My daughters turn 14 today. They were born right at the dawn of the digital era so I've been able to document their lives on earth far better than my parents (as many of you know). What I haven't documented as aggressively is the women that I've brought into their lives since their mother and I called it quits.
Most of my male friends are progressive but are generally lax when it comes to "stepmom" introductions. Opinions vary on when it's ok bring the children in for the big meeting. Some variables include:
While on a stroll to the neighborhood Whole Foods, the topic of marriage came up. Both girls casually told me that they weren't too keen on making another introduction. This was one of the first times they've shared a hard nosed opinion with me. I realized then that my girls were really growing up and that our conversations would get more and more complex, even contentious. I wasn't ready.
I took a long hard look at myself after that conversation. Their words resonated. I knew that I couldn't commit to never having a significant other while they are around. However, I would commit to taking their feelings into consideration when I got into a new relationship. I had to be sure (as sure as I could be) on the next run.
Although I've never experienced catastrophe when bringing someone into their lives, I've seen it happen. Parents get waaaaaay into their feelings and it can cause friction. Introducing the wrong person into your kids lives reflects solely on you. There are no environmental or societal forces influencing these decisions.
When my daughters "chin checked" me with their opinions on my relationship status I instantly wanted to repent. It created the urgent need for me to model a healthy and loving relationship. Before we were married Mikki made sure that I told the girls we were engaged and that we weren't just "shacking up". I'm happy that the girls will see me in a peaceful, honest place with a great woman. It is my goal to show Mia & Hailey what a good husband is by allowing them to witness my love for my wife.
If you find yourselves in this situation, make the introduction with care. Remember that it will have a profound effect on your children.
Please join me in wishing Mia & Hailey Crawford a wonderful 14th birthday...and as always, stay dope.
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