Thursday, July 28, 2011


Being childless has brought as much freedom to me as it has heartache. But I still have my moments where my heart breaks a little. At times, I see my boyfriend with his daughter, and I find myself jealous that he has something so precious that I will never have. He has that connection with a child that cannot be fabricated. She will always be first in his heart, and I will never rise above 2nd, even though my circumstances let me put him first. I will never have anything that is a piece of me like that—not him, not a child. It’s a fleeting feeling that rarely lasts more than a minute, thank goodness. In those moments, I feel sad and jilted, because I was not given an opportunity to have my own child, when so many others have been that (in my mind) are not deserving.

I have researched being in a relationship with a man who has a child, and how to be “good” in this role. I want to do this right because I love them both. I guess there is no handbook on how to walk into a ready-made family, where you are the outsider that must do most of the adjusting, and yet must be content staying in the background. Let me clarify—all parties have made adjustments and sacrifices, but I’m an adult who has lived my life a certain way, knowing I cannot have kids. And now I’m changing not just my home to make room for a child (physically), but my routines, my goals, and my whole sense of identity. Although I welcome this new role, it can weigh heavy on me knowing my house went from me in power to me being 3rd.

I don’t want to be selfish. I want to be this child’s friend, but not disrespected. I want to be there for her, but not her servant. I want to provide her happiness, but not spoil her. Since my role is very limited, I can easily step on toes of her parents by standing up for what I feel is right. It can be a helpless feeling, not knowing where my boundaries are in my own home. Over time, they will reveal themselves, through trial and error.   Hopefully not too much error.

Since I have no children, my input and advice can easily be ignored, and I pray that I am taken seriously and not dismissed due to my “inexperience”. Children or no children, I can see behaviors and gauge their long term effects. I remember my own reactions to my parents, my own turmoil as a child, and I remember the discipline that was brought to me—both good and bad.

So these are my deepest, darkest thoughts as of late. I pray for wisdom. I have had all of these fragmented thoughts whirling in my head at different times these past 2 weeks, and I finally think I may have pulled them together now so I understand them better. I don’t want to sound overly selfish or negative, but I don’t want to deny my honest feelings either.

I believe he is worth this, and so is she.  I'm counting on it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Right Reasons

“Are you ready for this?” Allen asked me with his smartassy look. It was just the 2 of us, and he can read me like an open book. “Um, yeah, I think I am," I replied.   He just grinned and said, “You may as well be. You’re already in it!” We both laughed, knowing he spoke the truth. So, why am I in it? Why have I made this commitment? Why him, and why now?

I can give you the logical explanations for being “in it”. Financially, sharing a home with someone else is a cost saving thing, because rent and utilities are split. Physically, having a man in the house means less work for me. I’m not the sole muscle behind repairs, chores, and mowing. Mentally, having a man around provides a sense of security. Emotionally, having a man around brings conversation, attention, and hope.

All of those are good, logical reasons. They are all true, but none have been enough reason in the past to share my home permanently with anyone. No man has had me willing to call my house, “our” house. No man has had me willing to open up the contents and chaos of my home to him in such a vulnerable way. I’m not afraid of being alone, so seclusion is actually the easiest option for me. Giving up my space and freedom is quite a sacrifice.

So why then? Because: heart has said it’s OK to trust him.

…for the first time, I am ready: I’m more settled physically and emotionally than I’ve ever been.

…I’ve found in him a common moral compass, and character.

… being with him makes me more comfortable than being alone. (Never had that one before.)

…he is open and honest, but without the brutality that some bring with it. In turn, I can be honest with him.

…he has my heart and I find him to be irresistible.

…I know that he truly does love me, as much as I love him.

…I have peace.

As you can see, it’s not because I need him. It’s because I want him.   I want to support his decisions, his parenting, his life.  I want to wake up next to him and share life with him.    I have been preparing myself, whether intentionally or not, for his presence in my life.  And now that he's finally here, I want to make the most of it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just in Time

I'm taking a breather from cleaning.  I've downsized my crap into managable and findable places.  I've visited Goodwill enough I should be on a first name basis with the collections men.  I've been a thorn in the side of my trash men, as they have picked up countless bags from my curb in the last few weeks.  I've downsized my pets as well, leaving me with Sidney and the house is so much more peaceful.  I'm making room for a family.

It's all in preparation for an exciting new time in my life.  I am preparing this old house to be a home for the first time in 9 years.  I'm throwing away pieces of the past to make room for the future.  I'm more hopeful than I've been in a very long time.

I have been caught off guard by a man and his daughter.  I didn't think I could find anyone like this.  I didn't think I could fall in love with a man AND his child.  I didn't think I could be this comfortable with a man, this at peace with a relationship.  And it reminds me that there is a God who has my best interests at heart.   They make me laugh, they make me proud, and they make me thankful.  They both fill a desire I've had my whole life.  I am not so naive as to think I will be the child's mother--she has one that loves her dearly.  But it is a chance to be a positive influence and to take on a motherly role with a willing child, and to support an amazing man as he goes through the ups and downs of raising a daughter.  It is a chance to love a man with all of this experience and devotion that I've been building all these years.  It's a chance to be the woman my parents taught me to be.  It's also a chance for me to allow a man to love me and to accept me. 

The move has already begun.  My house has already begun evolving into what it was meant to be when I purchased it 9 years ago--OUR home. 

And so, the transition continues.  This time next week, I will be sharing this home permanently with 2 amazing people, a dog, a cat, a hamster, and dozens of stuffed animals.  I will be fulfilling the role I always longed for.

My dad always said that God is never early and never late:  He's always right on time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Walking a Tightrope

I am unique. I have no children. I‘m 38. I cannot have kids and that is definite. And I’m single. I’ve dated men in recent years who had grown or nearly grown kids. The teenagers have presented a challenge, because they considered me to be a threat. And the child always comes first. I recognize that, and try to be patient. But not all kids are willing to have their parent date. If the kids are not ready for the father to date, then the dating will never last. It’s only been an issue for me this past year, as I’ve dated men with daughters still at home.

I have heard the endless horror stories from divorced mothers at work--the “bitch” the ex married and the things she does or says to her step kids. I have heard stories from teens about their lack of respect for their step moms, as well. I’ve heard the jealousy, the bitterness, the hurt. I’ve vowed to never be “that woman”.

Now that I am in a relationship with a man who has a daughter, I find that it’s a very tough balancing act--a very underrated, misunderstood position to be in. How does he keep his daughter first without spoiling her and overlooking me? I can easily put him first, but I will never be first in his life--am I OK with this? How do I obtain respect from her, when she is clearly ahead of me in the food chain and knows it? How do I play this role of potential mother figure, when there are definite limitations on my input? How do I support him and her 100%, and still not lose my own self in the process? How do I do this the right way, and not hurt anyone or get hurt in the process?

Soon, we will function more as a family unit. I’m excited, I’m thrilled, and I’m scared. I cannot let this relationship swallow my sense of self until I don‘t recognize it anymore. I have to be willing to pursue my own interests at the same time I’m giving them the freedom and support to pursue theirs. I am going to attempt to balance family time with friend time with hobby time with kid time with work time with home chores and boyfriend time. Up until now, my home projects were easily put on hold, because time with friends and family was first. My home must be a kid friendly safe zone, not a place to crash until the next morning (as it has been for 9 years). I have to make time for my friends now, where before they WERE my time away from work. I must consider my boyfriend and his daughter in all future decisions and plans. I’m basically going from single, independent woman who calls her own shots to ready-made family.

I am willing to do all of this. I’m up for it. But I know it will involve some growing pains. It will involve some serious balancing on everyone’s part. I am a giver by nature, and must be strong enough to know when I’ve compromised myself too much, and when it’s time to raise my patience levels to accommodate the changes that are going to occur. My friends and family will always be my safety net, as long as I keep them close. I ask God for wisdom in this process.

He is worth it, this man. He is worth the risk I’m taking, the freedom I am willingly relinquishing. So is she. They have taken my heart and given me something I’ve longed for. I don’t want to let them down, and am scared at the same time of being let down as well.

But living is about taking risks, and they are worth the risk.