Saved by the men.

by mssinglemama on March 7, 2009

One perk to not having a husband (there are a few) is having cute guy friends to call when you need help.

Like my friend Justin.

We met over one year ago in the park. He was there with his son, not his biological son though. Turns out he had fallen in love with a single mom and her son. Now, four years later and two years after their break up he is still very much his father, although not biologically or legally.

Needless to say, any man who remains in a child’s life through thick and thin wins major points in my book. He’s also fun to hang out with. Ever since that random meet up in the park we’ve been hanging out with our boys and each other as often as we can. So last night when I decided to paint a few rooms I called Justin.

And with his help my living room went from this


to this 


Here’s the rest of the room (those are Benjamin’s nap feet on the couch).

living room

It looks a million times better. The power of paint never ceases to amaze me. 

Even more valuable than Mommy’s Maintenance Man, guy friends are essential components of the single mom arsenal.

This morning my friend Luke, in town from Chicago, stopped by for a visit. As I ushered him into my front door I told him how badly my yard needed a clean up.

Without hesitation he said, “Tell me what you need. I’ll help you out, whatever I can do.” So all three of us – Benjamin, Luke and I –  headed outside and cleaned up my yard.


Luke didn’t stop there. He even cleaned my car (his present to me because I’m still smoke free).

I’m about to head to bed alone but I feel incredibly cared for and even watched over by my sweet guy friends. There’s major comfort in that thought.

If you don’t have any start stocking up immediately. 

 I would write more but after all of this painting and yard work I’m absolutely exhausted. Stay tuned… I have a little contest coming up tomorrow. 

{ 2 trackbacks }

Isabelle’s Story
March 12, 2009 at 5:32 am
His first and his last.
March 18, 2009 at 10:25 pm

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Natasha March 8, 2009 at 3:26 am

Girl, have you seen When Harry Met Sally? You know that men and women can't be friends without the sex part getting in the way, right? Someone's always hot for someone and my guess is, it's you they're hot for. 😉 But I could be wrong. I don't know them.

It is nice to have friends come and help. I had my girl friends come and help me out a TON in February.

I wanted to say to Justin that he probably has no idea how important his presence is in the life of this little boy. From age 2-6 my mom had a boyfriend named Cole. Cole was like my dad. I tried calling him that a few times but he wouldn't let me because he was actually friends with my real dad, who disowned me at almost age 3 (which I still remember). Anyway, one day, Cole left. He didn't say goodbye to me. He came back to get his tv one night, which was in my room. That was it. It was the last I saw of him until I was 14 and he came to visit my dad (with whom I was living with by then).

My dad has not been a part of my life for years and I don't miss him one bit. If he died tomorrow, I wouldn't care. But Cole still makes me cry. That man who was there from only age 2-6 made the biggest impression on me because those are such formative years. He broke my heart. And as a result of having two fathers reject me, I'm very needy and I've spent years seeking love in various silly relationships and blogging is probably a part of this, as well.

So, Justin? You're in it for good now, you goodly man.


Ms. Single Mama March 8, 2009 at 3:36 am

I'll plead the fifth on that Harry Met Sally thing. I can tell you I've been friend with Justin for 1.5 years and we're still just friends and as for Luke, we've been friends since birth and have always been friends. But it's a good thing to point out…

Can guys and girls just be friends? I think we can. But maybe I'm naive.

As for your story and that Cole guy – I'm so sorry. How horrible. Have you ever seen him since? What does your mom say about it all?

As for Justin – he's been there every day since and will be as long as he can… the boys mom may be moving soon, which is tearing him up. And, yes, he let's him call him "Daddy". He's a beautiful soul.


Natasha March 8, 2009 at 4:30 am

I know someone who went through that same situation and it broke his heart. Thankfully, he still stayed in touch with the child.

I didn't get the impression that Justin would leave. Just wanted to encourage him to stay, in case anything ever happens where he thinks the child would be better off without him.

I have a friend who has a very good guy friend. I don't think he's attracted to her but she's a little bit attracted to him. She says it's not enough to be a big deal. She says she doesn't think of him that way and I think I believe her. (The guy's hot, so she's weird or amazing if that's true.) So, it seems to work for them. (For now. 🙂

But this has NEVER worked for me. Even with men who were adamant that they'd never fall for me– they did. And it was EXCRUCIATING to deal with.

Just be mindful of the poor menfolk's feelings is my only advice. Sex talk can be torture for guys, so I've read.

Okay, done with the advice. 🙂 Just trying to help.


Natasha March 8, 2009 at 3:29 am

Correction: I meant to say that Justin will probably never know the full extent of the impression he is making. NOT that he has "no idea how important his presence is". I'm sure he has SOME idea. Like, duh. ;-p


Lisa D March 8, 2009 at 3:42 am

Wow – you have some very nice guy friends. And they are also very attractive!

The paint job looks awesome. I agree – painting makes such a difference.

Good for you for letting people help you. It seems like single moms or single women in general sort of radiate a 'I can everything myself' aura. At least that is how I feel as a single woman. It takes a strong person to accept help from others – not sure if that makes any sense, but hopefully you understand what I am trying to say!


NewSingleMama March 8, 2009 at 3:57 am

OMG, I love that color on your walls and what you did with the squares. I've always wanted to do the exact same thing with one of my walls to kind of make it stand out from the rest (like a unique design or color). But I live in an apartment so white rules :-

And yes guy friends are awesome. I need to start stocking up on them. Out of curiosity, how did you start talking to Justin in the park? Did your sons just migrate to each other?


Apples March 8, 2009 at 5:32 am

YES! Men and women can just be friends! Even if both are single and "great catches" At least I sure hope so. However, I do not have any of these friends yet. Do you put an add in the local paper? JK! I need to find me some of these type of friends though. Before I got married and such I had more guy friends then girl now I have more fish then guy AND girl friends HAHA!


imnobody March 8, 2009 at 5:33 am

Well, I was touched for your mail. I am sorry that you have had to endure the rejection of two different "fathers". The presence of a father is very important for the good development of a kid. Fatherless kids are more prone to have psychological problems, to perform bad in school and to end up in jail. I am sorry that you have had to suffer that.

So to the single moms out there, please let have a father in your kid's child. I know that you do that (except when the father is uninterested) but it is good to remind this.

About the When Harry met Sally thing (good movie), I partially agree. Of course, friendship between man and woman can be possible but the man would always have feelings for a woman who has been your friend long enough. These feelings are usually of sexual attraction to the woman but can also be romantic feelings.

I am a guy and, since childhood, I have had lots of female friends. Many of them are shallow friendships but I am attracted to every one of my real female friends. Not that I do anything about that: most of them have boyfriends. I was not attracted to most of them when I knew them, but the fact that we have had intimacy by talking about things has fueled this attraction. (Moreover, I see them more beautiful now than when I knew them)

I think you women make a better job of separating friendship and sexual attraction with the opposite sex than us men.

If you want to test this attraction, please flirt with the guy and see his reaction. You will agree with me.

I agree with the wise Natasha advice: "Just be mindful of the poor menfolk's feelings is my only advice. "


kelly March 8, 2009 at 5:51 am

I wouldn't have made it through the past year and a half without my guy friends (most of which are married)…they helped me move TWICE, changed my tire on the hottest day of the year, helped me with groceries, worked on my van, put together furniture, etc. They call and check on me, let me bitch and moan, and make me laugh..No complications, no expectations…They have been absolutely wonderful. We are lucky to have them!!!


Nakia March 8, 2009 at 6:29 am

Yay for guy friends! They're so nice to have around. The walls look great. :o)


Seth Simonds March 8, 2009 at 3:22 am

You forgot to mention how important it is that the guy friends be talented, helpful, and fun to hang out with!

So you just happened to mention that your yard needed cleaning up, eh? =)

Congrats on the smoke-free. You can do it!

The living room looks great.


Karissa March 8, 2009 at 7:37 am

I'm so pleased that you're still part of our smoke-free gang 🙂

I could have used your guys last year, when I was renting a house. The yard work was too much work for me!


Sheila March 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

I think I need to move to your neck of the woods … where are all those cute, helpful men here in CA??? Someone needs to help a sister out and tell me!


Sheila March 8, 2009 at 8:30 am

P.S. Tell Luke to move to CA!


mssinglemama March 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

It's a small park… and yes, our boys migrated to each other. I am not shy at all when it comes to meeting and making new friends… so I struck up a conversation and after we talked for over nearly an hour I suggested that we hang out sometime.

Remember! Life is WAY too short not to just talk to people and at least see if there is a spark of some kind whether it be friendship or otherwise.


Janet March 8, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Got any pics of Justin from the front? He looks cute from the back! LOL 😛

Love the way the paint turned out, and the pic of Luke pushing the little lawnmower is hilarious!

I definitely need to stock up on some guy friends. I used to have lots of them before I got married…. The problem though is that (like someone above pointed out) I always start out thinking they are friends but then find out they want something more. That tends to mess things up.

Oh, and congrats on still being smoke-free!


Jen March 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm

The paint job looks great! I may be naive too as I do believe girls can be just friends with guys. I have a great guy friend that I have known for 20 years. He is like a brother to me. Your friend Luke is cute by the way. Not sure what part of Chicago he is from, but it is somewhat flooded in my neck of the woods. Won't stop raining! Ugh


Justin March 9, 2009 at 1:24 am

Hi. For those who are wondering, I want to say for the record that I have no intention of disappearing from the life of the child I have become a dad for, not at all, I care for him and his well-being way too much, and I know that will not change. In this regard, I am staying true to my intentions and my morals, and giving him a real dad figure is the greatest gift I have given anyone in my life thus far. Him and his mother are moving back to their home country this summer, so things will change quite a bit, but I plan to be there for Christmas, and will always be watching over him from a distance, that I can promise him and everyone reading. I should also note this is the first time I have ever commented on this blog.


Justin March 9, 2009 at 1:55 am

I have kind of been writing my whole "dad" story to post here, and it will be ready soon. Though it's kind of long,so keep an eye out for it. Maybe there will be some pics with it for the curious ones 🙂


angela March 9, 2009 at 3:02 am

"Remember! Life is WAY too short not to just talk to people and at least see if there is a spark of some kind whether it be friendship or otherwise"
*** love this!!! thank you for the reminder, or gentle nudge as a single mama w/2 who gets lonely raising 2 alone,working very pt time and running/yoga alone too much…. this reminder to be open to endless possibilities is so warm, thanks.


Juggle Jane March 9, 2009 at 3:15 am

LOVE the living room! That is SO cool!


bird March 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Is Luke single in Chicago? Very cute fun single mama in chitown if ou want to play matchmaker ms. singlemama. He can help with my yard anytime.
Congrats on the smoke free and new paint job! yeah!!!!


mssinglemama March 10, 2009 at 2:26 am

Yes. He's single! E-mail me your info and I'll pass it on to him… I'm at mssinglemama-at-gmail-dot-com.


Kat Wilder March 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Of course it's great to have guy friends to hang with or help you around the house, but let's not be sexist — when my female friend bought a house recently, all her gal pals and I came over and helped her paint her living room/dining room.

Isn't that what friends are for, regardless of the sex?


mssinglemama March 9, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Very true. But there are some things – like plumbing and very heavy lifting that I just can't handle on my own or even with a fleet of girls.

Also, I happen to have more guy friends than girl friends. And the girl friends I do have are single moms with young children themselves and too busy to help me with projects like this because they have projects of their own.


PhenomenalMama March 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I'm thinking about how I have to stock up on some "guy friends". I love my girlfriends, but there's something about "male energy" that I appreciate on a whole other level. Plus, as you have proven, it's great to have someone handy to help with the yard work. 😉


mssinglemama March 10, 2009 at 2:27 am

Thanks for the comments. And yes, we want pictures – I should say – they (the sexy single mamas) want pictures.


Rebecca March 10, 2009 at 7:43 pm

I love the makeover paint job – gives me inspiration, but just need to drag my guy friends in… and I have a boyfriend too!


Roxanne March 11, 2009 at 12:53 am

um, is there a store or something where I can go pick up some guy friends? am I missing out on some big bulletin board where they hang their resumes, awaiting single moms with carpenter and comforting needs?


ame i. March 11, 2009 at 2:13 am

Your living room looks beyond great!
God bless Justin, Luke, and all men like them.
I lost my husband, the father of my daughters, in 2003 when our girls were 3 & 5,
I became fast friends with a 44 year old man in the fall of 2004, never married, no children.
I introduced him to my daughters 18 months later. I married him in October of 2007. People who didn't know us before my late-husband died assume he is the father of my daughters, and none of us correct them because he IS.
My friends, family, even I had doubts and questions about him at first because he'd never been married,but he does love my (our) daughters as if he was their bio dad. Our daughters are now 9 and 11. The younger girl has known him longer than she knew her father. They didn't know how to refer to him at first. Both began to call him "My Steven", which became "Dad". There are still times when they add the sidenote "That's my Dad, my father died a long, long time ago."


Tishia Lee March 11, 2009 at 2:33 am

I've never really been able to do the whole guy friend thing. Well that's not true several of my ex boyfriends and I are now 'friends' but of course I wouldn't call on them to come help me with yard work or anything. Other than that though I've never had guy friends. I've always just thought that it wasn't possible and never put the effort into making connections with guys unless I wanted to date them. I have a silly question now – how do you go about connecting with a man on just a friendship level?


mssinglemama March 11, 2009 at 2:38 am

That's not a silly question at all. Just readjust your attitude. When you meet a man don't think about dating him. Make it very clear. “I am definitely looking for a new friend – just friends though – but maybe we can (fill in the blank of activity he loves here).”

Then talk about dating other people in front of him and everything or try to set him up with your friends. I love having guy friends – they're so refreshing. So, I think it's worth the effort. Can be tricky at first though – to make that very clear.


abrookshire March 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm

The selection of guys down here is nothing to choose from, dating or otherwise, so I have virtually no guy friends anymore, thought I had a ton of them before I had my son. They just all assume that I'm a different person now-days when the only thing that changed is the size of my heart and the amount of free time I have. But I agree, a good guy friend is a great thing to have.

On the topic above about fatherless children, my son is without a father, but we're so very fortunate that my dad (who is an AMAZING Daddy) and my brother-in-law (also a great dad to his own son) step in and provide a very close father-like role until we find the man that will eventually be Ty's father and Daddy. I'm very blessed to have such influences in my son's life, just like you have great guy-friends in your son's life! Even though we don't have husbands, I definitely don't feel like our children suffer or are hurt by the lack of male presence right now, they seem to be doing just fine!


Autumn March 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Wow! I love the paint pattern!!! I am feeling very inspired. Rock on with your man friends and project ass-kicking! 😉


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