Gay Girls With Kids and Without Kids – Listen Up…

by Mary Gorham Malia

lesbianwithkids Gay Girls With Kids and Without Kids – Listen Up…

Today, I want to give you an earful of caution. Do you have kids? Do you date gay girls with kids? Do you have friends with kids or friends dating women who have kids? Yes, right, so this applies to all of us, because I want you to start talking about this with friends, with your kids, and with anyone else that is in your gay girl world.

As a mom, what are you doing to keep the hearts of your children safe?

This is much deeper than putting helmets on kids when they ride bikes.

As a single gay girl, what are you doing to respect the hearts of the children of that woman you are dating?

Here’s the deal: children have very tender hearts. Much more tender than our adult hearts. The younger a child is, the more completely open the child is to falling in love with each and every person that shows up in their world with any consistency.

Children are little love machines. It’s one of their special charms. My children have taught me more than any other people in my life. They have made me grow up in ways nothing else ever did. For that I am extremely grateful. And they have taught me so much about love and loving.

With that in mind, I want to share something about my personal story as it relates to my daughter and being a gay girl mother.

I’m the mom of a now 17-year-old daughter. I came out when she was just 6 years old. She’s fallen in love with every woman I ever dated who she spent any considerable time with. Now remember, time for a child is very different than time for an adult. In her short little life, I gave her some really big hurdles to have to overcome as I dated and then broke up.

When she was about 12 years old she sat me down to have a conversation with me. I had recently broken up with someone I had been dating off and on for almost 5 years. My daughter proceeded to tell me that she loved me and that she loved my ex-girlfriend. She also told me that she fell in love with the woman I loved too and every time I broke up, she lost someone she loved. I wasn’t just breaking up with someone, I was breaking my daughter’s heart at the same time.

Can you say OUCH?!

That truth really hurt and I was astounded at my daughter’s ability to communicate this truth.

She then proceeded to tell me that she really wanted me to find a partner but she didn’t want to meet women I was just dating. She’d prefer that I wait until I was seriously involved with another gay girl before I introduce her to my daughter and bring that woman into “our” little world.

Again, I was floored with her very logical thinking process and her plan to protect her own heart. I loved on her and told her that actually, it was exactly what I had been thinking we needed to do.

Was this new little dating rule going to make my life a little more complicated? Yes and no. Was this new rule going to put some pressure on any woman I dated? Yes and no. Was this new little rule going to make my daughter’s life simpler and better? Absolutely.

So what’s your rule for dating and kids?

You don’t need to be the mom to have a standard about when you meet someone’s children. I’d also suggest that the idea that you have to spend time with the children in order to know if you’re going to love that woman is not true. That’s just a tad selfish and isn’t looking out for the best interests of those children.

The younger the children are the more important it is to have ground rules that protect children’s hearts. Once your children are into their teen years this rule can be a lot more flexible but you still need boundaries. Teenagers are far less focused on their life with mom and far more involved in their own world than really little ones to adolescent aged children.

Now, if it helps, Oprah did a show on this a few years back. She had a child psychologist on the show who talked about what children need from us as parents and when it’s best to introduce your children to the person you are dating.

So hold on to your gay girl baseball cap – the expert suggests ONE YEAR! Wow, right? Can you imagine if we really did this, how different our dating lives would be as lesbians? This would signal a big dip in U-Haul rentals for those of us with children and those dating gay girls with kids.

What if you decided to wait at least three months? Really think about this, will you? What if you decided to wait 6 months? Imagine how this would change things for those children.

I actually agree with this time frame if you’ve got really young children. Again, here’s why – it takes at least 3-6 months to actually start to know someone, to really start to figure her out. If you’re seeing anyone for more than a few dates, it’s because there is great chemistry and hopefully important commonality in values, lifestyle and activities.

As a mom, if we’re having fun with this gay girl and the sex is hot, we really want her to sleep over and wake up and have breakfast with the kids. We think “she” has to meet my kids and get to know them because this hot chemistry is making me want her around all the time. The only way to do that is to make her a welcome part of my family.

Well, maybe and maybe not. Can she show up and just be Mom’s friend? Or do your kids have that radar that tells them Mom likes this woman a lot more than her other friends? My daughter has that radar.

I’ve seen far too many women end relationships around the 6-month mark. Think about it, because so have you. You might even be the woman who has ended relationships at the 6-month mark.

If you’ve got kids, what does that mean for your kids? If you’re the one who doesn’t have kids, but you’ve really enjoyed the kids of this lesbian mom, what do you do? You miss them a whole bunch. And what do you think these kids are thinking and feeling?

We would all be nuts to think this doesn’t affect the children. It does. It’s hard for our little ones and we need to be the adults and keep their hearts safe.

Here’s what I want you to do.

If you’re the single, no kids woman in this dating combo, come up with a rule for when you meet her children that respects their little hearts and your big girl heart, too. ‘Cause you know if you really like children, you’re falling in love with those kids.

If you’re the mom, get serious about setting boundaries that keep your children’s hearts safe and sound. Yes, your children should meet the woman you’re dating at some point, but your kids should not be spending any extended time with your date until you are seriously ready to commit to something long term.

Yes, I agree this makes dating more complicated, but that’s why you’re the adult. Figure it out and discipline yourself to do it. Your children will respect you for it – something that is often harder to get from kids than love. You will respect yourself too, eliminate lots of confusion, and if and when you decide to stop seeing that gay girl – there will be far less drama at home with your children – and that’s how it should be.

What about you? Are you a mom? Do you date moms? What’s been your experience with children and dating? Leave me a comment below and tell me your story.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

pish March 5, 2012 at 11:20 PM

i have a three-month rule no matter who i date ~ children or not….no physical contact (handholding, kissing, etc) for three months ~ period….has certainly helped me separate the wheat from the chaff….and protect hearts…

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Joan March 17, 2012 at 3:40 AM

I have to disagree with this posting. You see I raised two daughters. When they were 15 and 17 yrs old, I met a wonderful woman. My daughter’s were still clinging to my ex. Children can’t possibly understand the dynamic’s in adult relationships, and I certainly didn’t want to bad mouth my ex to them, but trust me I had every reason to leave her. It became a huge stress factor in my new relationship as I had my daughter’s pulling at me….and my new girlfriend hurt over the whole situation. Long story short, I left the woman to stand by my daughters. I remember her last words to me were “Those girl’s are going to be OK…but are you?”
Years passed and my daughter’s grew up. Boyfriends came and went. Some I had gotten to know and like…gone in a moment upon breakups. I realized just how little say I had in their dating lives once love stepped in. They are both married now and believe me, their husband’s come first….whether I like them or not. It was the same with the boyfriend years as well.
You’re adult and looking for a life partner and there should not be rules of 3 to 6 months..or a year..etc. Trust me, when the kids find love, no rules will apply. They will just expect you to accept their decisions.
Do you even remember what it was like to be 17..or 12… we were children and had no idea about the adult world. So how could we tell adults what to do.

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Mary March 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Hi Joan,
Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your experience. I love a good disagreement! I agree once children have reached their teens and particularly the last couple of years in high school, its often hard or even impossible to tell them what to do when it comes to love (or almost anything else for that matter.) I am sorry to read about the situation you had with your daughters and a new girlfriend. Sometimes there are no easy answers and we do the best we can. It seems that you’ve also experienced liking someone who your daughter dates who is then gone as they have with your relationships. We live in the world these days where people we care about seem to come and go often and we have no control. I certainly empathize with you.

I vividly remember being in high school and college and having boy friends come and go and struggling to understand the whole concept of love let alone what sex was about. I have a 17 year old daughter who has so far managed her dating pretty well. Like you, I have no say in who my son or daughter date. They don’t have to ask my permission or even ask if I like the person they date. I also realize I tend to take a different view than many moms about my kids. I am here to help them find their truth and their path. I find they tend to orbit in phases of being close and being far away emotionally. I’ve learned to adjust. What matters most to me is that we stay in touch and that I get to tell them I love them, no matter what.

In the article we are discussing, perhaps I should be more clear in stating that when your children are young – 2-12 or so years old – then there is wisdom in going slowly because of children. There is wisdom in not creating turmoil in the household for their sake and for the aftermath it creates in your own world as the mom who has to help your children adjust to big emotional changes.

Thanks for writing and sharing your experiences and your thoughts about the article. I appreciate being able to have a dialogue and I never expect everyone to agree. That would be so boring! Wishing you always and only the best.

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Joan March 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM

I applaud your posting. Very well stated. I guess my point is children are going to have their own lives one day, just make sure one does not lose their own life or love along that way.
I had a friend who came out later in life after a 20 yr marriage to a man. Her twelve yr old youngest daughter had that same discussion your daughter did. How she loved the woman brought into her life and missed her when her mother broke up. From the outside looking in, I could see clearly what was really happening here. Her daughter had once had a mom who was not really happy in her marriage. This of course reflected on everything else in her life, including her interaction with her children. When mom came out, she finally freed herself to be happy. That too reflected in everything in her life. Her youngest daughter liked this new happy mom much better of course. Mom was finally happy in her life and therefore much more fun. When the relationship that helped bring my friend out ended , her daughter was just not ready for another woman to take her mom’s attention. Unfortunately my friend became miserable. Instead of a overbearing husband to conform to, now she found herself conforming to her daughter. She conformed because if she did not keep her daughter happy, she may decide to go live with Dad (which of course would have ripped my friend’s heart out). She said she managed to set herself free from one prison, only to end up in another one.

I gave up love once because I was of the thinking that children’s feelings come first. I don’t know that I am of that thinking anymore. Put the children first, yes, by all means. When it comes to your own emotional needs and love, no I draw the line there and the child should be made to understand.
Let’s face it, in the lesbian world, good women are few and far in between. Not to mention hard to meet. A child of 12 does not understand that part of it. At that age they will hate their best friend one day and be back best friends the next.
My daughter’s are 26 and 30 now. I am very close to them. Both married with beautiful children of their own. When they were old enough and mature enough to realize I had walked away from love to adhere to their feelings, they both apologized over and over again because they did remember the woman….and then they told me I was foolish to listen to them. lol

There is no one clear answer to something that can be so complicated.

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Shannon 1981 March 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I don’t date women with children. I have not one maternal bone in my body, and the dealbreaker goes: Kids: don’t want ‘em, don’t wanna raise yours. I have never wanted children. One less thing to worry about IMO. Baggage, baby’s daddies, exes involved, etc etc etc. I am an authentic born this way gay, and I have never been serious with a man. In fact, the one “boyfriend” I had was nothing more than an attempt to go back into the closet.

I admire “later in life lesbians,” but I can honestly say I do not understand it at all. I think the real moral of the story is to be true to yourself right out of the gate, because you will hurt a whole lot of people, including innocent children, if you aren’t.

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Monique July 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Wow… I totally agree with what you have said. My two boys were 5 and 7 when I decided I was really a lesbian. But just because I was a lesbian I was not going to subject my boys to my relationships as I did not want them hurt. The boys were 15 & 17 when I finally committed to a woman and she moved in with us. My biggest worry came true that our relationship did not work out… and my youngest especially was effected by the loss. My ex felt the kids did not want to have a relationship with her thus she missed my youngest sons graduation. I too have a step daughter …and I realize that it is not the childs fault…as an adult if I desire to have a relationship with the child step or otherwise…then I must be the one to pursue it.

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