Advice Needed

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Advice Needed
6
Fri, 05-14-2004 - 5:45pm
Hello all,

I'm very new to the parenting boards, but post all the time on the money and relationship boards. I'm kind of a in weird situation now and I'm just trying to get out there and get all the information I can.

Over a year ago I started working for a company and started talking to a co-worker. We had alot in common, got along great and were really good friends. Both of us were in relationships so it was always just very casual. After I left the company to work at another job we still kept in contact -atleast once a week. Well about a month ago we both got out of our "going nowhere" relationships and have actually started hanging out more together. We aren't taking this lightly and have both decided that we are going to give "us" a shot. I'm not wanting to rush into anything, but I can't help but feel that this guy is what I've been looking for. Course, it's only been a month, at the same time there are people out there that know by then. My friend just gave birth to her fourth child with her husband of four years and they knew eachother two months before getting married. Anyways, that's not the reason for the post.

For the last 11 months he's been going through a very rough and difficult custody battle for his 11 year old daughter. My BF and the mother where never married, so there never was that sense of "you took my daddy away from my mommy" or anything like that with his ex-girlfriend. I met her once at a charity event and she seemed like a happy child. She seemed close with his (ex)girlfriend at the time, very adjusted to the situation. In June -hopefully if all goes well- he will probably be getting full custody of his daughter. I'm not too worried about the adjustment from mom to (ex)girlfriend, but I'm worried about the adjustment from the (ex)girlfriend to me, my BF and his ex had dated for the last three years. I'm also worried about the mental affects her mother has possible put her through. The mother isn't exactly a "stable" person. She was addicted to drugs and on wellfare for awhile. My BF doesn't seem to think that it has affected her that much, considereing his time spent with her when they sharred custody. The problem with that is he hasn't actually seen her since August of 2003. The mother took off with her and until January of 2004 he didn't know where she was.

I don't want to be viewed as taking her father from her. We've been talking and we are going to get her in activities. He wants her to do some form of self defense and I'm into showing horses and would like to get her into that. I guess I'm just worried. I want her to like me and to enjoy spending time with me and with us -her father and I. I want to take trips and just be very close. I guess I'm here because I don't know what an 11 year old is like these days. I was really shy and so into my horses that I wasn't what you would call "average", I didn't like boys, didn't wear makeup, didn't really do anything. I was recently shopping and noticed a bunch of girls around that age, talking about things I wouldn't have even thought of at that age, looking at thongs and I was floored. It kind of made me feel old and at 26 that's pretty hard! hahaha! How should I handle the start of all of this when she arrives??

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your words of wisdom.

Showinhorses


Edited 5/18/2004 3:21 pm ET ET by showinhorses

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2003
Sat, 05-15-2004 - 11:47am

Ooh Thats a tough one...I am the single Mom of an 11 year old..I have recently dated a few men with kids around that age.

Kim

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2003
Sat, 05-15-2004 - 11:19pm

I think you have already passed the first step---ACTUALLY CARING.


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Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 05-16-2004 - 2:09pm

Welcome! I'm glad you've found us and have already received some good suggestions.


11-year-olds come in a wide variety! I've got a tomboy who loves sports and hates shopping. She's got lots of friends of both genders, but is really her own person. I think you'll need to get to know your BF's dd, obviously!, to figure things out.


I hope we see you here often as you get to know this new young lady in your life. Best wishes!

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2003
Mon, 05-17-2004 - 1:32pm
Thank you to all who replied. My BF and I talked more this weekend and I told him that my biggest concern was that she had a smooth transition with all of this. She is the most important one in this deal. He said that for the most part she and his ex got along really well, there was a few instances where they butted heads because the daughter would throw out the "you're not my mom" bit. My BF nipped that though and told her that she wasn't trying to be her mother, but she is the adult in this house and she needs to respect that. He seems to think that although the first few months will be awkward, she'll be fine and just blend right in with me. The idea to let them have time to get reconnected was a good one, I never thought about that. I can see the importance of it though and will make sure that it happens. I am not one too say things behind people's back or to others so I would never talk badly about her mother or my BF's ex to her or anywhere near her. That's not my place and although I know the stories about what her mother did, I don't know the mother personally and therefor have no right to express any kind of opinion about her or her lifstyle.

I am worried about it, but also really excited. I just want everything to be at her pace and keep her comfortable. Again, thanks for your wisdome, I'm sure I'll be back. :D

Showinhorses


Edited 5/17/2004 1:40 pm ET ET by showinhorses

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Mon, 05-17-2004 - 4:50pm
Hello and welcome!!

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 8:21am

Thanks for the update. Good luck with everything. We look forward to seeing you here!

Janet


Jewish Family Life