Can single moms have married friends?

by mssinglemama on April 8, 2008

Benjamin had his first swimming lesson on Sunday. Despite my extreme hang over, we got in the car with our little beach bag filled with one pair of tiny swim trunks, swimming diapers, towels and flip flops.

We pulled into the parking garage and another car pulls up next to ours and out emerges the perfect married couple and their son, just a few months younger than Benjamin. He was clutching a towel.

“Are you guys going to the swimming lessons too?” Yep, they chimed. We chatted the entire way there. They were just as excited as I was to see their little boy in his first class of any kind. It was a long walk so the conversation quickly switched to small talk about our toddlers.

The boy’s mother said, “he calls his dad ‘honey’ because I call him ‘honey.’ It’s so cute.” Wow, I thought. Wow. Their world is completely alien to mine. And then I dropped the single mom bomb – not really on purpose but just because I think it’s funny and it was the only way I could relate – “Benjamin calls me ‘Alaina’ because we spent the first year at my mom’s after I left my husband.”

Silence.

Then a quick recovery by moi as I changed the subject. We all made our way to the pool, laughing and playing with the boys.

There were married couples everywhere. And then there was me. The only single mom, walking around in a damn bikini (yes, I’m a rookie at this stuff). I didn’t even care though because I was SO excited about Benjamin’s first time in a real class. And when the director called out his name along with all of the other kids in his class I nearly burst into tears with pride. My little guy! In a class! HOLY Sh*T!

My married stranger friends were assigned to a different side of the pool. So we were seperated. And then as soon as Benjamin and I got in the water he started freaking out. Not because of the water, he loves the water. But this water…was chilly. Not cool for the B-man.

He was crying and clutching me the entire time. The class was so stupid anyway. We all danced in a circle singing ring around the rosie, blew water bubbles, did some kicks and floats and then it was over. And that’s when I jumped out of the pool to get him warm in the dressing room.

Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to my married stranger friends.

But next week we’ll see them again…so should I ask the mom if she’d like to hang out or have a play date? How do you make friends with strangers the old-fashioned way? I don’t even know. I’m such a weirdo. I’m just young too…a young single mom. Not easy when it comes to very “adult” social situations. Until now I made all of my friends in bars or at parties. And my other question is this:

Is it possible for us single moms to be friends with married couples?

I have plenty of married girlfriends but they were my friends before they tied the knot. And I don’t see them very often. Not sure if it’s because they’re coupled up and don’t venture out much or if it’s because I just don’t have that much in common with them.

Am I way off base here? Do you have married friends?

[Photo Credit: Penkridge, England, 1920’s Married Couple]

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

singleworkingmommy April 8, 2008 at 2:24 am

All my mom friends are married. The downside of living in a super conservative town–no single mommies!

So yeah, I think it’s possible. Does it get annoying and do I get jealous? Sure do.

Especially when married friends don’t “get” the single mom thing. I can’t always do something at the drop of the hat–I don’t have man at home available to watch Son whenever the married moms decided they want to have a party or go get a drink. So, that can cause a rift from time to time.

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jonb April 8, 2008 at 2:38 am

i think it would be as difficult to have married friends or single friends. are your single friends willing to sacrifice their freedom and time out on the town to come over for a martini while watching thomas? i’ve noticed my girl doesn’t have many friends who visit or she goes out with. but at the same time married couples seem like as much of a challenge to deal with. what they do together you handle on your own, so kudos to you. i only get a taste of the responsibility several nights a week, what you do on a daily basis is amazing. i think married couples see a single mom as someone needing fixing..as in fixed up with “this great guy.” it’s like single momhood is an affliction. i’m guessing you would rather be along with your child than with “this great guy” who can’t seem to get a date without your friend’s assistance.

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Heiredal April 8, 2008 at 2:44 am

Of course you – or any other single mom, dad or any single person – can be friends with married couples. But even though the couple don’t distance themselves from you intentionally, it often just happens.
Their priorities change towards each other instead of towards their friends. So it takes a lot more patience and acceptance on your behalf to stay close friends with married couples. But they are worth the effort!
There is just something about having friends who already have their lives figured out…! Hopefully some of that will rub off sometime.

And regarding making friends the good old way. I think that may be the best way of making friends. My best friends are not from the bars but from either back at school, from work or people I have randomly met – during the sober hours of the day…!

So go for it – and good luck with the next swim-lesson

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Lauren April 8, 2008 at 10:51 am

I don’t have any married friends… yet. My best friend is getting married next year, but we’ve also been friends for almost 10 years, so I guess it’s not quite the same as becoming friends with someone after they’re already married.

I was the only single mom in my childbirth class (and what a huge waste of time and money). I felt kinda awkward.

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Binata February 4, 2015 at 5:06 am

Clear, intifmarove, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?

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sparklingmama April 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm

All of my mommy friends are married. My closest friend is happily married, but can relate to my situation because her parents divorced when she was quite young.

People are frequently horrified to learn that I am so young, with 2 young children and divorced. It used to offend me, but I’ve gotten used to it!

A friend of mine told me once that by the time my kids are in high school most of their friends will have divorced parents and they will be the norm (and experts on divorce!). Kind of depressing, but probably true!

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Andrea April 8, 2008 at 1:30 pm

It is tough. I noticed when I left my husband that I lost some married friends–and all of my mom friends are married. Getting together is more challenging and we don’t have as much to talk about as we used to.

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Leslie April 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm

You’re so brave! I felt the same way at soccer and most recently at the park this weekend. The couples seem to congregate together, so that’s pretty cool this couple was so friendly.

My only good friends with kids are married, so it does create some challenges for getting together, but what are you going to do *shrug* With almost all of my close friends married or soon to be, it’s just the way it is. But very true sparklingmama, the married folks could be in our boat at any time!

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Shannon April 8, 2008 at 2:22 pm

So I’m with you. My married friends tended to be ones that were married when I was and theirs just lasted longer. And I didn’t see them all that much. Now here comes the other side again for you-now we have married friends. And guess what, they aren’t as fun! Well, it’s a different kind of fun. Like Andrea above, when I left my husband, I too, lost some married friends. I also don’t make a great friend to married moms. When they complain about their husbands and say how miserable they are, I take it too literally and wonder why they are there???
The bikini part cracked me up. I don’t think I OWN a one piece and sometimes, it seems awkward to be so comfortable with my body, around people who seem very much the opposite! I feel like maybe I’m supposed to be wearing a one piece or something?

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onemorecup April 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm

There I was…standing at the pool’s edge my 3 month old daughter just laughing her teeny-tiny bum off, whilst clapping her hands. I say, “Ready?” At 3 months words didn’t exist or at least one’s that I understood, but she was smiling—then the whistle blows and my little trooper glided down with full immersion, came up paddling the rest of her bum off, busting up laughing, just looking for ‘Da-da.’ (I was right next to her, she just didn’t see me!)

Couldn’t resist that one…precious moments. Married friends…ahem; actually, it sucks that that we would even have to address this ‘little’ idiosyncrasy. As for me, I’ve always seen and treated my friends with the utmost of dignity and of course, integrity. Sure, we all have tons of acquaintances, maybe even some slightly more developed ‘casual’ quasi-friends; however, for me I love my real friends and would give my life for them.

As a single person, one needs to set-up a ‘scheme of arrangement’ with their friends or whatever agreement. As a single person with the ‘B-man’ that little ‘scheme’ really needs to be thinking as a team. Do I think a single parent can have married friends? You bet you’re a$$ I do! However, what I have found through the years with myself, as well as others, is in the notion of how special it is to be their friend as a married couple, and vice-versa. How many dinner parties, weddings, holidays, birthdays, whatever have we been to as the single person? I have always admired the person who does have married friends; moreover, married friends that treat their friends with that integrity and respect. CHEERS!

omc

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Cato April 8, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Biggest risk is that married women will have an (unconscious?) fear you will be after their husband (especially if you are hot!). Another reason is dinner parties – what to do with single momma buddie when you want 6 or 8 for dinner. (You laugh… but it’s true.)

That said, it’s not only possible, but necessary. As your boy gets into pre-school and then school, you can get to know the other moms in nonthreatening environments and make friends with them before the husbands get involved. That’s the best way.

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mssinglemama April 9, 2008 at 1:08 am

Some of my favorite lines from this awesome thread:

Getting together is more challenging and we don’t have as much to talk about as we used to. – Andrea

When they complain about their husbands and say how miserable they are, I take it too literally and wonder why they are there??? – Shannon

I have always admired the person who does have married friends; moreover, married friends that treat their friends with that integrity and respect. – OMC

and,

get to know the other moms in nonthreatening environments and make friends with them before the husbands get involved. That’s the best way. – Cato

I LOVE all of your comments btw…just don’t have time to respond to all of them – too much on my mind. Must write my next post! Hoo rah!

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Leslie April 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I have to laugh about the dinner parties – I usually just go to my married friend’s parties with another single friend so she can have even numbers- it does matter to her ha. It will probably make her year if I ever find Mr. Right.

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onemorecup April 16, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Two things really…

Leslie, same with me vis-a-vie dinner parties or a ‘couples’ night out featuring married friends–it seems almost set up and it is, god love em’. True friends are the types that think about us and how we’d like to find Mss. Right.

Of the second part, I was so excited about this site that when I wrote my first post (3 up there ^) one could have easily thought the guy’s gone nutz. The story is about the first time my daughter went into the pool at swim class ‘solo.’ CHEERS!

omc

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SingleDaisyGirl May 7, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Wow, is so interesting your point of view. Here’s mine.
I have a 2 years old boy and I’m not divorces r separated, I never had a husbund.. worst at all.. the “sperm donner” is from another country so we never get to see him… and nobody in oir “world” have ever seen his face.
My little one (Joaquin) is at nursery school (courtesy of my dad) and he is having friends and parties. I just show up with him. No explanations, no bad thoughs. I think people is smart enough to value you as a good woman and specially as a good mom.
I don’t have to be friends with the other parents (all of them happy married people) but I’m not their enemy either.
I live in a south American country where there is plenty of all fashioned people.. but I just try to keep my life and my little family in a good mood and happy above all.
My advice: don’t worry and do whatever you feel is best for your little boy (you can always come to play with mine also lol)

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Ninz January 18, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Thank you for this fantastic blog. I was looking up this very topic after spending the afternoon with a seemingly happy married couple (do I detect a note of jealousy?) and their new baby. After they had left, I found I had mixed emotions…. I consider my life happy and usually feel very blessed and positive. I came out a relationship with my lilttle girls dad about 9 months ago and have never looked back. To be honest, being without him has been pretty much the same as when we were ‘together’ for all the effort he made – workaholic with not concept of balance!!

I must be honest though, today I felt a twinge of jealousy or loneliness, I’m not sure which… a feeling of “this is not how my life was meant to be”, and now I’m considering making a decision not to spend too much time with married couples. Is this too extreme?…. hmmmm.

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Ricky February 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm

I thhguot finding this would be so arduous but it’s a breeze!

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lisa bower February 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Okay so I'm soon to be divorced mother of two and the hardest part is seeing other people's faces when they find out you're a single parent. As if you chose this for yourself? come on!
I agree that you must be hot to where a bikini and married chick was probably just being insecure. A common problem among married women.
I'm glad that you're blogging about how to make friends because I've been trying to figure that one out too. Hard to fit one in a world of pairs.
I think you should focus on being friends with the female first so she's secure enough that you're not after her man.

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