**Edited to add** - Now that I've alienated my lovable readers, I must preface this post saying that it's obviously not for everyone and all people are different. Don't feel the hate - there's none intended. I think I let my fervor get away from me on this one. Overall, I still believe a mom needs to be careful what influences she brings to the table, single or not. And yes, this is based upon my own experiences... (see the end for more)
Well, I don't believe that the word "ass" should really be used in the title, but if I only say it once, it's probably okay in the text, right?
I wasn't going to post this week, just the traditional Holy Week stuff, like the Holy Thursday post. But I saw a post at Because Mom Said So about when a single mom should introduce her boyfriend to her kids. Since I left a comment that was nearly a post over there expressing my strong opinion, I'll expand/expound upon it here, too.
Be forewarned though, as this will not be pretty nor popular to any single/divorced/widowed mom.
A single mom (divorced, widowed or never married) should stay away from introducing boyfriends to the kids, and stay away from men altogether as second marriages have a much higher (read: astronomically!) divorce rate than first marriages. It's reported that second marriages have a divorce rate of around 70 percent! YES, that is SEVEN ZERO! Can you imagine dragging kids through not only one, but two or MORE divorces?
Dating is the last thing that should cross the mind of a single mom and the kids should be the very FIRST thing in her mind. She has a responsibility to raise those kids with as much integrity and respect as possible. Tell me, how can she find time to focus on them after (probably) working all day and then going out on a date? When will she see the kids and check their homework, read them stories, supervise bath time, tuck them in? When will she be there just to BE and provide the kid the security of knowing that mom is within the house and could be there in just a second?
Dating is like testing the waters, catch and release a lot of the time, right? For a single person without children, it's no biggie to date someone different every week. You get lots of different input, value systems, financial ideas, experiences.
What happens when you swirl innocent, trusting children into that mix? I would be horribly frightened to bring home anyone I was dating (should I ever be put into that situation) to meet my children because just WHAT do I REALLY know about him? Sure, he puts on a good face but he could be a raging alcoholic, a rampant sexual pedophile, a no-good-worthless lay-about without a job or responsibilities of his own.
Seriously, dating is for people without children. Risking yourself is a lot different that risking yourself AND your children AND their future. That is just plain selfish.
A single mom should focus on her children until they are out of her house - at age 18 and legally adult. This is not to say that the single mom shouldn't have a life. Really, HONESTLY, there is life without men.
It's my soapbox and I'll say what I believe when I'm on it. And if, God mightily forbid, I ever find myself without a spouse (and trust me, death is the only thing going to cause that) I will be practicing what I preach. There is NOTHING more important to me in the entire world than my children, even me.
Do I write this from beneath my own private rock? No. My own mother divorced my father when I was very young and already insecure. She proceeded to immediately marry the man with whom she had an affair.
This man is all the bad words I would NEVER post on my blog and could think of - and then more. He was emotionally and physically abusive to my younger brother and me. My mother closed her eyes to it at the time and even now claims to not have known of it. My brother has blocked out his entire childhood because of this man. He remembers me as his protector, his mother figure. I still dream of this horrible man and how I would hurt him if I had but a chance.
When the jerk was found cheating on my mother, she ended that marriage. By that time I was a teenager and nearly 16. It fell to me to be the grown up in the household, even grocery shopping and cooking. My brother got into trouble with the law and went to live with our father, 4 states away. (This was the very best thing for him.)
My mother married her current husband just one year before I married Hubbers. Thank the good Lord and all the saints that he is a wonderful, caring man who would bend over backward for her and her children. I love this man to the ends of the world and wish he had been in the place of the evil man. Perhaps my childhood would not have been such a living hell.
So, no. I don't write about the single mother should not from my own warped sense of right and wrong. I write about it from my very own life. The fact that my own marriage and family is so healthy mentally is freakin' amazing and miraculous. Thank God I did not fall into the footsteps of my mother. And now you can see why I say that only death will put me into a single mother position and why I'm prepared to back up my stance.
A lovely post on Marriage after Divorce, where I obtained my figures.