God sure knew when to assign children to me, because if I were to have them at my current age, I would be in a mental institution. I actually became pregnant, unexpectedly, on my eighteenth birthday. I can truly say I wasn’t expecting THAT for a birthday present; however, she (along with her brother) have been the best things that have ever come into my life. I am just so glad I had them young so I could put up with the whining, fighting, screaming, yelling, crying, injuries, accidents, break-ups, vomiting, bedwetting, fainting, tickets, blood, bleach, blisters, competitions, games, detention, conferences, and broken bones. I still can’t believe I survived all that with a husband who was never around due to a full-time government job and a part-time job as a military helicopter pilot, as well as, the possibility of having him sent off to war at a moments notice, along with my full-time college schedule and part-time job.
Being a young-looking, fit, forty-six-year old, I have both my children in their twenties now and am watching my friends become grandparents. I don’t even think I am ready for that phase of my life as I am so active and on the go all the time. I can’t imagine being the typical grandmother who bakes cookies and does creative things with their grandchildren. More than likely, I’ll be the one who takes them on their first 14,000 foot mountain hike, or a long bike ride with a stop at the ice cream shop when we are finished! My daughter has often joked that she doesn’t see me as being the “typical” grandmother even though she treasured the relationship with my mother (who did all the baking, creative things) when she was younger.
Recently, I have had to come to a realization. Dating men who are my age, often have younger children. I never really gave the children much thought because the majority of my relationships have ended before I HAD to start really thinking about the potential future of having these younger children in my life more often. So, the realization occurred about a month ago when my current boyfriend of a year and a half took me and his two young girls out for an afternoon hike and picnic lunch. I had forgotten how whiney girls can be at times; however, I am pretty patient so, I put up with it. Then it came time for the picnic. Someone didn’t get what they wanted so, they sat and screamed/cried. Not wanting to interfere with the parenting, I stayed out of it and let their father handle it. Needless to say, it wasn’t handled; nor, was the older girls actions of literally SCREAMING in the car 3/4 of the ride home. I learned that I have one of two options. Either I stick around and help this poor fellow with his parenting skills (which I really don’t want to have to do over again with someone else’s kids) or I have to let him know that I cannot handle the kids at this age and maybe our timing is a bit off as far as our relationship goes.
Unfortunately, I truly care for this man and know that we would be a great couple. I am feeling torn that I have these feelings of impatience regarding his girls or even helping him with parenting skills. They are very sweet girls but have been given leeway in some of their actions probably due to the guilt factor of divorce. My luck I’ll tell this guy what I’m feeling and he’ll head for the hills. I know he cares for me but I have to deal with him as a “package” and I’m still not sure I can handle that.
I suppose I have to decide if I want to be more selfish and get out of the relationship or stay knowing that loving someone means putting up with family issues; whether is it aging parents, young children, disabled child, or custody problems. Wish me luck!