An acquaintance of mine posted an image on facebook this past week showing a 38 year old male with three options for his future- single forever, ugly girls, or stepdad. Now, I dont typically get offended by stupid shit like this on social media; however, the "stepdad" part hit too close to home for me. This implies that being a stepdad is something one will have to deal with like, "I found the woman of my dreams, but she's got kids. Oh well, I'll put up with it because my options are nil at this point in life". So much of this post irritates me; however, I don't want to digress. I want to focus on the purpose of this blog which is, "Yes, I am a single mother who is dating; however, I am not looking for a stepdad for my children".
I am not dating in hopes of finding someone to "step in" and be a father to my children. That's not anyone's responsibility other than their dad; however, I am looking for MEN that want to be a part of their lives because...
1. They realize its an HONOR
Wise women don't introduce men into their childrens lives unless they're a quality man. I've been out on dates with men and realized there's not a romantic connection or future as a couple, but still asked them to meet my kids. Perhaps they help with a project for them, read stories to them, wrestle them, introduce their dog to them, or just play with them. Either way, There have been men I've introduced them to that realize how cool it is to be invited into the lives of these two special boys because their mother considers them a positive example of how a man should be. These men are strong, respectful, kind, silly, intelligent, and adventurous. They treat my children with love and engage with them in a way that makes them feel special. I watch their faces light up at the sound of a man's voice, the shapes of their faces, and their masculine energy. I want to surround them with good men because they need men in their lives, but none of these men are expected to date me because of my children. Instead, they accept the privilege of being a positive role model to them and are honored to be included.
2. They love me
I am also looking for love and expect the man that loves me to set an example for how a man should treat a woman for my boys. I am no longer married because I did not consider my relationship with their father a quality example of a male/female relationship. I knew my little men deserved to observe better as they grew up. I want to find a man who loves me in such a way that my little boys don't need to be told how to treat a woman, its just known because its what they've observed their whole lives. I will find a man who loves and adores me, who is affectionate with me, romantic, respectful, chivalrous, courteous and even MORE important- can have a discussion with me that doesn't involve being hurtful mentally, emotionally or physically. A man who loves their mother whole heartedly will be a man they admire and hope to be like. This man will be irreplaceable in their lives because of that person's connection with me; their first true love.
3. Hes a MAN
A boy lives a life of flight and fancy with no grounding, but a man can see the value of family. I 100% do NOT want (or need) a man to marry me, provide for me, protect me, and dedicate the rest of his life to me and my kids. In fact, that thought makes me want to vomit and gives me an overwhelming sense of guilt. My life doesn't have to be his. At this stage in life, I'm likely to meet a man that doesn't have kids of his own because he was focused on career or travel or whatever else, and doesn't need kids of his own to feel fulfilled. However, hopefully this man is drawn to the family environment I've built for me and my boys and can find joy in a vacation with us, cheering them on at a soccer game, or helping me make costumes for their talent show on a Sunday afternoon. I do NOT want, or expect, the man in our lives to turn his life upside down for ours, but I do hope to find a man that finds joy in ours from time to time because he sees the value in being a part of a family.
A MAN will want to build things for them, take them camping, teach them about girls, go hunting, and talk sports with them. A MAN will follow through on his word, be consistent in his actions, and love them wholly for who they are, not who they aren't (his own). A MAN will not feel threatened by the fact he's not their biological father, but will feel excited by the challenge to be a better example of a man than their father is. A MAN will love their mother for who she is as a woman AND who she is as a mother and will not cower at the thought of being involved in all three of our lives.
My attorney and a few others have advised not to introduce men to the boys. Let me just say, at the risk of sounding cocky, advice on family dynamics or best practices as a parent is NOT something I need, ok? This is my forte and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that surrounding them with GOOD men to be positive examples for them and positive influences in their lives is FAR better for them than being brought up by a single mother, a grandmother, two aunts, a slue of female babysitters, and likely 90% female teachers. WE can tell them how to be good men, but only a man can show them.
I will actively seek good men and quickly dismiss the others. This lioness is looking for a lion to show her cubs how to be king of the mutha fuckin' jungle!
"Come out of the masses. Stand alone like a lion and live your life according to your own light" -Osho
Parenting expert, blogger, inventor, single mom to twins, barefoot nomad, adventure seeker, boho spirit, advocate of play