I have been waiting for a friend to confirm that I am perfectly reasonable for holding high expectations for my ex-husband's future girlfriends/wife. So far...my friends are really honest and there has been no confirmation.
My ex and I have done pretty well at getting along. We fight, but we did that when we were married too. We experienced parenthood, losing a child, separations, and a million other things in the 7 years we spent together. We know each other. Like, really know each other. It's sometimes hard to differentiate between love and just "comfortable" and it took us a few tries to realize that we weren't right for each other romantically.
Thinking about dating again gives me pretty severe anxiety. Thinking about him dating again makes me anxious for my kids.
I have thought a lot about what will happen the day some one new enters their lives. I have thought about it so much that I fear no man will ever be good enough.
That's the thing about being a single mom. Every choice I make affects two other people. Every time I invite some one into my life, I am inviting them into the lives of my children. Not right away, of course. Meeting the kids is a huge late-set relationship step, but why bother even being casual if he isn't worthy of meeting my kids?
The next man in my life will have to respect my ex as the father of my children. He will have to understand that maintaining communication and respect between us all is vital to the well being of my boys.
It will require maturity, integrity, and a person who is just good. Deep down, in the soul, GOOD. (and a good tipper, and a good friend, and a good laundry folder because that is just not my thing)
Yeah...that poor guy.
If I have such high expectations for him though, why wouldn't I then expect the same of the woman who enters our lives on the other side?
In my romantic mind, she is super cool. Like, Zooey Deschanel cool. (I feel like she's probably pretty awesome) My kids love her and I want to be her friend.
Yep, I'm dead serious...and there's more.
She is intelligent, compassionate, a symbol of strength and a positive role model. She is mature, stable, and confident. She doesn't have time for gossip because she is too busy trying to build people up. She respects. Not just me, but deeper and more important things like time, family, and hard work. I respect her.
I'll be honest with myself enough to admit that she's probably a Republican, but ya can't win 'em all. ;)
edit to add a winky face so people stop taking this part so seriously. It's a joke...meaning I know that we won't agree on every little thing. Yes, I agree that not all Republicans are bad people...look at all the other expectations I have for this fantasy chick.
She understands. She knows that even before they were born, all I wanted was what's best for my kids. She wants that too.
I want to have a beer with her and in some daydreams we even grab a coffee after soccer games or parent-teacher conferences.
Yeah...that poor girl.
Is it so wrong to want a soul mate for my ex that is also a positive female role model for my boys and a sisterwife-ish friend for me? Is it weird that now that I know he is ready to date, I have my eye out for cool chicks to send his way?
I know, I know, but because I know him the way I know him, I know that he deserves this girl.
I know that I deserve that guy.
And I know that my kids deserve a team of loving people working together to raise them into the best versions of themselves they can be.
High hopes? Definitely.
Impossible? I hope not.
I am a product of divorced parents and while the two families don't exactly get together and sing around the campfire, I have incredible stepparents. I have four parents rooting for me to succeed, four parents that love me and their grandkids. Four parents who I consider worthy of my kids adoration. I want that (and the campfire) for my kids.
If there is one thing we are learning about how to be divorced parents on the same parenting team, it's that everything works two ways. The Golden Rule is it.
So, yes. I am setting my own bar high. Not just for myself and my kids, but for him and in the hopes that he wont settle for anything less than what our children deserve.
If you think I'm crazy, check out this piece of work.