A black woman, man and baby
A black woman, man and baby. © Rob - Fotolia.com

From Black and Married With Kids:

I first “met” Deesha Phillywaw through her book Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce. I wish I had read her work before I became a co-parent. While dating men with children, I didn’t take into account certain things, which are thoroughly discussed in the chapters of the book. For instance, I wasn’t used to being someone’s second priority and having to schedule dates around a custodial calendar. I also thought paying child support meant your child’s needs were fully met. I didn’t realize bills stretch far beyond a daycare center’s door. I also didn’t have to budget and sacrifice for others, so I could easily drop dollars on designer bags, shoes and clothes, if I opted to spend the day at the shopping mall.

Now that I’m on the other side of the fence and co-parenting the most terrific toddler you’ll ever meet, I want my experiences to positively impact singles dating someone with children. So yesterday, Deesha and I sat down to lunch. We ate our favorite — Thai food — and discussed our not-so-favorite topic: co-parenting through problems and over obstacles. I asked her what six things should women know when dating men with children. Here’s what she told me.

1. Don’t Take Every Word as Gold

If a man says, “my child’s mother won’t let me see my kids,” dig deeper, because while the family court system is broken, sometimes men say they aren’t allowed see their children when they haven’t sought parenting time through a judge. You don’t need an attorney to obtain custodial rights. A father can represent himself pro se and file a motion, if he cannot work out an agreement with his ex. Ask yourself: is this man in his child’s life for not only the first day of school and graduation, but all the moments in between?

Read the rest of this story on Blackandmarriedwithkids.com.