Dear Dategirl, My MILF girlfriend of about three months has custody of her 11-year-old son half-time. She's had five lovers in the last six months—even cheated on me in the beginning—but seems to have settled down. I love her, yes; but do I trust her? Not really. I've heard it's not healthy for a partner to sleep over with Mom when the kid's spending the night, unless you know it's a stable, long-term relationship (or headed in that direction). Because this bothered me, my girlfriend told her son that we're engaged, but not to tell the rest of the family. Only a month before I started sleeping over, the kid had been waking up to his mom's previous boyfriend wandering out of her bedroom in his undies. Her kid says it doesn't bother him—he says at least I'm not the other guy, who he didn't like. So what's stable and long-term enough? I don't want to fuck the kid up, but don't want a half-time lover.Mother-Fucker
My childhood was pretty fucked up. My mom's was even worse. Her mother's? The stuff horror movies are made of. With this in mind, I decided very early on that I was never going to have kids, because what if—like bad teeth, pale skin, and freckles—fucked-upedness was hereditary? Did I really want to be responsible for turning some poor, defenseless child into a basket case? I think not. But reading stories like yours makes me realize I needn't have put so much thought into the matter. I see now that having a kid is about as complicated as owning a pet rock. You simply incubate it for nine months, squeeze it out, and then carry on exactly as you were before you were interrupted by a squealing, squalling bag of flesh. Or not. I do a guest spot on a radio show every week (The Ladies Room on Movin' 92.3, in the 7 a.m. hour), and this week we got an e-mail from a listener expecting her first child. She was worried because her boyfriend already informed her she's not allowed to bring the baby into his apartment because he "doesn't want the kid touching his stuff." Apparently "his stuff" consists of some kind of baseball-cap collection and a flat-screen TV. He's not worried about prenatal care or paying child support, or even what sex the fetus might be—he just wants to keep "his stuff" free from greasy baby fingers. I wanted to reach through the radio and hit him in the head with a hammer. So my question is this: Why are people like he and your MILF (very respectful name for your girlfriend—that sets a great example for the boy) reproducing? Haven't these people ever heard of birth control? Used correctly, it's really quite effective. I realize being a single mom isn't a walk in the park. Nor do I think a woman becomes a neuter just because she gave birth. But your girlfriend sounds like she could use a couple parenting classes and a giant helping of self-control. The reason experts advise you not to introduce your kid to every jackass who's putting it to you isn't because they worry that the kid will think their mom's a slut, but because children get attached to people and it gets confusing when there's a constant stream of new faces parading through the house. Not to mention that the world is full of freaks, and it's been my experience that the crazies can wait a while before revealing the full extent of their psychoses. Having sex with a lunatic is one thing; exposing a vulnerable child to a sociopath is quite another. Since junior has already met you and is cognizant of the fact that you're sleeping with his mommy, I don't see much point stopping. And while I applaud your impulse not to fuck this kid up, I think the fact that his own mother is willing to lie to him about her marital status shows that he's going to have a rough road ahead of him, no matter who's porking Mommy. firstname.lastname@example.org Judy McGuire is the author of How Not to Date.