I have this friend, we meet for coffee and talk for hours. I always always leave those conversations with massive lessons. This one was huge. I wrote a blog post months ago about being a lone parent. I was very much in the mindframe of never wanting a romantic partner involved with my children. I thought this stance was practical and pragmatic....Funny, how we can dress fear in a costume we call wisdom.
I was scared, angry and devoid of hope. I'd rather go without the warm feelings of sharing my family with someone I care about romantically then risk letting someone in who could hurt them. I never thought of how fucking selfish it would be to not let this person be involved in such a huge part of my life. To expect them to forgo the hope of feeling like a family with me, to keep them at a distance and to only share the small part of me that exists between bedtimes, wake times and mommy days. I didn't realize that this is only a partial relationship, a stepping stone with nowhere further for my partner to step. Even the word "partner" can't apply. I couldn't see that. I couldn't see a future with anything beyond a boyfriend/girlfriend in it and with that, I couldn't see the true validity of their concerns for the future. I simply didn't see my children as a factor in my relationships, because I didn't want the worlds to mix. Yeah, they may run into each other occasionally, but no plans together, no dinners or outings. My children were MINE and my ex's, no one else need be involved.
I'm still not looking for a co-parent, but I'm no longer closed to the idea of someone I care about becoming involved with my children (slowly) after a substantial amount of time seeing each other. I can see now how this mindframe held me back in many ways. Here I am, nearly six months from a point at which I thought I was ready for a relationship, realizing how much I wasn't. I feel like I'm ready for one now... We'll see if the woman I am in 6 months agrees.