1. Show an Interest in the Kids
A woman can never care for you if you don’t care for her kids. If you are dating a mom then you are dating her kids, as well. They are a package deal. Show interest, love and kindness toward them. Go to their soccer games, help them with homework and get to know them.
2. Be Accepting of the Kids’ Father
The children’s father may not be her favorite person either but he will always be in her life. Don’t act jealous, petty or childish about him. It will only make things harder for her. Be supportive of the kids’ relationship with him and understand that you should not be threatened.
3. Understand Her Schedule
She probably can’t go out on weeknights or take lots of weekend trips. She has kids. Her kids need her at home with them and you need to be understanding of that fact. If you expect her to go out to dinner 4 nights a week then you are expecting her NOT to be with her kids. That is an unfair request and any good mom will always choose her children.
4. Don’t Push Too Hard
You may adore her children and want very much to be a part of their life as well as hers. You may deeply desire to be a father figure, a friend and a supporter to them. Your heart may be in the right place. However, you must not push too hard. You need to earn their trust and their mother’s and that will take time. Don’t expect to be invited over every evening for dinner or be hurt if you aren’t asked to the science fair.
5. Know Your Place
Knowing your place will depend on the situation with the kids’ father as well as many other factors. For instance, teenagers with an active father figure in their life will not respond well to you trying to act like their dad. They don’t need you to discipline them or try and set rules for them. On the other side of the coin, younger kids without an active father figure may deeply desire your attention, advice and may to look to you to set boundaries. You should look to their mother for guidance on what your “place” is.
6. Be Patient
It will take a while for the kids and your new girlfriend to feel totally sure about where you fit into their family. Dating a mom is not easy which is why so many men run for the hills at the mere mention of children. It can be an uphill battle and patience will be your greatest asset when it comes to finding your place in the family.
7. Know That the Kids Come First
The kids will always come first. That means their schedules, their meals, their homework and their appointments will be priority. You will sometimes feel like second fiddle. However, you should be happy to see that your lady is a great mom.
8. Help Her (When She Asks)
Raising kids is a full time job and being a single mom may be overwhelming and exhausting at times. Helping her with anything from laundry to carpool will show her that you “get it.” You should always be careful not to overstep your bounds, however, so be sure to let her tell you what she needs.
9. Be a Good Role Model
A mom will be looking for a man that she feels will set a good example for her children. If her kids are going to be around you she will want to be sure you are a solid guy who they can look up to. Be sure to show her that you are ready and willing to do so.