Jon and Kate Plus 8

I love my kid.  I actually love all kids and if circumstances had been different I would have had many more.  Dating after my divorce was hard because I didn’t know if I could trust people to meet my kid and in the end he did not meet anyone I was dating until he was much older and even then he was only introduced to men I was in a relationship with, not just dating.  He has met 3 men in the past 13 years and it has worked out well for us.

I have dated men with kids and without.  I’ve had men tell me they do not date women with children and others who are gung ho and want to meet my kid right away.  As my son got older he became a part of my last 2 relationships and when they ended he had a lot to say.  It was interesting to get his perspective and I was amazed by how much he gets me.  He found pros and cons in both my boyfriends and has let me know that he now wants to meet who I date because he feels he can see things that maybe I don’t.

I struggle with introducing my son to men I date and he is almost 14. I can’t imagine how hard it will be for Jon and Kate who have 8 young children!  I watched their show and loved it because the kids were darling and watching them navigate lives with so many children was fascinating.

In the early shows I though Kate was crazy. She was mean and controlling in terms of Jon and I felt sorry for him sometimes and thought she needed to cut him some slack.  Then later, when they started to fall apart, I thought he was the crazy one and she looked like this amazing and strong mother who put her kids above everything else.  I’m sure you could get 100 people in a room to watch the show and you would get 100 different opinions.

In the end there are now 2 single people who are dating with 8 kids and that has got to be brutal.  They are young parents and I wonder how you move on from there.  Granted anyone who has stood in line at the grocery store knows who they are, but how do you say to someone, I really like you and by the way I have 8 kids. 

I’ve been out on a couple of dates with a guy who has young children.  He is great and I’m sure his kids are fabulous but is that something I want to do?  Hypothetically, if we fell in love and decided to be together, do I want to fill out college applications for my kid and have 3 others that are in elementary school?  I just don’t know if I want to help raise another woman’s children and I’m sure part of it is because I have a horrible relationship with the wife of my son’s dad.

In the end I don’t think I will pursue a relationship with a man who has young children.  It’s a choice that may change, but for now it’s how things are working out for me.  I wish Jon and Kate and their 8 all the best as they enter into the divorced world because it’s tough.

I am blessed to be the mother to my delicious child and if I am lucky enough to meet a man to share my life who has kids, I will be honored to have those children in my life.  Dating with kids is challenging and rewarding and all we can do in the end is trust both ourselves and our kids, have a good sense of humor and keep the faith.