Some of you might know “Wonder Mom” from her blog, Picking Up the Pieces.
Wonder Mom — who’s the single mom of two little boys — recently asked me for some advice. Since you are all the experts, I’m turning to you!
Here’s the deal:
A guy friend whom she’d lost touch with came back into her life a few months ago. Yes, there’s a spark. She met his family recently. They’ve gone on outings with her kids. And they recently had their first kiss!
Sounds divine, right?
Well, as you know, things are a bit more complicated.
First, Wonder Mom, whom I’ll call “WM,” is in the middle of a divorce. She and her ex are in mediation as I write — and it’s messy. His visits are infrequent, and they usually amount to the boys watching a movie and taking a nap at his place before they come back home.
WM knows that she needs to get through her divorce. In the meantime, her new man-friend almost sounds too good to be true.
“I’m afraid I might mess this up,” she wrote in a recent email.
Yet clearly he respects her. They see each other on weekends. When he calls, he always asks whether she’d like to have “a grown up date or family time — and he seems perfectly happy with either one.”
Moreover, her boys like the boyfriend — although WM fears that her four-year-old might be confused. (He recently asked if the boyfriend could come to a school event, instead of his Daddy.)
“I’m afraid we’re taking things too fast,” WM says. “We’ve danced around these issues, but my boyfriend says I’m just over-thinking and should relax.”
He’s taking this all in stride. The other night, for instance, he was at their place when her toddler needed to use the potty.
“I got up to help him, but my son pitched a fit saying he wanted [my boyfriend]. So, he got up and took him to the potty, helped him wash his hands, all that.”
“It just seems a little too perfect and too fast for me. Sure, I’ve always wanted a parenting partner, but it’s a little scary, too. I’ve always been the one to call the shots and make all the decisions. I’ve done all the discipline and all the bargaining. Now there’s someone who can help? Maybe I I feel a little bit threatened by that?”
What is the boyfriend saying?
“He has let slip a few times that he’s imagining a future with the four of us. Not that he’s proposed or anything, but he’s definitely thinking long term. He has been saving for a down payment on a house and now he wants to look for one that would be good for the boys.”
But WM says that this is all moving too fast:
“I want to talk to him about all of this, but I’m unclear about what I need right now. I also want to talk to him about boundaries, but I don’t know what my boundaries are!”
Does this ring true for any of you, moms or dads?
Do you think that this mom should slow down and take a breather?
Should she sit her boyfriend down and talk to him about her boundaries? Any suggestions about what those boundaries might look like?
After all, he does seem like he kind of thoughtful guy who wants to do be there for her…
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