20 answers

Dating - Stockton, CA

Ive been dating someone for the last almost four months now, he is 35 yrs old a hes a school teacher and also a student...oh and a dance instuctor, he has a four year old daughter mostly full time. Hes a great man and very goal oriented but then theres the daughters mother who cant let go and when he wants time for himself or with me, she doesnt want to keep the daughter as per there arrangements on the weekends.I am very glad that he is a responsible father dont get me wrong but he gets upset when we make plans together and then he gets a call that his daughter was dropped off with his roomate unannounced, Theres always an excuse with the daughters mother oh and they were never married either. I really like him and am being very patient with him and his busy schedule because i am also very busy i want him to fullfill all his goals, but i am beginning to get frustrated because the mother does know he is dating me and just makes excuses of why she cant keep their daughter for the time that they have worked out. We live about 40 minutes apart and we arrange when we can hang out together i just dont know what to do, if i should say something to him regarding that he needs to put his foot down regarding that she also needs to take responsibility and stick to there arrangements, i KNOW its not my problem but when hes upset it makes me upset.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

For times that he has his daughter and you want to go out is it possible to hire a babysitter? You may not be able to change his ex wife but you can change how you deal with it.

1 mom found this helpful

If he really wants to spend time with you, he will have a back-up sitter. Maybe you even have a sitter that you can suggest to him.

More Answers

Honestly, You shouldn't even be dating at all until your own children are 18. Let him spend as much time with his child as possible because that is what's important. The chances of it working out between you two are slim to none given you have 4 small kids of your own. It's too hard to mix families together. You both need to focus on your own kids and stay single til their out of the house. The ex is always going to be there so it won't do any good to say anything, with any luck they will get back together for their childs sake.

1 mom found this helpful

There is absolutely nothing you can or should say. This is his situation and his life. If you find you cannot live with that then you need to find another guy. His ex-wife is HIS issue, not yours.

1 mom found this helpful

Having been in this situation I have to say that I admire a man who will keep his kid when the other parent is being a pain.

Others are right - it is his issue to deal with. If the other parent is not sticking to court orders and parenting time, it is his responsibility to take that up with the court. He might do what I had to do: If you are not willing to keep your child on 'your time' then I'll have the order adjusted so that I keep the kids ALL the time. That settled it 100% for me. Now he keeps them on his time and all are happy.

Now, you have 2 options: You can continue to feel resentful and frustrated at his excuses, OR you can see him as a parent who puts his child first...not all that common these days but a very good trait in a parent. You can choose to let him go or you can embrace him and his daughter with open arms and welcome them into your world. How would you feel if you felt put in the position of needing to choose between your child and someone you were dating?

It sounds as if this guy has some very admirable qualities...look at them as positives not negatives. :) Not always easy to do, I know. :) Doing family activities, give you two a chance to see how the kids are together, how he is as a parent - and help you make a choice as to whether or not he is a good option for a long term relationship...or perhaps marriage. :)

Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful

For times that he has his daughter and you want to go out is it possible to hire a babysitter? You may not be able to change his ex wife but you can change how you deal with it.

1 mom found this helpful

Why is the mother the only plausible sitter? If their court ordered arrangements do not involve her having the child on the weekends, then he needs to find someone else to care for his daughter if he wants to go out. If the orders do involve her having the child on weekends, then he may need to take her back to court. The last thing you want is to give the ex the power of being the one who decides how often you see each other!

If he can't find a sitter, couldn't the three of you stay in for the evening together? After all, dating with children is very different than dating before children. When I met my 2nd husband (happily married 3 years now!) we both had children (then ages 4,5,& 6) and nine times out of ten our "dates" involved the whole gang! It should be about getting to know one another, not about wining and dining. Of course, when the opportunity arises to get some time alone, you should jump on it! But in the meantime, if you really want to see each other, you may need to adjust your idea of what a date looks like.

1 mom found this helpful

Are your children patient with you while your dating is cutting into their time???

Dearest L.,
First of all, congratulations on all that you do to be a full time single mom. I have been a single mom for 12 years. By choice. My ex-husband had kids and an ex-wife who made my life so miserable that I will never be with a man again if he has children. I know that sounds extreme, but I had a little daughter when I got married and I was promised all was done and okay between them and I trusted it. And it was a mistake. The other woman would not let go and my husband did nothing about it. It got even worse when I got pregnant. Our marriage only lasted a year after the baby was born. If you can believe this....10 years after our divorce....22 years after his FIRST divorce....my ex-husband took my son to a thanksgiving "get together" with his first wife.
I'm all about people remaining friends or whatever....but while you are single, you have the chance and the CHOICE of deciding what you will and will not tolerate down the line for years to come.
I tried to be first wife's friend and cooperate due to the fact the boys came to stay with us and my daughter and I were treated so horribly that I had to get out.
Don't get married and THEN have to fix it.
As far as cutting in to "your" time....
if the man doesn't designate it as your time and work to make that happen....it isn't YOUR time.
You have boys and you can't put them in a position to get hurt. I say find someone who is a little more available for you or just stay single for a while. Being single...figuring things out for yourself and being there for your children is the best gift you can give yourself and your babies.

What should you say? "I will do nothing that isn't in the best interest of ME and MY children. You can be a healthy part of that, or it was nice knowing you."

Key word.....HEALTHY.
You have to take care of your own children's interests first. You do not want to get in to a stand off with another woman who is looking out for her own kids and hanging on. Even if you mean them no harm. You will not win.

Be good to you and your sons. Raise them to be good men.
Enjoy your blessings and good luck.

Have I got a book for you - It's Called HOW TO GET A DATE WORTH KEEPING! IT was change you perspective on dating and who's a keeper - after reading this book, my friends have definately gotten better quality guys without a doubt!!


Thr best solution is to either line up a sitter yourself or suggest a big family date. You could make a big picnic and go to the park where your boys could oversee the younger ones for a bit. I was so appreciative of my husband including my son on some dates when we were dating. When he comes to your home or you go to his asrrange some crafts that she can do while you cuddle and enjoy each others company. Paper plate art is something she could do by herself wiith markers and maybe glue or play doh and some cookie cutters.


Not to sound rude, but why should you depend on the mother to watch his kid on his time? I am engaged to a man with 2 kids, and we schedule our time around the kids, because his kids should always come first and foremost to him.

I would find alternatives to watch the kid(s) while you and your man go out. Family members, friends... I've also heard this site has a great babysitter referral program...

Another option -if and when it's the right time to do so, would be to do things as a family, start blending the family when you can, so that they all can get to know each other...

Please do not be selfish when it comes to time with him... especially when it comes to interferring with his time with his daughter. Imagine being her, and some lady was cutting into your time with your daddy... there's just no way to understand it all at that age, and sharing isn't always easy at that age either...

Best of luck with your adventure, I do hope it works out for the best...

He's a package deal and you shouldn't ask him to pick between his daughter and you. I would be pleased that he cares enough about his daughter that he picks up the slack and is willing to be care giver. I know ex's are not always fun to deal with but that is part of the package to. Maybe changing plans so what ever you are doing includes his daughter and you or your kids. When I was going through dating with kids I was not wanting to introduce my son to people I was dating unless it seemed like it was going somewhere. Try not to look at it as the ex is ruining your time together but what a good dad he is to pick up the slack when the mom is being a flake. If she knows he is dating, some of it can be purposeful, but in the end what is best for the kids,is being with someone who wants and is willing to take care of them. Happy Mother's Day.

Hi L.,

You are a mother and are dating someone who is a father. Neither of you is no longer with the other parent of your children. Perhaps the 2 of you can make plans as a couple with children without ex's to baby sit. That way the two of you would be in control of your own lives. I think it is sad for the little girl that Mom doesn't want to see her even on weekends. However, that shouldn't effect your dating. Perhaps you and your boyfriend and your children and his child could all do something together.

Happy Mother's Day

If he really wants to spend time with you, he will have a back-up sitter. Maybe you even have a sitter that you can suggest to him.

Hey L.,
Never mind the mom's issues. Your boyfriend has a boundary issue and needs to take responsibility for the situation.
How does she know what he's doing? Too much information (TMI) is traveling there. Also, they have an agreement..is it a legal visitation/custody agreement? If so, then he needs to notify her IN WRITING that she has violated the agreement and that leaving their daughter with his roommate is not an acceptable act. It really is not o.k. to leave her child with someone other than her father without prior agreement. How old is the daughter...if she's under 12 her mom will be in deep doodoo. If he doesn't have the guts to handle this then you have a real good idea of future problems to come. People with lousy boundaries have lousy boundaries in other areas of their lives. If he has to cancel dates because of these interuptions, then take a break from him for awhile. He'll either figure it out or you won't be that important to him
Better to find out what he's really made of now!
Stand your ground.

Stepparenting can be very frustrating - been there, done that - especially issues around the other parent. But it's important for you to recognize that it's not the mom's job to "babysit" so you and your boyfriend can go out. It sounds to me like he has her most of the time and the mom takes her on the weekends? Do they have a visitation order from the court? They should stick to it, whether or not you and he have plans to go out during that time. If you want to go out and the mom won't take her child during her time, then he should hire a babysitter. Alternatively, he should stop telling her what his weekend plans are. If it's the case that mom has the child most of the time and dad takes her on the weekends and is trying to give her back so he can do other things, well ,that's a whole other story. Good luck and take care - it's very hard to figure out how to be in a stepfamily.


I know its hard, but don't involve yourself in his relationship with his ex. Whatever they have to work out, is between them. All you can do is set your boundaries and let him know how you feel. Just don't mention the EX. Good luck!


Hello L.,
You are suffering from the jealous ex- syndrome. Your not going to get anywhere addressing the ex situation. From that point of view, he is frustruated to. My suggestion is to enjoy him, if the mother flakes think of alternative plans to maybe include his daughter. Think of how disappointed she is That Mommy does'nt want her again this weekend. You have to find a way to make this work without depending on the ex. You have four children yourself, is the father dependable? Do they always go on the visitations like they are schelduled? Like it or not life is unpredictable, if we just make different plans we can benefit from the twists, and turn that make life interesting.
Hope this helps. Good luck !!

I'm sorry to say that this is where you decide how worth it this man is to you. I have been dealing with a crazy ex baby mama for over 4 years now. My fiance is a very devoted and loving father and puts up with sooooo much from this woman just so his daughter can be spared from as damage as possible that she already goes through on account of her mother. If your man is the same way about his daugther, you will be going through it. My birthday this year was completely ruined because of her. It was his time to pick up his daughter and we were going to out to dinner but instead we spent it at the police station trying to get help "enforcing" his visitation order. She knew it was my birthday and decided she wasn't going to let him have his daugther that day. It seems like it is something almost everyday and will probably continue to be that way for a few more years until his daughter is a litter older (she is 7 right now). There is no reasoning with crazy or obsessed so if his ex cannot let go, she's probably a little of both. Good luck.

Hi L.,
My husband and I have been together for 15 years - married for 11. When I met him his boys were 7 and 4. The mother of the 4 year old (different mothers)sounds like your boyfriend's ex-wife. Don't know if she's as bad as my husband's, but it never ended, and even though my step-son is now 20 years old - she still interferes in the relationship between my husband and his son. When we were dating, I let things be, but when we got married 4 years later I started to put my foot down and tell my husband that I was sick of her interferring in our lives and using her son as a pawn. What followed were court battles and worse behavoir on her part. What finally set me free of it was when I let go and left it up to my husband to handle. I asked him not to tell me her latest manipulations and if he needed support that he needed to find it from his sisters or friends, that I was too closely involved and it was making me crazy and I had to set myself free. Looking back I wish I would have stayed out of it from the beginning and saved me years and years of heart ache and pain. I guess what I'm saying it, consider that you may be dealing with this for the long haul and is it something you can handle.

Seems like he should bear the responsibility of hiring a sitter. You can't make someone do what she doesn't want to do (in the case of the mother), and if she sees he's serious about seeing you even if she is not watching her daughter, maybe she'll change her mind (or maybe not). It sounds like he's a very busy guy, and maybe weekends are better anyway. Good luck.

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