Second girlfriend out of secondary school. A Caribbean girl just like myself, but lived most of her life in the USA. I liked that. I liked the accent. Six months into the relationship, I finally found out that she had a young boy. Not too long afterwards, the father, also a local living in the USA, returned to the country and rekindled his relationship with her. She was unable to break it to me, so he did…except my mother had my cellphone at that time. Some threats passed that I did not know about, and she disappeared completely from my life for a whole year before I finally found out what happened. I saw her a few years later, with the gentleman and their child. I felt conflicted. Never saw her again.
Third girlfriend was upfront about her 9 year old son. The father of the child was not an active part of her or the son’s life, so I became the person she depended on. Unfortunately I was not making much money, and she being 9 years older than me, found other people on the side to finance her, all the while keeping me on a leash. That only succeeded for so long. I eventually left.
Fourth woman invited me to her home. Then I found out she had a child…but it didn’t deter me, because I just came for the sex, and she, being 8 years older than me, knew that already. But then the father of the child – a police officer – showed up. Apparently he had a sexual relationship going with her still, and he came for some that night. Then he found out I was there (blasted child sold me out), and started arguing about her having strange men in the house with her child there. Yeah, whatever. He eventually left, I still screwed her, and then we officially started a relationship. But that man and her had 8 years and a 3 year old son between them, and eventually her attention was divided between him and me. I could not handle that, so we officially broke up.
Fifth girlfriend’s children’s father was murdered by his friend a year before we officially hooked up (I knew her long before then). Unfortunately for me, she was still going through the motions, and I found myself competing with a dead man for her affection. I won’t go into all of the details, but an example would be when I bought her a phone for Valentine’s day, and she had a picture of herself and her children as the background image, with “David and Sharon” written on the bottom of the screen. David is obviously not me; he is the deceased father of their children. There was nothing anywhere with my name or likeness, not that day. Actually, the only thing she ever kept of me was the Hallmark and Wilson cards I bought her, which she has to this day, about 10 years later.
I have been single for 6 years and counting, but that almost came to an end 2 years ago, when I met yet another local who once migrated to America. But she had a young child with her recent ex, and after finding out they had 11 years of history between them, I told her she will go right back to him. She promised not, but she did. Didn’t know I still had a heart until that happened.
I grew up in a single parent household, where I’ve experienced my fair share of stepfathers, most of them terrible at the job. For the most part, I am the stereotypical child of a single black woman, who somehow avoided a life of crime and chose the harder path of a life of academia. So I know both sides of the divide. I can tell you it’s not a nice thing most times, being the father of a child that is not your blood. Every single time you look at that child’s face, you see the father, and you’re reminded of somebody being there first, stretching her legs back past her head, and leaving a permanent link there. You can’t punish the child, because if either the mother or father disagrees with your idea of punishment, they’re going to breathe fire down your throat. And of course, children are so cute with their words, reminding you that, “You’re not my daddy!” without contemplating how much those words hurt when you’re spending your money taking care of another man’s child, giving it the love and attention you’d give your own child. And society already doesn’t favour fathers, so you know the hell stepfathers face, because they’re not blood related. The father can pick up the child from school, regardless of his place in the mother’s life. Me? The mother has to know me for months or longer before it’s even considered. Can’t blame anybody for that really, but…it stinks.
So you’d think the mother, knowing what you’re going through, would strive to make life a little more comfortable for you, right? Wrong. Insecurity takes over, and she starts wondering aloud if you’ll leave her for someone without children one day. Even if you weren’t thinking of it before, she just put that thought in your head, making it doubly hard to stick around when you fully well know you don’t have to. Insecurity makes people do stupid things, like checking a man’s phone, which causes me to give you the phone and dump you on the spot. If you can’t trust me, it’s senseless continuing the relationship…but you can keep the phone, unaltered, so the imaginary other woman can call you, thinking she’s calling me, and you can find the imaginary incriminating WhatsApp and text messages. And then people have this stupid tendency to tell you of the sacrifices they made for the father of their child, but then not do those things for you, making you feel like you’re not as worthy or loved as her past lover. And don’t think for a second she will be available at your beck and call – the child always comes first, and the child knows it. They know it so well, if they don’t like you or aren’t weaned off the parent, they can and do manipulate the parent to have as little time alone with you as possible.
The only upsides I’ve ever found to being with a woman with children was those children remembering the good that you did and appreciating you for it. That, and you already know what kind of mother she makes, because she already is a mother.
To answer your question then, being in relationships with women with children was a hellish experience for me. But, as stated, that was dependent on the individuals involved, the circumstances involved, and my own idiocy and tendency to knowingly walk into terrible situations. I definitely don’t dismiss potential dates just because they have a child or two, but I’m not fond of those kind of people at all, not for courting.