You and me + three: Dating a woman with kids

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As soon as I knew that I was falling for the woman I’m dating now, I knew my life would be different. I am not only dating her, but I am dating her children as well, in the sense that I am an adult involved in their lives.

I have never felt so conflicted. I feel inadequate, stressed and blessed simultaneously. There are times when I wonder what I have gotten myself into. I am in my 20s, and I still haven’t fully reached my dreams or what I want to do as a professional in this world. I am dating a woman who is older. I am dating a woman who knew what she wanted when she decided to have three beautiful children with her ex while I was still in high school.

Years ago, I had a feeling that I would never want children. I definitely knew that I would not be the one to birth them. I never and to this day still do not have that “Oooh, I want to make a baby” urge. I do not want to wait 9 months, carrying a baby in my womb and feel it grow inside me. Perhaps that has to do with my gender identity as being a tomboy or perhaps I just do not have that urge. I never really did even as a child. I would always play house as the provider. I’m happy for my friends who want to have kids and ultimately decide to take that courageous leap towards parenthood.

I’m not sure if I do not want kids of my own because I feel that I have lost the genetic lottery with some health problems I am battling or if it’s just lack of maternal instinct, or simply because I just want to change and impact the world in different ways. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above.

When I first began seeing my girlfriend, my instincts told me to cut and run because I wasn’t ready to handle acting like a second parent when I still have my own things to deal with and dreams that are waiting to be achieved. I fell hard for my girlfriend, and it was more intense than any connection I’ve felt with someone. We talk about everything. We share everything. We have incredible intimacy. We are both intuitive care givers so we both try to care for the other on our bad days and celebrate on the great days. I have not had the level of intimacy and care in past relationships that I have had in this one. I feel like I have a spring in my step. I melt and feel my heart skip a beat when I hear her laugh. Her smile is contagious.

Her kids are great. I always hear, “You missed dinner the other night. Where were you?” and get hugs. They always ask me to colour with them, watch videos on YouTube etc or go do things outside.

We still have to approach the issue of telling her children about our relationship. Some of them are old enough to understand what’s going on. The kids watch Glee and know that gay people are the same as any other person (which is great). My girlfriend has told them that I am gay. The kids know that I stay over quite often but it doesn’t seem to be an issue to them.

I was worried that it was going to be an issue to them seeing as I am a woman and I didn’t know how they would react to that. My girlfriend has raised them to accept other people and be compassionate even if they might have differences which is so great to hear. I have dated the odd woman in the past who had a child, but it was usually only one child. The other parent was usually in the picture and the kids would often be taken by the dad occasionally. This is a bit different. My girlfriend is a single mom, so the kids are with her 24/7 (unless at school). This makes things interesting when it comes to children coming into the room unannounced, or needing time from their mom. I am learning the boundaries of a different sort of relationship and it is a bit of a learning curve. But I love my girlfriend, and I am beginning to also have feelings for the other three people in my girlfriend’s life.

It’s a different kind of love. It’s one that I was not anticipating, but I am liking this different kind of life and I find that I miss it when I don’t see them all for several days.