If a single mother asks for your input, then it is fine to give her your opinion - but don't give her your opinion in front of the children ... especially if it differs significantly from hers. If your opinion is drastically different than the mother's, you should carefully think about how you are going to present your opinion to her - as you can do a lot of political damage to your relationship with her, if you are not careful. Guys have a habit of speaking their mind - and we justify this as a good quality ... associating it with being honest. But "honest" and "politically correct" can be competing attributes - the key is to be able to be both at the same time ... which is not at all easy. I struggle with the balance of honesty versus political correctness every day - in my relationship at home, and also in my work-related interactions. The art of politics does not come easy to everyone.
My main message here is - default to agreeing with the mother at all times. If you disagree, and feel the need to discuss it - then do so away from the children, and be very careful how you approach the subject. If you drastically disagree with what the mother says or does (in other words, you think she is WHACKED), then you should seriously consider if the relationship is worth continuing.
I've run into several odd situations concerning mother-child politics in my days as a midlife bachelor. Earlier I wrote about Becky, the housewife that I had all the very hot sex with ... whose 13-year old daughter I was so fond of. Recall that when I took the mom and daughter and the daughter's boyfriend to the local Six Flags park, the young teenagers were holding hands and making out right in front of me. And when I expressed my concern about this to Becky, her response was that she wanted her daughter to be comfortable with her body. Clearly in my mind, to me Becky was WHACKED ... crazy! I knew there was no way in hell that I would ever allow a daughter of mine to behave that way - especially not in front of me with permission! The memory of this still amazes me. Becky was not happy with my criticism, nor my handling of the situation at the time. [On the ride back home, I insisted the kids stop making out in the backseat of my SUV - and this pissed everyone off at me. I guess I am a bad man - not!] Even though Becky dumped me shortly thereafter, I knew in my heart that I would never be able to continue the relationship - as this and several other fundamental differences weighed heavily on me at the time.
Here is a very weird midlife bachelor example of my opinion about child-rearing differing significantly from the housewife-girlfriend's. The religious housewife named Linda that I dated (and wrote about earlier), she had a little boy who was age two at the time that I dated her. During the daytime, she often had her son with her - and I noticed fairly quickly that he would grab at her wonderful size DD breasts. At first, she would just push his hands away and not say anything to me. But as time went on, I noticed the little man paying way too much attention to Mommy's breasts. I mean - he was putting his face up to them before she stopped him! Finally after a few weeks, I asked her in a very polite way what was going on - and she told me (to my complete and utter surprise) that she was still breastfeeding him. Still breastfeeding him at age two? OH MY GOD! I did not know what to say! I was just shocked ... so I didn't really say anything, except maybe "huh". Now I do recall not wanting to appear ignorant, so I asked several female friends of mine if breastfeeding at age two is even remotely normal - and the answers were all a resounding, NO - THAT IS NOT NORMAL ... IT IS FUCKING WEIRD. Armed with confirmation of my suspicions, I still did not confront Linda - as I honestly did not know what to say. I mean - she was such a nice and wonderful woman to me ... so how could I tell her that she was WHACKED? No - instead of telling her, I just stored this information in my own mind, and used it to help justify later on why the relationship was not meant to be long-term.
Notice that in both of my midlife bachelor examples, I disagreed with the mother - and also notice that each relationship was doomed. In Becky's case, I disagreed immediately and expressed this in no uncertain terms - and she dumped me within days. In Linda's case, I disagreed - but didn't say anything ... and it increasingly weighed heavily on my mind. In both cases, the women were WHACKED (crazy). The thing for you to remember as a midlife bachelor is - know what your boundaries are ... know what is acceptable and not acceptable to your mind and your conscience. If a woman (single mother or not) exhibits behavior that fundamentally challenges what you think is right, then be prepared to walk away from the relationship. If her behavior only represents a minor challenge, then perhaps you can live with it - that is up for you to decide. Just keep your eyes open, and be cognizant of both the big picture AND the details ... because sometimes the "devil is in the details".
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