While you may have help that frees you up for the occasional vacation, dating with kids at different ages and stages can pose logistical and financial challenges, much like age-stage differences in the couple itself. Do listen if he says he isn't interested in helping to parent your kids, he's tired of you only being available for a weekend relationship, or he can't afford to pick up the financial slack for a single mother with children. So do Johnnie and Janie, Fido and Tabby, not to mention the hamsters, Mutt and Jeff.
And that's despite the fact that you're working two jobs already, and he may be working two jobs of his own. The neighbors like him, too, and he and his ex seem very friendly.
Dating as a single person is one thing; dating as a divorced person with kids is quite another thing.
True, Kate has eight kids, and to steal a title from an Allison Pearson novel, I don't know how she does it.
Not surprisingly, it isn't much easier for the kids.
Dating, shacking up and remarriage has a huge impact on children, according to psychologist Constance Ahrons, author of The courtship phase isn't one kids generally see -- they wouldn't even be here if that hadn't happened sometime in their parents' past.
But it did cause some stress and a lot of overthinking -- when do you introduce a new love, when can he sleep over, what if your kids don't like him, what if he doesn't like your kids, what if your kids love him and he dumps you, what if your kids love him and you dump him, what if his kids and your kids hate each other, what if everyone loves each other but your parenting styles clash -- the possibilities are endless. Which causes many divorced parents to either freak out and give up on dating altogether or become careless about who and how they date. And that's where Kate Gosselin was about a year ago.
"I don't really have time" to date, she told Access Hollywood last April.
Still, single parents are entitled to a fulfilling personal life and we're looking for it, challenges be damned!
All they've experienced is the trauma of the breakup.
Most of the children Ahrons spoke to considered their divorced parents' dating lives pretty darn weird.
Mostly they want to know what it means when Mom or Dad falls in love again, and many newly divorced moms and dads don't even have that figured out for themselves. When I threw myself back into the dating pool with all the enthusiasm of a pimply adolescent, the complications appeared immediately.
Child-free men often don't "get" kids; divorced dads come with kids, some still in diapers, some in jail; and not every man I had "chemistry" with was going to click with my Axe-scented boys. That didn't stop me from dating; I really did want to have love in my life again.