Aaah I went to reply to this the other day! I remember why too.
For me, I’m not a mother, but the number of ladies I know who are is always increasing. For them, when they’re dating, the vast majority of them aren’t looking for just a boyfriend, they are looking for a father for their child(ren).
There is a real risk that you will fall in love with her and her daughter, you will fall in love with being in a family. However, the risk of such a beautiful reward is that you are playing with more hearts than just your own.
This woman’s behaviour may seem irrational to you sometimes, she may warm up and cool down her relationship with you because of the needs of her daughter. She will always be priority number one and for many guys (doesn’t matter about age, job, education, marital status) that just isn’t a setting that you can play. It doesn’t matter how good the game is, sometimes it is just hard. Or it restarts every 10-30 minutes and you have no idea where your last save was.
In my opinion, the key to a relationship such as this is definitely to go slow. Worry about being her daughter’s friend, not her father. Let this lady be a mother to her, first and foremost. It will take a huge amount of patience, flexibility and understanding from you.
You may or may not be ready for this, and that’s ok. Tell her you want to make sure you don’t move too fast. Let her know that you care and you want to do what’s best for the two of them. Being a single mother can be very lonely, she may want you around more than you are comfortable with. You need to be firm and you need to express to her that she should be firm with you. No beating around the bush, if it becomes too much then everyone can back down without getting too hurt.
Just like all relationships, have fun and enjoy it. I know what it’s like to fall in love with the child and the family, sometimes the love between the two of you gets left behind in the whirlwind.