Ladies, imagine this. You meet the man of your dreams. He’s attractive, attentive, nurturing, funny, sexy, and is financially stable. He asks you out on a date and you happily accept. He not only takes you to a five star restaurant, he also makes you feel like the only woman in the world. Half way through dinner, you ask him more about his background and somewhere between his goals, his job, and interests, he mentions that he has children from a prior relationship. How should you proceed? Are the kids a deal breaker?

I used to avoid dating men with children, but as I got older, the pickings become a little slimmer. I then realized that if a man does have children, we shouldn’t cross him out of the little black book or delete from the celly. You may have to do some investigating. That’s where ShalenaD.I.V.A. comes in—take some of my advice so you can effectively manage the inevitable baby mama drama.

  1. Set Boundaries- If you and your new man desire to have a loving and trusting relationship, then he must set boundaries with his children’s mother(s). She can not have access to him at all hours of the night simply because Ray Ray wants to talk to him or needs sneakers. Understandably, children have various needs—the younger, the more needs they’ll have—but your man can’t play Superman and save the baby mama from all of her troubles.
  2. Distinguishing the Needy from the Manipulative- There are some respectable women who can truly hold their own and raise their children without the assistance of a man if that is the case. But there are those manipulative women who still want to be with the father of their children and will use their children as pawns. These women are very needy and often make the fathers feel guilty about not doing enough for the children. These women often ask for extra money, too. It amazes me how a manipulative baby mama can turn the strongest man into a wimp and get him to even take care of her children that aren’t his.
  3. Establish respectful relationships with the children- Having healthy and respectful relationships with the children is helpful because the baby mama may try to mess that up, too. She may even question the kid after he/ she comes over for a weekend with you and your man. Some trifling women encourage their children to disrespect daddy’s new love interest, so lay down the rule with the kid up front. They may not like you, but they should respect you.
  4. Acceptable Behavior- You must tell your man what is and is not acceptable behavior in regards to the baby mama. She should not have free reign to drop by the house whenever she wants to. She should not be calling your house or man for things that do not pertain to the child. Don’t accept the fact that they are friends. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, then don’t accept it.

Ladies, remember that men also determine what type of relationship they will have with their baby mommas. They determine how much access they will give to her. You must have standards and convey them to your man. He may not realize that his behavior with his baby’s mama is unacceptable, especially if that’s how they’ve always been. Also, you have to remember that there is history between them, so you have to accept that, too. Tread lightly and use a little common sense.

What do you think? Have you ever been in this situation? Would you date  a man with kids? I’m dying to know what y’all think.

Be blessed!


P.S. Remember, everything has beauty—including YOU. It just takes a true D.I.V.A to see it!

© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Personal Branding| Content Marketing| Product Creation. All rights reserved.


  1. Talmeedah on April 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Shalena D.I.V.A.! I love this article. Really great advice, written with freshness and a dash of Keep It Real! You’ve done a superb job! I’m sooo a fan!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ShalenaD.I.V.A. ShalenaD.I.V.A said: Ladies, have you had any drama dating a man with children from a previous relationship? Read my latest blog entry […]

  3. Skye on July 15, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Thanks for your article. I’ve been surfing the net for some answers and you’ve clarified a few things for me. I’m in love with someone with children but seeing his ‘friendly’ relationship with his baby mama just so he can see his youngest child is killing me. Asking her how her day is, her job etc just so that she allows him to see their child is painful. I feel like a bitch but I can’t bare to watch my ‘strong’ man becoming some wilting flower at her command. Your advice on setting boundaries is gold. Thanks a million x

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on July 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      Skya, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this article. It’s based upon my personal experience of dating a man with children. Dating a man with children can be very fristrating at times because of the pre-existing relationships he has with his children’s mother(s). My best advice is to keep out of their business as much as you can because you will alwasy be implicated in some way and made out to be the bad guy. It took me a long time to realize that I can’t intervene in every matter and that my opinion didn’t alwasy count when it involved someone else’s kids. It killed me at first becasue I’m so hands-on, but not nay more. IT took my man a while to see his babymomma for the trifling person she is, but he saw her for what she is and I didn’t have to say a word. I’m not quick to voice my opinion on matters pertaining to the kids either. I simply nod my head or shrug. You’ll waste precious energy on matters that don’t concern you, but ti takes time to get to that place. I care about the kids, but I’m not losing sleep over them or their mothers. I have my own son to raise.
      Skye, thanks for stopping by and comemnting. I truly appreciate it.

      Be blessed!

  4. Butterfly on March 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you for the article. It is a perfect fit as the man I live with just came out of court today as his “babby momma” dragged him for child support now that she knows he lives with me. Don’t get me wrong. He always supported his child and always provided for him. But now she decided that she will punish him for having moved in with another woman (they have been separated for 6 years).
    She even told him that she wante dto go to court to protect her interest in case the new girlfriend wants a new car or nice dinners. So she made sure to ask for the max child support for the wrong reason.
    Then she is saying all kind of bad stuff to the kid about me, althoughthe kid loves me and is trying hard not to get affected, but there is so much a7 years old can do.
    I really see a future with his man, and he established a real boundary with that woman, he respects me and treats me really well. But sometimes I realize that spending my life with him means spending my life with her somewhere in the background and that is killing me.
    I don’t want children on my own, so it is nice to know that he already has one and won’t pressure into having one, but WHY some women have to be so wicked!!! I am good to her son, and I am treating him well, but NOOOO she just cannot stand the fact that my boyfriend is finally happy and moving on with his life. She is using their kids as a bargaining tool and as leverage against him.
    I just don’t get it. It is sad and sometimes I feel like running away not to have to deal with that ever.

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on March 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Butterfly, if you truly love the man then you have to accept his situation, too. It will get easier as time goes on and the woman realizes that what you two have is real. I wish there was a magic pill because I’d give it to you, but it’s not that easy when human beings with various motives are involved. Hang in there!

  5. Niecy on March 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I so enjoyed this article, I’ve been there only once and I’ll never date a man with children again. It was all the things you mentioned and then some. the mom was calling at 11 pm these are school-aged children asleep then, calling when kids are out of town for him to fix her car. He was a man who took care of the extra child too, I respect that part cause he wanted all the kids to feel equal. But the mom was a total mess!!!

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on March 31, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Niecy, the sad thing is the older we get, the slimmer the pickings get, too! LOL! I think it was noble of your ex to provide for the other child that wasn’t his, but it can become annoying when the woman uses that as a pawn. Never say never because the man of your dreams may have kids already. Maybe this situation was preparing you– you never know–LOL!

  6. Gabi on May 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Ok my comment.. Im looking for tht guy. Help! But remember i also have kids.

    • Shalena D.I.V.A. on May 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      @Gabri’elle—I think the same rules apply for women who have children and are dating men. It’s about respect. You would want him to show you the same respect. The article talks about setting boundaries and managing expectations. For exampl…e, the baby mama—and not all women in this situation are baby mamas, only the crazy ones—can not expect nor should she have unlimited access to your man at all hours of the night. She can’t call him over every little thing and expect him to jump for her. I also talk about how the woman needs to respect and realize that this situation came before her and that there is history involved so she can’t expect the man to make drastic changes to routines and what not.

      • Gabi on May 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm

        I love the LOL bt im serious. Hahaha! Yes well i take my hat off to u. Its nt easy taking on anotha persons responsibilities n takes a strong woman to take on sch responsibillity. Altho its no ones fault. If i were the baby mam…a ..erm wch i am.. I wud try n work out a schedule wth u the new woman on how to look after the kids. They after all r the primary concern. If he can afford me the space to move on wth my life, then i must afford him the same space. Thr is a reason why he is wth u n why things didnt work out for us. So in all respect of my kids i will honour his choice n try n work together wth u for the sake of the kids. Evn if u do bad-mouth me in frnt of my kids they will see the love i show them by honouring u as thr father’s new wife. I know it sounds too good to b true but it the best, simplest n only Way to make lemonade out of lemons. The homes r alrdy dysfunctional..the least we as parents can do is try n keep the kids minds as uncorrupted as possible. After all its nt thr fault tht things didnt work out.

      • gabi on May 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm

        Ok i only got ur msg now. My kids dnt live wth me unfortunately. Erm this is nt abt me lol..this is abt u. My life is too complicated. I know thr is a simple solution out thr smwhr. But all in all thts my perspective on it. Its abt the kids…. And i agree. Evrything has its own time. Unless its an emergency tht needs medical care..otha than tht dnt call. I say the less he is involved wth her the betr. The more he is involved wth the kids the betr. Two women can get the job done for these kids. The man can love the one woman unconditionally n financially fulfill his duties to the otha.. The 2 women can b friends. Wots stopping them? The man. If u take him out of the focal point, life will b tht mch easier.

      • gabi on May 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm

        Hmm yes true Shalena.. But if we can have tht mch patience wth the men in our lives then we can also learn to cimmunicate wth his ex woman. U may not know anything abt thr history n rly its no good playing referee.. But trying to bridge the… gap for the sake of the kids n finding out how to discipline these kids combined cnt b tht difficult. Communication is a huge factor here. Yes ur in a complicated relationship n wth it comes complications but thr r answers. U want wot will b best for all of u. U know if u rly decide to do it..communicate wth her.. U might discover tht maybe shez nt a dragon at all n instead of her calling him..she will be calling u. Ur a vry sensible n wise woman n im sure u can b a guide in her life. She sounds like she needs guidance n like she needs to b undastood. I urge u as a friend.. Pray abt this n tell God u wana take a step of faith to make friends wth her. Let Him open the door n bring an ice breaker whr the 2 of u can relate on a common ground. U can b the greatest of friends. Uv only heard his side of the story. Thr may b more to it. But make it clear tht ur nt gna b thr referee..ur doing it for the kids n u wana b a team. Ud like to respect her wishes concerning her kids as well n if she wud like tht u can work together raising them. Shalena if ur man n his ex woman cudnt get along b4, they ainy gna get along now. They may need ur help here. U eva thot of tht? Those kids n thr mum may need ur help. Hugs. Im sry for wot ur enduring. God will surely reward u.

        • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm

          @Gabr’ielle–I used to think that about women being able to be civil when the man is taken out of the equation, but that’s easier said than done. I tried that with a woman and she used my kindness against me. My feelings were that we should be civil since I was going to be around her daughter. I tried to do nice thinsg for her daughter, but she always unraveled it. Som

  7. Layfif on May 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    If he was a real man. He would have that situation handled before he began a new relationship.

    • Shalena D.I.V.A. on May 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      @Layfifi–Not neccessarily because it depends on the woman, too. I dunno..

  8. Celeste on May 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    most men that I have dated…when I had mine…only want you and not your children..they would rather have another you have another child to them….this is how selfish men are…

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      @Celeste–I’ve heard of that before, too. I’ve also heard of men taking care of other men’s children and neglect their own menaing they’ll play daddy to their current woman’s children, but neglect their own children.

      • Layfifi on May 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm

        I’m just saying he needs to talk with the ex and they sould have some type of understanding in place. Since he is moving on. I’ve dated men with children and never had an issue with the Childs mother.

        • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm

          @Layfifi–I love your name by the way–You are one of the lucky ones…seriously! But your experience proves that this is possible and that there is hope–LOL! But you would be surprised how atypical your situation is and hwo the kids suffer in the end. 🙁

    • Gene on May 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      @ Celeste, if ur dating a man & he has No interest in ur children end it the moment u find out!! When a MAN goes into a relationship with a lady that has children he has to embrace her children too! Children need to feel wanted & accepted & u should have their best interest at heart! This is not a subject u can bargain with! Trust me!!

      • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm

        @Gene–so true!

    • Lisa on May 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      Definately @ Celeste kick him 2 da curb!!!

  9. Gene on May 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Excuse me! Knoc knock, excuse me! I would like to see more topics on what affects men too ya know!! This isn’t the Oxygen channel!! Men go through a lot too! We have things we want to get off of our chest too!! Women just stressing men out & yall get a support talk?!!! Men have feelings too Shalena!!! I’m not afraid of u!!! ; )

    • April on May 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

      Man you see this is why she adressed it to some women because men dont fight with each other women fight with each other over the kids best intrest. If a man had somebody around his kids he wouldnt like it but yall dont fight or argue the w…omen clearly have a problem with the other woman its just how some things go and like the other lady said you take him out the equastion there is no more fighting thats minus the dumbass. Then were all happy.

      • Gene on May 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

        April , on a serious note I must address ur comment. With all due respect!! Men do have issues with other men around their children. We don’t gripe about it to the mother, well real men don’t, but I personally sat my ex wife boyfrie…nds (3) down & told them never scare or hurt my child! I told them honestly what would happen to them if they did. One scared my son when he was 4 years old. I saw it all in my sons face so I commenced to beatin the shyt outta boy friend!! Men do protect their children, I know I did! I got stories that would make u sit down & cry but I don’t have the time to write all of that! But u best believe men have those issues! But like our emotions we keep them on the inside!!

        • Shalena D.I.V.A. on May 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm

          ‎@Gene–I think that’s noble that you are protective of your childrena nd care who they be around because some parents don’t care. As a woman, we are told that we should not bring men around our children when dating unless it’s serious so our children won’t think we are loose women.

        • Gabi on May 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

          and gene u almst made me cry. 🙁

    • Shalena D.I.V.A. on May 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      @Gene, I step away for two seconds and now you’re calling me out… What’s up with that?!? LOl! I’m gonna put you on blast right now. Your kind is the next status.

      • Gene on May 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm

        Wait SHalena… Wait, hold on, hold so, wait a minute Jesus!!!! I…. I…. I said something constructive on this forum! I came back good! Ur gonna put me on blast any way! Wow! Come on! How can I make it up to u???

        • Shalena D.Iv.A. on May 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm

          ‎@Gene—too late! You can make it up to me by answering the latest post. I gave you a platform… what are you going to do with it? We’re listening…

          • Gene on May 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

            Hold up!! Rewind! Back the he!! Up! What exactly do u mean “my kind”? I’m the only kind that sparks an interest!! LOL!!! Go for urs! Give it ur best! My kind! Like u just discovered a new species! Oh its on now Shalena! We r each others topic today! Bring it!! LOL. Made me so nervous I sent the same message twice! Dang!!!

            • Gabi on May 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

              haha gene u dnt scare us. Ur all soft on the inside. Haha. ;-D hugs Shalena

            • April on May 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm

              What hey now leave shaleena alone guy i got your point but shes doing her job and she just needs everyones opinion on drama conserning womens issues on the other woman. Thats all shes cleary not afraid of you trust and me like many others have her back on down talkers like you we all grown up in here we need unity and solutions not brand new drama………. :-\

          • Gene on May 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm

            U know ur a bully right? Here I go again!! LOL

            • ShalenaD.I.V.A on May 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

              @Gene–yes, my girls have my back so watch yourself! LOL!

  10. Brian on May 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I went through the opposite, dated a woman going through a divorce with 3 kids.I finally got tired of all his BS and broke up with her.And I had read an article in Ebony mag that said don’t be the first guy to date a woman after a divorce,i found out first hand why.But men deal with the same thing too.

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