages of 1-17 ( when I moved out), 5 of my DM's partners moved in to our family home and left which was a little destructive in terms of my perception of men.
I did after a year, felt slightly too soon but, went for it.
I waited 6 month. Before that though I would only see him when DS was at his dad's which wasn't very often. If you think he's going to be around quite a while (obviously you can never tell for sure) then go for it. We have just recently moved in together after 2 years together and it's going great
6months. But he was my husband so not exactly a stranger. If it was someone who I didn't previously know I would've waited until the relationship felt serious enough it was going to last a long time.
I think around a year is the right time. Once you know for sure its a serious lasting relationship
I waited four months and then slowly introduced him. It went really well. I introduced him as a friend at first and we did fun days out. After another couple of months he started spending the night here occasionally. DC's (6&10) love him.
I do understand the waiting 6 months to a year thing. Totally. I think it's about knowing you feel comfortable with someone and have got to know them enough. What I find unrealistic is the 'once you are sure the relationship is going to last' shenanigans. This whole relationships board is testimony that the only person you can ever be sure about is yourself. You can't ever be 'sure a relationship will last' - not even after years of marriage and kids. It's a pointless thing to aim for...
Maybe I'm just too cynical...
Thank you everyone. I have to say a year seems like ages, given that I have no one else to look after the kids ever! I can see that it would be wrong to introduce someone as a partner early on - having them at the house a lot, acting like a step-parent, staying overnight, lots of physical contact with Mum etc. But why would introducing them as a friend on days out early on be so bad? After all, my kids have met a lot of my friends on days out, then not seen them again for a few months, or seen them again soon after - and this hasn't upset them at all. I'm confused!
umbongounchained your post is very confusing! You introduced him to your kids when he was already your husband?? Word missing somewhere??
Watching with interest. Been seeing someone 10 months and yet to introduce to DD (5 ). No child free time so he sneaks in and out! Not ideal. If I had regular child free time I'd wait another six months. But like a previous poster my mum had poor boundaries with partners growing up and several moved in and out....so I'm hyper sensitive.
Yeah we married 5 years ago, went our separate ways for a year and a half, I'd had a baby with someone else and now we're back together.
Long old story, not as bad as it makes me look I swear!
It all.depends how you want it to unfold, days out seem fine but wandering round in your undercrackers when they Don't know the person and then they disappear is different....
I was in a similar position to you, ex dh moved 100's of miles away and my dad was very unwell when I first met dh so no family support either. Dc were 3 and 7.
I have always had lots of male friends, so after a couple of months of seeing dh, we starting meeting up with him away from the house, mostly quick cafe meet ups etc, so they thought he was just like any other friend. He'd often come round for dinner, to watch a film etc and would stay over on the sofa (I'd stay with him but set an alarm for 5am so I was in my own bed long before the kids woke up!)
It worked really well, they got to know him gradually and we did get some time alone too. Dd once asked if I was ever going to have a boyfriend (she was 8 at the time) unbeknown to her I'd had one for 6 months but I replied I'd possibly like one and she straightaway suggested it should be my now dh! Dd is now 15 and knows all about the early days of our relationship and she finds it funny hearing about it all but told me she's really glad we did it the way we did.
I knew he was a keeper, as he never once grumbled about how things were and our lack of time alone, and totally saw the 3 of us as a package. That was 8 years ago now, we married last year, with the dc by our side, dd was my bridesmaid and ds was our best man
I was introduced to DP's kids (age 4 and 6) after 3 months at his 40th family supper as there were a few other people there which made it easier. I was happy to wait for longer..maybe 6 months but it was so lovely spending time together my OH didnt want to wait. We had known each other for years at work though. Just introduced as a friend of him and his parents. Had to stay over because of distances but there was a sofa in his bedroom to leap to! It was easy...built up a friendship with the kids (but then i love kids so was easy). I remember hiding under the duvet once when they burst in! But it just evolved really naturally. They liked me and i liked them so it was really easy. And now i am their stepmum and mother to their brother and we are a v happy family. I def think wait as long as you feel is right and do lots of fun days out and wait a while before being affectionate in front of them etc. I am a child of divorced parents so i was v mindful of their feelings. 7 yrs later i still wear frumpy pyjamas to bed when they spend the night here in case i am up in the night!
I went about it like you are thinking of, OP, so I'll explain how it works for us. Hope it helps a bit.
I introduced my boyfriend to my kids (my oldest is 14) when we'd only been dating for about 6 weeks. Very much like you say, for days out, or he comes for a barbecue. All in the context of them knowing we're dating, and that that's a time for enjoying the other person's company and working out whether they're someone you want to make a deeper commitment to in the future. I didn't do this for the sake of it, or to make my life easier. Our family therapist (I'm widowed, we get bereavement counselling) felt that they'd be reassured about me being lonely forever. And that by meeting any boyfriend I have fairly early, it would help keep the ideas of them having a dad and me having a romantic relationship separate.
Over time he has started staying over occasionally (we're long distance or there would be no need) but he sleeps in our spare bedroom, not in my bed. And we're not overtly physical in front of my kids.
You do need to be super careful about the guy, of course. Although I'd not been with my chap long, we'd known each other through work for a few months before that. And we have mutual friends, some of whom had known him for years. It helped confirm my instinct that he's a good 'un.
I also felt that I wanted my chap to get to know me as a parent, and to get to know my kids. We're a package deal, and a long term relationship with me without being very involved in their lives isn't an option. If my kids didn't like him or vice versa then it was pointless pursing the relationship.
My kids were 10 and 16 - I introduced my new partner as a friend at first to see how they got on, it was very scary, but as I had been chatting on the phone to him for months they were really intrigued to meet him. It was a good 4/5 months after that before he stayed over and I always asked the kids if they were OK with that.
I waited over a year before introducing DP to the children. I had lots of child free time though.
Once I introduced him then things moved very fast, he was living here very quickly. We all just got on so well. In hindsight that's not a great idea. Luckily it all went well but it so could easily have not.
You need a life and relationships and if waiting a year will be too hard and make you too miserable then don't wait. You need to consider yourself as well.
My only advice would be to do it slowly (unlike me). So supper once a week and then days out, building up to sleepovers. Give the kids a chance to gently get to know him.
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