Today’s post is inspired by both personal experience and…I’m almost ashamed to admit it: a guilty pleasure, The Bachelorette. On this evening’s episode, one young man bravely proffered his opinion that going into a relationship with a woman who had a child was a “compromise” — one he was willing to make, but a compromise nonetheless.
Big mistake…a mistake on the order of a guy saying he’s “babysitting” his own children (in which case he means parenting).
I’ve actually heard this before and been taken aback, and I was offended for Emily before she responded as such herself… Certainly relationships are full of compromises. Certainly people who have children make many compromises. But in trying to win the heart of a parent, describing going into a relationship with them as “making a compromise” because they have a child or children is a sure loser.
Here’s why: every good parent knows that our children give us so much more in the way of life lessons, tenderness, blessings and love, and that these things far outweigh the laundry list of obligations, compromises and costs of raising children. No amount of dirty diapers, spit-up stained clothing, expense, nights at (sometimes terrible) school concerts versus rock concerts, nights in versus nights out, cleaning up vomit, using vacation days to care for a sick child and more can ever compare to the joy, love, warmth, pride and purpose of nurturing these young people to pursue their own passions and grow into their potential.
In other words, if you’re thinking of getting serious with a single parent, you’ll do yourself and your relationship a favor by considering it an absolute honor to take on the role of step-parent to another’s child(ren). And, at least as importantly, you should feel honored that another human being holds you in high enough esteem to think you might make a good step-parent to his or her child(ren).