This is the question that I get asked the most and I have been wishy washy about my answer. At first thought the logical thing(in my opinion) would be to wait and introduce the kids when you know its serious. If you are dating around and just having fun then it might not be a good idea to bring him around your kids.. That sounds real good, right? Another part of me was like well what if you are dating a guy and the vibe is so good then you introduce him to the kids and they don’t hit it off??? I would have no understanding because I would drop him IMMEDIATELY. So why not bring the kids around early to see how he interacts with kids? What to do?? Now if you have a gang of kids like me then you know how hard that is. The preparation that goes into Going on a date when you have children is TIRING! There is very little spontaneity and you can’t just hop up and say hey let’s have drinks tonight! When I was dating I would literally have to plan 2 to 3 days before the actual date. Having a reliable sitter is key.
After I had my youngest daughter I called myself getting back on the dating scene. This guy asked me could we hang out on like a Saturday or something like that so I was like cool. In my mind I would just find a sitter, drop the girls off and jump in the streets. WRONG! The day went a little something like this: I picked the girls up from daycare around 4:45(supposed to meet the guy at 7), found something quick to make them to eat, and went home to get them ready to go to my aunts house. We get home and they turn all the way up. I fix their food and start pulling together pajamas, packing a diaper bag with extra clothes just in case they had an accident, packed a few snacks, and sit everything by the door. (It’s 6:30) After their bath I put on their Pj’s, turned on the Disney channel, and attempt to get myself ready…I was so exhausted from getting them together so I just laid across my bed to think about what was in my closet and piece an outfit together in my head….. I woke up around 8:45 to about 5 missed calls and text messages and to my kids asleep in front of the tv!!! What was I going to say to this man? What would you have done? I just told him the truth! Either he would laugh and take a rain check or not call me anymore, right? Let’s just say I never saw his name in my incoming calls again. LOL…
Before I decided to introduce the girls to Ace I had to have a few talks with myself. Dating with daughters is a whole different ball game. You have to be very observant and intuitive. I have never drilled my girls but we have had so many talks and they are comfortable with coming to me if they feel something isn’t right. I have no shame when it comes to asking them if they have been touched inappropriately. They know not to sit in any mans lap, and if they feel uncomfortable to immediately let me know. When they were smaller and couldn’t communicate certain things to me I didn’t let them go around very many people. Only a couple of close family members that I REALLY trusted. Call me paranoid but I would rather be safe than sorry. I am going to be as transparent with y’all as possible. I was dating a guy before Ace and I introduced the girls to him also, after we broke up one of my daughters said “mama if you get another boyfriend please don’t break up with him because we want a house with a mom and a dad”. What am I supposed to say to that? She was right.
The answer to my initial question is when you feel comfortable! I waited for a little while before I introduced ace to the girls. The initial meeting was a little awkward for me because my girls are clowns. They were making kissy faces behind his back and asking him thousands of questions. He handled it like a champ too!! That was one hurdle that I had to get over then came the time for me to leave them alone with him…..ANXIETY mode activated. The first time I decided to leave the girls with Ace for the weekend my nerves were shot. My aunt normally keeps the girls when I travel for work but she was busy this particular weekend. He knew how I felt about my girls so he didn’t take it personally when I expressed how nervous I was. They were old enough to tell me if they were being mistreated or if anything inappropriate was going on so that kind of eased my nerves. AND his daughter(now my bonus daughter) that has been living with him since she was a toddler was there to assist him when it was bath time. He could have easily been offended but he was so understanding and reassuring. All of the girls had iPads and I was able to FaceTime them anytime I needed to. The whole time(all 2 days) I was gone I ran every scenario through my head. I couldn’t wait to get to the girls to ask them how things went. They had the best time and they bragged about his cooking and told me he cooked better than I did. LOL! I asked if they felt uncomfortable and they said no mama we were fine. I won’t lie and say that after that first time it was smooth sailing. It took me a little time but now that we are in the same house when I travel for work the girls are here with him. I don’t expect him to do everything the way that I do, and I am learning to focus on the things that he is doing instead of nagging about small things not being done. He is an excellent cook (way better than me), he loves them to the moon and back, and he is the perfect father figure. The picture below is from Valentines day where he bought gifts for all of the girls!! Priceless….
Sunday we will get into my bridal party and I will introduce y’all to my bonus daughter and talk about the process to find her a bridesmaids dress. Her dads reactions are hilarious. This is my first time mothering a teenager so I’m trying to figure out the boundaries when it comes to clothes so her dad won’t kill both of us!