You can even introduce him as your friend rather than your boyfriend at first and then let him slowly get to know your kids (and you in the role of mother).
Set him up to win by making it clear that your child (or children) aren’t competing for your time and attention. Have you asked him if he’s ready to meet your kids?
The same rules apply in reverse if you are a man keen on a woman who has children.
It’s no big deal, but failure to tread softly can kill off a potentially brilliant romance. This is a concept that is sometimes hard for people who aren’t parents to understand.
Then use pickups and drop-offs as casual getting-to-know opps or to diffuse any drama.
With rugrats in the picture, there’s zero chance you’ll ever be the top person in this woman’s life—but that window of narcissism was short-lived anyway (if it existed at all).
Instead, invite him to join you for one or two activities per week or month (depending on how old your kids are).
But how do you deal with this situation when you don't have any children of your own?
Here’s what to do: Your go/no-go window remains the third date, but the signals will be all new. My ex self-immolated when I joked about meeting his 6-year-old anytime before she was, say, old enough to drive. I treat my date’s offspring like feral, if adorable, animals—keeping my distance and letting them make the first move.
And unfortunately for us alpha female types, man-children have an in-built radar system that can spot a strong woman from a mile away, knowing we’ll see them as our personal projects; ones we’ll no doubt be futilely dedicated to until we succeed at getting them to grow up, commit to us and drop their mother issues (spoiler alert: this never happens). Are we enabling men to live out their Peter Pan fantasies of never wanting to grow up by putting up with their shit, and in the process becoming their pseudo mothers?
Related: 17 Couples Explain Why They Stopped Having Sex If there’s one thing that strengthens the spread of the man-child, it’s a woman who enables it.