Keeping the door open

by singlemomseeking on June 4, 2010

When he was just a boyfriend, your home front was fairly low-key — most of the time, anyway, considering the fact that no mother-daughter household can be so serene all the time. Even after you introduced your child to your new “friend,” all was surprisingly harmonious. He came over for dinner, and you watched those two laugh, dance, and make up songs. Your kid liked him, and he liked her.

Well, it’s different now. You know that your child still likes him. Sure, she does. But she’s not used to two adults being in the front seat. “I’m scared, Mama,” your daughter tells you at night, and you lie next to her, listening. You want to tell her that nothing is going to change, that love grows. But fear is fear, and she feels like you and he are two parallel lines moving together. She feels like she’s on the outside, looking in.

Two Lines

You hold her and tell her how much you both love her and care about her. You also tell her that the three of you are making a triangle together. This is new and different, and it’s okay to feel scared. You look into her eyes and tell her that all three of you are connected. Still, you know that your words will only go so far. This will take time, and you’re not exactly the patient type.


An hour later, after she asleep, you find him in the other room. His expression is worried, and he says: “I’m scared, love.” The truth is, you feel afraid sometimes, too. What can you do with all this fear except just face it? You remember when the door was shut, when it was just you and your baby girl. Now, you’ve opened the door, wider than ever in your life. You breathe and remind yourself that everything will work out, in its own triangular way.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

singlemomseeking July 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

Ah, @Shannon, I love what you say:
“No one else ever, ever, ever got to live in my body. Just you.”


Shannon July 1, 2010 at 10:16 am

I’ve made extra effort (and I know you will too), to do special things with B alone. We do movie nights and hotels where we can sleep in the same bed again. We close her bedroom door and watch shows together. We still get our alone time, too. M. will require some extra love and Mommy-time and reassurance that no one at all, can ever replace her in your heart. I’ve always told B, “no one else ever, ever, ever got to live in my body. Just you.”.
.-= Shannon´s last blog ..Proud mama moment =-.


Karlie June 14, 2010 at 7:22 am

It is often hard to adjust to the big changes in life when they involve relationships. Hopefully the adults can be patient with the child until time passes and the child feels more comfortable and learns that that new relationship can be a good thing.


WineCountryMom June 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Why does this make me cry? I think I can relate a little too well.
.-= WineCountryMom´s last blog ..Jealousy over the “fun parent” =-.


BlueBella June 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

Oh good lordy. You stated this so beautifully. But it is about fear. And we’re going to face it in just about 2 weeks when the wedding is over and he’s moved in. I think we both are hanging on to our nights apart, while at the same time wishing we were together. It’s a strange paradox, but can’t stay that way forever.

I hope your baby finds peace as she realizes your words become her reality.
.-= BlueBella´s last blog ..20K – Check! =-.


Katherine SOLO dot MOM June 8, 2010 at 7:28 am

I do understand where you are. Even though I have not made the big step of saying Mr. M and I are gonna say i do anytime soon (I am not ready), I can appreciate the idea scaring the meebageezies outa me.

With two kiddos, we have had our triangle for over 5 years (more like 7 since I left the X); to add the fourth wheel…. hmmm it will take awhile to get ‘balanced.’ But with time….I am sure it can happen in this process of going deeper into a new love relationship.

I am glad your daughter likes LG; that helps I think. My kiddos also like Mr. M, so I am hoping that will be the key in lending to the new balance we find.
.-= Katherine SOLO dot MOM´s last blog ..Love is in the air… =-.


Naked Girl in a Dress June 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm

This is a great post for anyone dating with children, especially if both have children. It is a lot to to worry about trying to keep in focus the emotional needs of everyone involved. Thank you for sharing your experience.
.-= Naked Girl in a Dress´s last blog ..My Fairy Godfather =-.


Lovebabz June 7, 2010 at 6:10 am

I love this honesty. She won’t be this little and vulnerable forever. Tomorrow you will look up and she will be grown and out the door. This is a good introduction to change and how to handle it. I know this feeling with my 4 little ones. Their Dad is getting married in a few weeks, and I am in this relationship and we are all out to sea doing our best. Nope we are not drowning or even treading water. We are sailing, sometimes the winds are fierce and sometimes they are just gentle.
.-= Lovebabz´s last blog ..LIGHT EASY YUMMY =-.


Legal Editor Mom June 7, 2010 at 5:44 am

As you know, I’m in the same boat, and it can be challenging to fit someone comfortably into your lives with complete acceptance when it’s been just you and your child(ren) for so long. Just keep reassuring her, including her on things whenever possible (wedding plans too!), and continue to make time for things with just you and her when appropriate. Lexi loves this and it alleviates any doubts she’s feeling about her rightful place in my heart. 😉


MC June 7, 2010 at 4:09 am

Well, this exactly says it—after working to form a stable balance of life for you and your kids, you’re going to change it. I can totally relate…it is very scary….I’ve been pondering the same things and wondering if it would be “worth” it. Sometimes I think yes, but mostly I’m still too scared.


Jenni June 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm

This is just beautiful. And a great way to explain this kind of a change.
.-= Jenni´s last blog ..Beating Down The Bad Mood =-.


Tiia Jones June 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

I understand that feeling exactly. My daughter still doesn’t always get the “triangle” thing, but we’re working on it. It’s hard when it’s been just the two of you for so long. Great post.
.-= Tiia Jones´s last blog ..Magical Thinking =-.


Nicki June 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

I’m living it, too. We’re all trying to accept our new roles. Fear is natural. Second-guessing is common. And still, we push through and push toward love. Love always finds a way. It’s the only way.

Big hugs!
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..Why it’s a dream that will never come to fruition… =-.


Momma Sunshine June 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Growing pains like these are all part of the process. You will work it out….love will find a way.

.-= Momma Sunshine´s last blog ..Dear Dimples =-.


Kelli June 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

Good luck Rachel. You & your girl have been through so much that getting through this will be a synch. I have faith.

.-= Kelli´s last blog .."The Things I am Loving, Right Now" =-.


Anna June 5, 2010 at 8:22 am

This is beautiful. Change is scary for everyone. Love will triumph, though — you know it will.


T June 5, 2010 at 5:00 am

Oh Rachel, that was beautiful. And yes!! We are answering similar questions in my all girl household too…

Love you.
.-= T´s last blog ..Guilt and Shame: Its an inside job =-.


jeanie June 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Oh so true!
.-= jeanie´s last blog ..Solids =-.


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