I am quite sure you get a lot of "I should have listened to you" emails, but here is another one. In 2003, I divorced my daughter's dad. In 2008, I remarried. Every day prior to the wedding, I would wait in the car line at my daughter's school listening to you tell stories of how second marriages with step-children usually end in divorce and the step-parent would not treat the child as his own. I would think it would never happen to me.
Fast forward a few months after the wedding and it was completely obvious my now ex-husband was extremely jealous of the relationship with my 8 year old daughter and, therefore, treated her horribly. He would actually say he was counting down the days until she was 18 so she would leave and I would only pay attention to him. I would have never fathomed this person I married could say such mean things to a child. It was a living nightmare. We tried counseling for several months but it was apparent things would never change. Because my daughter is the most important thing in my life, I divorced him in 2009.
The good news is I am now taking your advice and not dating until my daughter is 18. My friends think I am crazy but I don't care. My daughter is now 12 and for the next 6 years my goal is to focus on raising her to be a well-adjusted, moral adult. No man will ever come between my daughter and me because I won't put us in that position again. My daughter and I have a great life together and she loves she gets me to herself. To make life even better, when she is at school, I am at work and when she is out of school, I am with her.
Thank you for your wonderful advice. I am glad I finally decided to take what you say literally: I am my kid's mom.