New relationship plus kids - how fast is too fast?(14 Posts)
I wasn't quite sure where to post this question! Been seeing DP for 3 months, we both got divorced last year and both have 2 DC's each between the ages of 7 and 4. About a month ago we arranged a playdate for them all to meet with us acting as 'friends' rather than as a 'couple'. It went really well, the kids all get along nicely with each other and with DP and me, our parenting styles are similar and we've had some time together since during the Easter hols. Things are relaxed and going well.
At what point, with kids of this age, do you establish as 'a couple'? His ex has already figured out that I'm not just a friend (and wants to meet me, which is fine) but I'm not sure if she's said anything to his DC yet. My ex doesn't know anything so far and my DC havn't mentioned anything except how they want more playdates with his DC.
Also, we were planning on having a sleepover within the next month (at the request of the DC) but I'm unsure about sleeping arrangements - would it be inappropriate for them to see us sharing a bed at this stage? I would be happy to sleep separately if the DC are likely to react badly to it.
I'm very cautious about pushing things too quick for the kids since we're only 3 months in and am certainly not filling a 'mum' role or looking to, but this is new to me and I want it to go well. Does anyone have any advice for me please?
I think at that age they can be a bit vague about the difference between friends and BF/GF so it may not need to be a big announcement. More playdates is the way to go. You might want to tell your ex fairly soon though so he doesn't piece it together from things the kids have said and react badly.
Re bed sharing - that could be tricky - especially if any of your kids are prone to climing into your bed in the night or the morning. Might be better to sleep separately the first few times. Or if you do wnat to share a bed, then make sure you've both (separately) briefed your kids on the fact that you are special friends/BF-GF and will be sharing a bed and check they are OK about this if they are likely to climb in with you.
Our DC didn't see us in bed nor stay at each other's houses until we'd been together for 6 months (and it was never all of them at the same time, if that makes sense). Prior to then it was just casual play dates.
I'm still in the early chapters of my stepfamily journey, but I would be cautious of how much 'family' time you spend together.
3 months is still quite a new relationship and until you know he's a 'keeper' it's probably best for your children not to get too attached.
I agree in a sense with loveyoumummy in that 3 months is still a new relationship.
However, I do firmly believe that it is a good idea to not leave it too late before introducing DCs to a new partner. If a person gets attached to a partner then they dont get on with the DC or vice versa, then that relationship would need to end. So imo that is good to know early, before we get in too deep.
I split up with my H 10 years ago and I have been with my current dp since last year. I obviously had partners in between but dp is the only one I have ever let meet my children.
He is the only one who I 'knew' was special, knew he was a keeper.
So while I say it is good to introduce a partner fairly earlyish, it is good to be sure of them first.
With regards to the sleeping arrangements I kind of found out what my children thought first. So when we were having a sleepover for the first time I asked the children where they thought we should all sleep... when my dd said "you will sleep in beside 'dp'" it took the uncertainty out of it.
Since your dc are still fairly young why not do something similar... say "the sleep over will be good, wont it? But, where do you think we should all sleep?" That will give you a feel of where the children are at.
Should add that when I asked my DC where they thought we should all sleep at the sleepover, I did it one day while we were driving to the shops so it wasnt a "big deal" if that makes sense. I just said it all light and cheery...
I didn't have any children when I met DH so it was slightly different but I did not meet DSD for 10 months as we both wanted to be sure it was serious and I was his first proper GF since splitting from DSD's mother.
Really glad we waited, not least because it gave us time to get to know each other properly - and have some romance - before we 'blended'.
So based on that, I'd err on the side of caution and take your time. There is no rush.
Do you know whether your chap has introduced an other GFs to his children?
I think three months into a new relationship is waaaaaay too soon to be introducing your DC to each other and having sleepovers. I also think its far too soon to be introducing your BF as your new partner.
We all know how exciting it is to be in a new relationship, but you hardly know him (this is assuming that he's not someone who's been a friend for years). If this relationship is meant to be then it will last and you have plenty of time for all this family blending that you're in such a hurry to do. Spend a year together and be very sure that this is something serious before introducing your kids. If you don't, you risk having to introduce them to someone new in six months' time, and then if that doesn't work out then then another guy after that, then another one.
Your DC don't need to be involved in your relationships until they're very serious. Right now they need you and their dad in their lives, not a string of new partners on either side. You only divorced last year and they're still so little. Try to see this from their POV and don't be in such a hurry to instantly make another 'happy' family. Bide your time.
Given the OP has already introduced the kids, that's hardly helpful advice is it juneau?
After a bit of thought I've said that I think it's best to sleep separately to avoid any bad reactions from the kids. I think it's too soon. I do like weetinyme's idea though, but further down the line.
As it is I'm not trying to create a 'happy family' and potentially having a 'string' of men has never been my style anyway even when I was young and single. When we've had playdates we havn't given any indication that we're actually a couple so I don't really see how it's any different to other playdates we've had with other friends with kids. The sleepover thing is different which is why I asked.
He hasn't had any other GFs since his divorce Meridian (I havn't had any BFs either). Does that mean anything?
I would stick as friends in front of dc for now and kind of let them lead. I met my step dad and he was moved in and married to my mum 3 months later. My younger brother adjusted easily but I didn't.
Make sure you still have some family time without him and just keep slowly increasing the time spent together. Taking cues from the kids is I on the best way to go and be prepared to go a step or two backwards if needed.
I'm in the early stages of introducing my DC's to my new partner as well (he hasn't got any).
We've been seeing each other for five months now and he's met them a handful of times and it's all gone really well.
I'm very conscious about not pushing things on to the DC's too soon though and have only introduced him as a very good friend.
It will be another few months until I let him spend the night whilst he's here.
I think slowly is the way to go.
OP, only that it gives you a better feel for his approach to these things and how big a deal it is for his children, ie have they been meeting lots of different GFs very quickly. I'd be reassured that they haven't.
Unicow makes a good point, above - really important to ensure plenty of time with just you and yours and him/his DCs, however well the blending is going.
Very sad post in AIBU today. Not the same as your situation, OP, but I do feel for the poster and it's an interesting perspective.
No way I would be sleeping in the same bed as a 3 month old bf in front on mine and bf's dc's.
My partner and me used to meet with our children for play dates, as friends. Our children completely encouraged the idea of us 'asking each other out', so over time my partner played at asking me if I would be his girlfriend and I excepted. The children were thrilled and this worked really well for us. The younger children were 2, 4, 8 and 10. My older children (all teenagers) knew the real deal from the first time I went on a date with my new partner. I saw no point in keeping things from them and they have always been very supportive of me finding someone special, since their father and me split. Hope it goes fab for you all.
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