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I’m not a step parent but can you give me advice please(20 Posts)
I’m hoping you guys on this board can give me some advice.
I’m a single parent to two young adults age 18 and 20.
After I split from their dad, I made the decision not to date until they were grown up, or as good as, partly because their dad introduced them to the OW weeks after we split.
I’ve been separated and then divorced 12 years now and I’ve never introduced them to anyone - I’ve had dalliances, FWBs but no one serious.
I’m sure you can guess what’s coming. I’ve met a gentleman friend. We’ve been dating 5 months - they know I’m seeing someone but he’s never been introduced to them yet.
If those of you who had adult or near adult step kids at the point of introduction, what advice would you give me/him/us?
(He has no kids so I don’t have to face the same issue)
Thanks so much if you’ve got this far.
Keep the first introduction faily simple and short, a coffee out for example.
Then a relaxed meal at home if things go well.
Your children are old enough to have proper conversation with and so shouldn’t be a problem.
Don’t overthink it!!
Thanks. I’m just really uptight because I’ve never done this before and I don’t want to rush it and make a mess of things.
The fact that he has no kids, doesn't mean that he has no feelings about the matter. In managing this situation well, remember that you need to think about him as well as the kids. That way leads to happy relationships all round.
From the perspective of the near adult and then the adult child when both my parents found new partners my advice is to give your children time to adapt, don't expect them to happily accept your new bf into their lives immediately, listen to them and don't force your new bf on them (eg if they're away at uni make sure when they come back that you spend time with them without your bf) don't insist that he's there all the time too quickly or that's you're one happy family immediately.
If your dc express concern about your new bf/don't like him/express concern about how you are around him then listen to them, don't just listen to your bf particularly if he doesn't like them. Hopefully they will all like each other but as with meeting any other adults not everyone will get on with each other.
These things take time, patience and sensitivity. Just because your dc are officially 'adults' now doesn't mean that they don't still need you to be 'mum' and may struggle to adapt to seeing you as someone's girlfriend, particularly if you become wrapped up in your new bf.
While there are some things which are easier about having a relationship with grown up children rather than when they're small (and I'm doing pretty much the same as you and waiting to have a full time partner until my dc are older) they may well be uncertain as they've had you to themselves for 12 years.
It sounds as if you will be very sensitive to your dc (unlike either of my parents) and hopefully it all work out well, just take it slowly and be patient. Good luck!
I just want to make sure that I consider all of them - them and him - I don’t want anyone to end up upset because of some stupid thing I’ve done in hand,ing it.
What do your children say about you saying someone? You can ask them if the're curious to meet him and do something that everyone will like
Otherwise, given that they are adults and it doesn't sound that they have a reason to be traumatized, it's not so critical to properly introduce. Just take it slow and don't stress too much about it. If something doesn't work out, it's not because you've done something wrong, sometimes people just don't click.
They’re happy that I’m seeing someone - they’re the ones starting to make noises about when they’re going to meet him.
He’s happy to do whatever and is happy to meet them at their pace.
That all sounds very positive OP
I know they’re adults and they might not like him but I’m just concerned because they’ve never had to share me and they might find it weird to have him around. They almost certainly will.
He is really easy going and laid back but he would still be around an established dynamic between me and them, if that makes sense at all.
I may be overthinking 😳
I would take them to meet him, as such him be at the pub and you take you children to met him - he could wait at the door, and as you drive up " there is is I really hope you like he"
You have been very considerate in bringing up your children I'm sure it will be fine. I meet my mums partner at 17 the 1st meeting didn't go so well but the 2nd did, they were together over 30 years I loved him dearly he was my children's grandad and we all got on really well - we fell out and fell in on the odd occasion as families do but we all did love and care about each other
I hope it goes well
Please update us I will cross my fingers for you x
People get used to everything and if he's a nice man and your children are respectful, there's no reason really for them not to get along. Just go with the flow....
He is a nice man. And my kids are nice kids. But then, I would say that wouldn’t I?
Just relax and take it easy, I would suggest a more sideways approach, keeping it casual and low key. Meeting at the pub sounds like an excellent idea.
If you have brought your kids up well, then they will want to see you happy. You have devoted all your time to them, and now it's your turn to have a life.
Just take it easy, don't be too tactile with him at first, let them get used to him as a person/friend.
I think a neutral setting (pub, coffee shop) and just make it very relaxed and informal. I met my ex step mother (dragon) when I was summoned over to my dads house to meet her. She sat glaring at me and rolled her eyes when I got myself a drink. It was almost like a territorial thing....very odd!
I’m sure it’ll be fine and I’m sure your children have appreciate the fact you’ve waited so long to introduce anyone to them. Hope it goes well!
Whatever age you meet someone new, your kids might not be thrilled despite wanting you to be happy because your life will be a bit less focused on them.
If it works out with this man, be prepared to assert your right to a life outside of motherhood. But don't forget that they still need some of their mum's time, which your new man may not fully appreciate in practice. It's all about finding a new balance where everyone will have to make compromises.
Oh and you're not overthinking, you are anticipating very real possibilities. It is hard for a new man to understand the dynamic that exists between a mother and her children, and even harder to find a role for himself within it that everyone is comfortable with.