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You Know the New Boo Isn't Right for Your Kids When ...

Being a divorced single mom gets tricky when a new partner enters the scene. When do you introduce them to your kid(s)? Is he kid-intro worthy? How do you assess when the time is right? Will it confuse them if things between you fall apart? Will they get attached and suffer loss, yet again?

There's a laundry list of pros and cons to check and so many aspects to consider that it makes my head hurt. Our kids are such a major part of our lives that even a semi-serious relationship feels a bit false without the kids entering it in some way. You don't really know me until you see me as a parent, you know?

I have heard of some single parents who wait years to introduce their new boos to their kids. I like to take the middle path, and if I am seeing someone for a few months, I think a family-style date is important. It could be a deal breaker for me. If I'm turned off by the way he interacts with my kids, I need to know now. It would be devastating for me to fall in love with someone, only to see what a douche they are with my kids.

Here's a list when you know it is NOT the right boo, nor the right time.

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1. He sees a photo of your 9-year-old daughter on your refrigerator in a bathing suit and says, "She's gonna be a hottie!"

Needs no explanation.

2. He says, "I never wanted kids, but I can't wait to meet yours."

Subtext: He's a dick.

3. He hates the park

Can you smell the resentment? Half your life is spent here.

4. He sleeps past 7 a.m.

He will be miserable when your kids hop into bed, between you for 5:30 a.m. cuddles.

5. He loves to travel

This is never happening.

6. He considers himself a "night owl."

This won't work because after a day of childcare, you'll be passing out at 9 p.m.

7. He was hit as a kid

Does he know what healthy discipline looks like?

8. His ex wife/girlfriend is a stalker

You've got kids to protect.

9. He's squeamish

Kids and Band-Aids go together like chips and guac. Besides, you'll do a good enough job of scaring him off, you don't need a bloody knee to do it for you.

10. He's not "into" therapy

Forget it, you will all need tons of it.

11. He thinks a perfect Sunday is chillin' on the couch, reading the New York Times

The last time that happened for you was in the '70s.

12. He's snobby about food

This means no "kid's menus." Chicken nuggets, mac n' cheese, ketchup and stale mini carrots are your food groups.

13. He's over 40 and his last girlfriend was under 25

He's creepy and can't handle adult life.

14. He has a pit bull

Have you seen those creepy pit bull attack videos on Facebook?

15. He pontificates about why college isn't important

Mr., please just shut the fuck up now.

16. He doesn't speak to his parents, ex-wife or siblings

He can't handle a dynamic family situation, which yours is already.

17. He's moved over 10 times in the past five years

He's highly unstable and can't settle down.

18. He loves morning sex

See Number 4.

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19. He wants another kid, of "his own."

Buh-bye.

Illustration by Emily Wagner

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