DEAR CAROLYN: My romantic life has been pretty much a mess for the past 10 years. I got married in 2009 after being mostly single up to that point. We got divorced a few years later; it was a no-intimacy marriage where I felt more like his mother than his wife, plus there were some addiction issues. I met another guy shortly after who, it turns out, pretty much cheated on me the entire six years we were together. It all came out last year when I got pregnant (unplanned) and subsequently found out my child was not the only child of his born last year. I am now a single mom, loving every second of it and trying hard to co-parent. The issue is that people keep telling me I need to start dating, get back out there, etc., or I will end up a lonely helicopter parent with nothing in life but my child. Honestly, that is the last thing on my mind. I am a single mom to a baby, and that takes up tons of (amazing wonderful!) time. And right now my heart is so beat up, I want to focus on my baby and heal my heart. Plus figure out how to forgive. So what do I say to these people? Or are they right?
Not Ready to Date
NOT READY TO DATE: No, they're idiots.
Excuse me — they're acting like idiots.
A person — and this includes you, New Mama — can have an absolutely glorious, rewarding, fascinating, purposeful, fulfilling life uncoupled. You do not need a co-parent to be a good parent.
I find it stunning that people can live amid so much human variety, so great a range of experience, and still come out of it thinking there's only one right way to do something.
And holy freaking hovercraft, what are they talking about with the helicopter thing? They're the ones, not you, all up in someone else's life instead of just living their own.
"Whenever you feel like butting out, let me know, and we'll have an actual conversation." That's what you say.
Hugs to you and your kid. I got this pre-pandemic; hope you're both doing OK.
HI, CAROLYN: We need to find a new legal guardian for our three children, 14, 12 and 8, as our current one can no longer do it. Any thoughts on what to consider? We don't have an obvious choice. We have one family member with young children, but we've gotten close with them only in the past couple of years, and they don't live locally. I guess the main reason they are in the running is because they are family. Aside from them, there is one couple among our friends who'd be our top choice, but we have some hesitations about them as well. How can we determine which "hesitations" should be considered and which overcome?
HESITATING: It might make sense to name someone as a short-term guardian and someone (else) as the person who makes the decision about where they reside permanently if you are unable to care for them. This at least would allow for a solution that adapts as their lives change. Run this by a lawyer first, of course, because I'm so very not one.