Fear of a(n Evil) Stepfather

by Carolyn Edgar

My teenage daughter often stops by my office for brief visits. During one of her recent visits, I found myself telling her about one of the couples I follow on Twitter, who are planning their wedding. 

“Ugh, I guess, whatever,” she said, or words to that effect. “I mean, I just don’t see the point in getting married.” 

This isn’t the first time she’s expressed those feelings. I understand why. During the time her father and I were together, we didn’t exactly model marital bliss. What she said next, though, shocked me. 

“I hope you and ____________ [my current boyfriend] never get married.” 

My kids get along great with my boyfriend. He likes them, and they like him. He does “guy stuff” with my son, like wrestling and playing basketball, that I can’t do or have no interest in doing. My boyfriend talks to my son about all those “guy” things my son no longer wants to share with Mom (although my son uses me as a sounding board for the advice he has gotten from my boyfriend). My daughter says he’s “cool,” and he gets extra cool points for treating me well. 

But I have only been seeing my current boyfriend for less than a year. We’ve talked about marriage – as a concept, as an institution – plenty of times, but we’ve never discussed the idea of getting married to each other. So the fact that my daughter brought up the subject of us getting married seems a little odd to me. I guess it’s the influence of movies – in the movies, two people who get along and care for each other in a romantic relationship, are by definition head over heels in love and destined for the altar. 

My daughter’s comments were even more pointed than, “I hope you don’t get married.” When I asked why she hoped ___________ and I never get married, she said,

“I don’t want a stepfather.” 

The kids are 100% in agreement on this “no stepfather” thing. A few months earlier, my son told my boyfriend that his Mom didn’t need another husband. “It didn’t work out so well the first time,” my son said. 

My boyfriend and I concluded “don’t marry my Mom” was my son’s way of warning, “Don’t hurt my Mom.”  Later, I asked, and my son confirmed “don’t hurt my Mom” was what he meant. Judging from my daughter’s remarks on the subject, it sounds like she and her brother have talked and agreed that one father – even if they don’t see him very much – is enough.

In the abstract, it’s easy to understand why a stepfather would be undesirable. In literature and movies, and especially on TV news, stepfathers are violent, cruel, and abusive. The evil stepfather is almost as common a trope as the wicked stepmother.

But it is still hard for me to comprehend why the thought of my marrying this particular man – someone who is not violent, not cruel, not abusive – is so scary to them. 

“It would change things,” my daughter said. “My attitude towards him would change.”

I could see from her facial expression that the very idea of it was upsetting her. There was no point in continuing the conversation, especially since it’s not even a possibility at this point.

“No need to worry about that, since it’s not something we’re considering,” I told her. “If we ever need to, we’ll talk about it again.”

 “Ugh,” was all she said in response, making sure she got the last word – or noise – in.

Original to CocoaMamas

Single Mommy Blues

It seems we mothers spend a lot of time – and ink – talking about how hard it is to be a mother.

Numerous books, parenting blogs and websites are devoted to the topic. On playgrounds and playdates, mothers huddle together and talk about how incredibly difficult this motherhood game really is.

And yet the voices of some of us mothers mostly remain unheard.

The point of this post is not to compare notes to see which moms have it worst. Mothering is hard. It’s hard whether you’re single or married, whether you’re successfully co-parenting with a cooperative ex, or doing it all by yourself, whether you have the help of a village or only the help you are able to pay for.

But I want to talk about the special hardships faced by single mothers who are doing it alone. Really alone. Without the help of a reliable spouse, co-parent, or a network of friends or family members who pitch in whenever possible.

For several years after my divorce, I sacrificed having a personal life for the sake of my kids. Weekends were consumed by soccer, gymnastics, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, ice skating – you name an activity, we probably tried it. Dating? Hah! I wasn’t ready. Focusing on the kids was a great way to avoid thinking about how badly I’d flubbed the whole “picking the right partner” thing.

I didn’t become SuperMom because I wanted to. I did it because I lacked an alternative. I live in New York City. My family is in Michigan. My ex-husband was – and is -absent and uninvolved.

I had the help I was willing to pay for. I paid full-time rates for part-time babysitters to ensure I had someone to pick the kids up from school and care for them on half-days and school holidays. The extra expense killed my budget, but my work schedule was too demanding to enable me to rely on afterschool programs.

Recently, I tried co-parenting with my ex-husband, an experiment that now seems short-lived. His last overnight visit with the kids was New Year’s weekend. He is too unreliable to keep a regular visiting schedule, and I don’t have the energy to deal with the litany of excuses.

Although single parenting would be tough even if I worked at home, my demanding executive job makes the juggling even more difficult. Plus, in addition to my day job, I do speaking enagements and lectures. I write, for this blog and others, on my own time.

I even finally started dating again.

The writing, the dating, the lecturing, and some occasional exercise are things I do for myself. But they take away from the time I spend with my kids. I can no longer devote every weekend to their activities. And I feel incredibly guilty about it.

For example: my son is a natural baseball talent. Yet I don’t have time to take him to a baseball coach to work on his skills. I don’t have time – or a good enough pitching/throwing arm – to take him to the park and help him work on his catching, fielding and hitting. I haven’t found time to have him try out for a travel team – and even if he did, I’m not sure I would be able to haul him around from game to game.

His father, who played baseball in high school, takes no interest in his son’s baseball development. I get angry about this sometimes, and then I realize being angry is futile.

Well-meaning friends tell me to stop beating up on myself. They tell me to focus on the fact that, all by myself, I have raised smart, independent thinkers who are thriving in some of New York City’s most competitive schools.

I do acknowledge my blessings. But still, I’m tired. So please forgive me for indulging in a bit of whining.

Mothering is hard for all mothers. It is especially hard for us single women who are parenting completely by ourselves. And because we’re so used to doing everything all by ourselves, we don’t ask for help easily. Or always know how to accept it graciously, without constantly thanking the person who agreed to step in for us. Or apologizing for being burdensome.

So if you know a single mom who parents by herself, maybe you can offer her a little help. If your kids are friends, maybe you can offer to pick her kid up from school and host a playdate at your house. Or you can invite her kid to a weekend playdate or sleepover. Let her be the last parent to pick up her child from the birthday party. Because whether she says it or not, she values every single moment she gets to spend by herself. But she may not feel she has the right to ask for that time.

And try not to get too annoyed when she keeps saying “thank you.”

Trials and Tribulations

It ain’t easy being the parent without primary housing responsibilities. I won’t use terms like “custody” or “custodial” because we have not settled all of that officially.

But, it has its issues. One issue is finances. We argue over finances, tax claims, purchasing responsibilities, etc. We make agreements, one person renegs, and things fall apart. We were doing well before, but I think changes happened because of decisions I have made in my personal life that he does not agree with. He seems to be taking a more adversarial approach with me.

Another issue is time. When your child isn’t with you daily, it becomes easier to disconnect from parental obligations. When you only see your child on weekends, it is often like the child is temporarily stepping into your life, so you don’t make a lot of changes. I realized that in my new house, nothing indicates that I have a child. There are no toys scattered, no child’s bed, no pictures even save one magnet on my fridge. It isn’t a kid-friendly home by any means.

A final issue is missed opportunities. I miss everything. Part of it is because his father fails to inform me of when things happen. He claims he doesn’t want to interfere or intrude in my life. What? This is my son we’re talking about. How is telling me about a school event or development intrusion? It’s like he shuts me out intentionally. I resent that. And recognize that it makes me feel even more disconnected than I felt when he was around all of the time.

I realized things were becoming a grave issue when 4 days passed and I hadn’t spoken to him once. I’d asked his father to get him into the habit of calling me and not relying on me to call him. This isnt to say I have a problem with calling him, but I want him to begin to get used to the idea that whenever he wants to talk to me, he can pick up the phone and call me. His father agreed. I asked him this over a month ago and he has only called me twice. I got so caught up in my day-to-day life that days passed without me speaking to him and I hadn’t even really been impacted by it. I’d called a few times but either his father didn’t answer or he was in the bath or he was asleep.

I’m not feeling this at all.

He tells me that he has every intention of keeping him at least through the 4th grade. 5 more years of this? I don’t know man… what will it do to our relationship? And why do I feel more and more comfortable with that  idea?

I don’t know if that makes me a bad parent or just indicates that maybe I recognize what is best for my son in the long run.

In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for text-messaged pictures of what he is doing.

I had to ask if that was me, or daddy’s new girlfriend…

Cheaters as Relationship Gurus

Popular gossip/entertainment site The YBF made a splash yesterday when it posted a YouTube video from Mary Harvey, Steve Harvey’s ex-wife, in which she talked of Harvey’s infidelity during their marriage, including his affair during their marriage with his current wife, Marjorie. The ex-Mrs. Harvey also posted a salacious letter from one of Steve Harvey’s jump-offs.

Not surprisingly, this revelation spawned comments ranging from “I knew he was a low down dirty dog! How dare he try to be some kind of relationship guru!” to “Yawn, old news, old girl needs to move on.”

It is old news, in a way. Steve has admitted his cheating ways. It was already known that his current wife was his side piece. He’s not the first nor the last man to cheat, to marry his side chick, or to say he can tell women how to avoid low down dirty dogs because he was once one himself.

Although Harvey’s relationship books are best-sellers, there are those who resent his emergence as the media’s African-American relationship expert.

Can a person with multiple divorces under his belt seriously be considered a relationship counselor? Or, as Harvey argues, should we listen because of those past failures?

In my opinion, the fact that Harvey is a (reformed) cheater neither qualifies nor disqualifies him as a relationship expert. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship has ideas and opinions about relationships, based on their own experiences. And all of those people are capable of giving both good and bad advice.

I write about being divorced, so I am often asked to write about marriage – particularly, about lessons learned. I managed to partner with and marry the one person on this planet who was incompatible with me in every single way imaginable. Apparently, this is because I am an overachiever.

The biggest lesson I learned about marriage? Don’t marry the wrong person. Or, as I said to a friend shortly after I filed for divorce, “Choose better.”

I can’t tell people how to know he’s Mr. Right, because I’m still trying to figure that out. I have some ideas on how to know you’re dating Mr. Wrong.  But I don’t claim to be the Mr. Wrong expert. One person’s Mr. Wrong is another person’s Mr. Right or Mr. Cool For Right Now.

All I know is this: you are the expert of you. No one can tell you what’s best or worst for you, except you. The only thing another person can do is provide some guidance that might help you make the right choices for yourself.

Which leads me back to Steve Harvey. The fact that he cheated on his wives and has been divorced a bunch of times doesn’t mean much to me. The advice he dispenses should be judged on its own merits.

That said, I’m not a huge fan of his relationship advice, and not because of his own relationship history. I read his book “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man.” While I do think he makes some good points – such as the importance of establishing standards for how you expect to be treated early in a relationship – I don’t care for his “men are simple” brand of relationship advice.

I don’t think men are simple. I think men are wonderfully complex human beings. Harvey says men need loyalty, support and sex. Don’t women need the same things, too?

For the record, I also think the aphorism, “why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?” is deeply flawed. It assumes sex has no value for women except as currency in trade with men.

Men and women alike should be smarter about and embracing of sex and their own sexuality, which doesn’t translate to strict “wait till the third date” rules. Other people can give you guidelines, but you have to establish your own rules about sex and intimacy.

As for Mary Harvey, the ex-Mrs. Harvey? I feel badly for her. You don’t save letters, emails, and other evidence of your ex-husband’s infidelity this many years after the divorce, if you have truly moved on. She appears to still be in a lot of pain over her husband’s betrayal of their wedding vows.

If telling her story helps her process that pain and helps other women in the process, then her revelations are a good thing. If she’s still coming from a place of bitterness and vengefulness, she will need to heal for her own sake, no matter what she writes or posts on YouTube. Only she knows what her motives are. I wish her well.

Why Is “Not Settling” So Difficult?

I have been asking myself this question a lot lately.

I find myself wondering if I ask too much of people, if I set my standards too high. I always come back to the “No, your standards are right where they should be” response.

But then, I recognize how easy it is to settle. How it can be stress-free if you don’t put any real thought or emotion into it. Anyone can settle for less and in truth, most people do.  I did that once, though, and it did not work. I simply could not endure it any longer. My self-esteem and self-worth are too high to settle the next time around.

Yet, by not settling, I find myself more often than not by myself. That is not so much a bad thing at this particular point in my life. I’m going through a transition, on the tail end of full recovery from an emotionally brutal marriage. So, I don’t exactly need someone right now, this very instant.

But… I always think about the future. I am a planner. I am organized. I have a son to think about so my future is his future. I have to be sure that if I do end up with someone, the person is someone I trust completely around my son and with his childrearing and upbringing.  I’m not 100% calculated in my actions, but I do like to have a handle or understanding of what is to come. So maybe I’d like to begin laying the groundwork for something. It’s been a year since “we” ended. I have done a lot of introspective processing and I’ve come to know what I want, what I need, and what I expect from a partner.

Honesty, loyalty, respect, honor, love, dedication, companionship, these are standard things I think anyone seeks when they want a partner. That’s not asking too much, is it? Or maybe it is…

Particulars like age, race, height, socioeconomic status, education are somewhat negotiable, but not really lol But I think we’re entitled to preferences because those are what we want and so long as they are not too extreme, we should be able to have what we want.

I don’t think I’m too particular. I just think I’m anti-settling and what I view as settling, others might not agree.

Having “been there, done that”, I know it is impossible for me to ever be truly happy by settling for less. I just wish it were not so difficult, because I would love to have someone take me to the movies and buy me ice cream every now and then.

And truth be told… I don’t think I can do this mommy thing alone.

Billy Bad Ass

*Deeeeeep Sigh*

I am having serious issues. My precious, darling, cutest baby boy in the world has morphed into a Creature of Badness. No, we’re not supposed to talk about our kids like that, but hey, I’m amongst family, right?

Right. So let the venting begin.

Maybe I need to back up a minute and state, for the record, that I truly believe behavior is learned, either by mimicking the behavior of those in one’s immediate society, by direct behavior modifcation efforts from authority figures, or by indirectly picking up things along the way from more external sources, like media, for example. I believe that children absorb everything around them and it influences how they think, the choices the make, and, consequently, their behavior.

With that said, there are certain ages where children just begin to lose their ever-loving minds!!! This is one of those times I’m guessing.  My son went from being sweet-faced, obedient, always wanting to please to being angry, rude, disrespectful, disobedient, and just all around bad.

And it is driving me up the wall!

I spend weekends with him and he is with his father during the week. Its only about 3 days (from Friday evening to Monday morning) but it comes out to being more hours than his father spends with him during the week. It’s usually just he and I, one-on-one, mano a mano. I’d say maybe 15-20% of that time is pleasantly spent laughing, playing, reading, doing fun things.  The rest of the time is spent fussing, fighting, yelling, disciplining, dragging, popping, and all other types of foolish defiance-induced struggling.

I had to step back the past couple of weeks and think of what might be contributing to this behavior. I thought about his being 3 year old and how every article I’ve read says that its the 3s that are the real trouble, not the 2s. Ok, I’ll give him that. I thought about how rapidly he is developing physically, mentally, and emotionally, and how difficult it must be to try and navigate all of these internal changes being only 3 years old. Poor guy, right? I thought about the separation, and how it might be causing issues for him as he tries to adjust to his family being separated and his going back and forth between two homes. That’s a lot to deal with at 3. I thought about how, in his new child care setting, he is allowed a lot more freedom and provided with a lot less discipline than he once was. His father’s step-mother is his primary caregiver, and let’s be honest, she spoils him rotten (like she did her own sons).

My son has become a demanding little beast who does not take “No” for an answer. Everything is a negotiation. He  went from always saying, “Mommy can I have some juice please?” to “Mommy. Juice.” I spent an entire weekend retraining him to ask politely for the things he wants. And then, when he does ask and I say “No”, his response is “But Mommmmmmmy, you can’t say ‘No’!” or he comes and hits me, scowls his face, and follows up with “You don’t tell me ‘No’!” or somehing to that effect. Or, he comes back 5 seconds later, “How about now?”

Wait… what? Where did he learn that mess?? Who is jumping at every demand that he puts forth that he ever got it into his mind that 1. it’s ok to make demands 2.  it’s ok to hit me and 3. it’s ok to yell at me and tell me what to do??

As the young folks say, “Where they do that at?”

I feel like I spend the majority of our time in disciplinary mode and it is wearing me out! It is making it very difficult for me to enjoy my time with my son and thus making it hard for me to connect with him the way I want to. Since connecting with him has been an issue since he was born, for other reasons, this concerns me a great deal. I feel like I’m playing Good Cop, Bad Cop, and guess which one I am?

Occasionally, I feel a sense of dread when I have to pick him up, especially if I know he hasn’t taken a nap that day (which happens often because his caregivers aren’t making him nap). I prepare for the inevitable evening meltdown that will ruin any plans I had for that time and I prepare myself for battle. When I drop him off on Mondays, sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief.  Then, I feel sad for ever feeling this way.

I’m doing my best to remain consistent in my disciplinary tactics, but little is working short of popping him with the “Bad Boy Stick” which is a wooden spoon. Even then, he stares at me like “So? That’s all you got?” and I feel horrible for having spanked him (I’m already against spanking). When I see how ineffective it is, it makes me feel like it’s not worth it. Someone recently said, “Hit him harder”, but is that the answer? Really?

He has always had an indepedent streak. I try to support it. He wants to do things on his own, so I allow him the space to do that. But with that comes often bad behavior that I have to correct, when I feel no one else is. The other day, I had reached a breaking point and I was in near tears asking him, “Why are you so mean to Mommy? Why do you behave like a bad boy so much? Why can’t we have fun and smile and laugh and play?”

He started crying and said “I’m so sorry Mommy!!” and threw his arms around me wimpering. He then said, “Because I want Daddy here”. I don’t want to believe that he understood what I was asking well enough to answer that way, but at the end of the day, I think I have my answer.

All About Me!

In exactly one week, I will be another year older.

That makes me an Aries. In fact, I’m an Alpha Aries. I’m the epitome of an Aries woman. I have this belief that people born in the first week of the dominant month are those who embody the most traits of that sign. I’m really into astrology, forgive me. If you cannot relate, my apologies. To read more about Arians, click here

My favorite holiday is my birthday. Seriously. I’m so amazed and grateful to have lived to see another year on this earth, so I take time to really celebrate myself.

But this year is special. This is the first birthday I’m celebrating post-marriage. It’s the first birthday, in a few, that I have not been deeply depressed. It’s the first birthday in a long time that I’m having a big party to celebrate. It’s the first birthday in my New Life.

And I’m SO excited!

Lately, I’ve really been focusing on uplifting myself by recognizing my accomplishments and the great things about myself, and understanding that I will only get better with age and time. I have the tendency to be overly critical of myself and I’d like to say that’s because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. I want to be the best! But in true Aries form, I start everything with gusto and passion and then grow extremely bored shortly after beginning. This leaves me feeling like a failure for having little follow-through. But, I’m moving away from being critical and focusing on being celebratory.

I’ve been through a lot these last two years, this last year especially. I feel it’s my time to shine! When better to fully embrace that than on my birthday?

So, here’s to me! I’ve come back from what felt like the depths of hell, a few scars, a few bruises, a few set-backs, a few wrong decisions… but I’m here. I’m here and I’m growing stronger every day. I’m here and I’m believing more and more in myself and what I can really do now that I’ve been relieved of so many burdens. I’m rediscovering myself and loving all of the new and wonderful things I’m capable of.

It’s all about me!!!

I’m Doing What’s Best, Right?

I am a newly single mom, trying to navigate through all of the “stuff” that comes with going through a divorce and establishing a workable co-parenting agreement. It can be difficult at times, and I was recently made aware by someone outside of my situation that my emotional connection to the situation is still strong. I find myself upset about things on higher levels than I should be, I have been irritable, listless, melancholic, and a myriad of other things.

I’m supposed to be happy. Yet, there are days when I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out. There are so many positive things going on for me, and I swear I try my best to focus on those things. But every now and then, the darkness grips me and negativity takes over.

I’m a woman in a non-traditional role. I don’t see my son every day. I see him about 3 weekends a month.  With my new job and the responsibilities that come with that, as well as my overwhelming need for “space” and time to get myself together physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually post-divorce, I gave over primary care of my son to his father and his extended family.  I’ve grappled with this since agreeing to it because, as one can imagine, the feelings of being a “bad mom”, feelings of selfishness, questioning if I will be forgotten all come up from time to time.

Why do we, as women, feel like we have to take on the primary responsibility of raising our children? And why do we, as society, look down more upon women who take the secondary role than men? It’s like we accept, or in some cases expect, men to not be equal parents, so when they leave or take the secondary role, it doesn’t seem to phase us.  But when a woman does it, there is little sympathy or understanding.

I’m doing what’s best, in my opinion, for my son, and most importantly, for myself.  If I’m not well… I can’t be a good mother. I just need some time, alone, for me to get it all together.

And I have to forgive myself for feeling negative or selfish about it.

The Talk

Last Friday, my soon-to-be ex had “The Talk” with my 7 year old step-daughter. “The Talk” meaning the “Benee and I are not married anymore” talk.

Without me.

We had previously agreed that we would sit her down and tell her together, so that we could both express our love for her and for our family, and reassure her that it was nothing that she did. He’d picked her up from home (I’m usually the one who does that since I have the car) and met me in Manhattan. Our plan was to pick up the boy and spend a nice family evening together.  When I called him to see where they were, he said, “I need you to get out of the car and give J a big hug because I had “the talk” with her.”  Immediately, I was angry. How could he do that without me? He explained that she was asking questions and he felt he had to answer them. He said that she was crying and asking what happened, why was this happening. My heart was breaking as he spoke, but I got out of the car and as they approached, I grabbed her and gave her a big hug.

In those moments, I held her close and I felt broken. All of the pain of everything that led to this point of having “the talk” came rushing back and I was hurt, sad, angry, bitter, and depressed all at once. But, I knew that I had to put on a strong front, a happy face, and be supportive of her needs at the time. I admit I was hurt and disappointed that he talked to her without me, but then I understood that he felt the need to ease his daughter’s confusion and I allowed him that.

We had a good family evening. She’d been asking why sometimes she stayed with her daddy at grandpa’s house and why sometimes she stayed with me and her brother, without daddy. It was time to explain and I think we put it off for so long because we had not yet tied up our loose ends. We didn’t want to confuse her until we were absolutely positive things we done with us.

And they are.

So now, the next task is handling the more sensitive task of ensuring that the 3 year old boy comes to some understanding of the situation. At least, whatever his 3 year old mind can handle.  He seems to have a confused sense of “home” and that troubles me. This past weekend, he called me “Abuela” at least 5 times. “Abuela! Ummmm Mommy…” was how he started several sentences. That troubles me because I already have issues with the choice we made to have him stay with his father and grandparents during the week and me on weekends. I don’t want to disturb his amazing development as a little intelligent, funny, precocious boy. I’ve read the statistics about the effects of “broken homes” on young people and we’re doing what we can to counter the negative effects by wrapping him up with the love of extended family.

But I’m still his mommy. And I’m still her “other” mother, as she has always known me to be. I over think the future, especially since her father is already focused on the woman he wants to be his next wife. I overthink how maybe, eventually, I will become obsolete to her. Will she still think of me as her second mommy? Or will his new wife replace me and that precious position I’ve held for the last 4.5 years? Will she even remember these early years and all of the love and attention I gave her? Will she remember who taught her how to shop and coordinate her outfits, who did her hair on the weekends, who took her to get her nails done? Will I just be her brother’s mother after this new woman has replaced my position as her father’s wife?

It hurts, at times, when I think of the effect this has and will have on our children. They are so young, so innocent. This is such a huge period of adjustment and I feel we have a lot of careful work to do to make sure they don’t lose their sense of safety and stability. I admit, I’m nervous… I don’t know what to do, how to be….

And that scares the crap out of me.

Dating While Divorcing


I am a reasonably attractive woman. I walk with confidence, dress well, try to smile when I make eye contact with people, and I even add a sway to my hips.

I am a plus-sized woman, 6’0 tall, and I have natural hair. And, believe it or not, I get hit on a lot. Pretty much daily. Always have, even when I was married.

I was with the same man for 4.5 years and I’ve finally reached the point where I am ready to date again.

Here’s my question: What now?

When you’ve thought you’ve found “The One”… the person you pledged your life to, the person you had children with, the person who promised you forever, you think “Hey, life is pretty nicely wrapped up. Now I can focus on other things.”  But then, when it ends, you are forced to re-evaluate, re-prioritize, and really figure out the next step.

I’m 30. I should say, I’m ONLY 30. By no means an “old maid”, by no means too old to think about the next one. Too young to resign myself to never finding love again. Yet, I have doubts, fears, concerns.

Will I be able to trust another person again? Will I be able to let my guard down enough to let someone new in? Do I even have the desire/interest to try this all over again? How will I proceed now, being a mom?

The latter is the biggest issue for me. I’ve seen some people bring all kinds of people around their children all willy nilly. I’ve also seen some people all but bar people from ever encountering their children. There has to be a happy medium. I’m trying to figure that out. I think I decided that I dont want to bring anyone around my kids until we’ve been “serious” for at least a year. Part of me wants to say until we’re talking moving in or marriage, but part of determining that is how the person interacts with my kids. Thats a key factor that wasnt an issue beforehand.

So, Ive been on dates. Met some interesting people. Trying to figure out who stands out. I see potential in one person, but again, there are some fears. I don’t ever want to end up in a situation remotely like what I experienced in my marriage. At the same time, I know I want companionship again. I want to have someone take care of my heart and soul. I want someone to come home to.

I’m being patient. Things are still new for me. The best part is the feeling that I’ve finally released myself from my marriage and the feelings therein, and I’m finally ready to move forward.

Wish me luck 🙂