Single Moms & Married Moms

by mssinglemama on June 30, 2009

As single moms can we really, truly be friends with married moms?

Absolutely we can.

single-momsFriendships are about a connection or a common bond – at least that’s how mine have all begun. With that said as a single mom I’ve found it harder to make new married mom friends. Maybe it’s just because we don’t swim in the same circles or maybe it’s because it’s hard to meet moms period.

Read this answer posted by Kelli on my single moms forum when I asked, “can single moms really be friends with married moms?”:

I think it’s hard to meet and form friendships with any type of Mom, whether married or single! I don’t know what it is, but I try and try and it is difficult!

We’re all just so busy. I think that’s one of the main reasons my tight circle of friends is now almost entirely made up of single moms. They’re as flexible as I am and very spontaneous. And we can sit around and talk about dating for hours which is huge.

With that said I’ve already met one of John Bear‘s friends who happens to be one half of a couple and I love her to death. She lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio but I’m already so excited to hang out with she and her husband again. I just loved them. And his sister and brother-in-law too – adored them.

For me, this is huge and I actually feel more of a need now, than ever before, to surround myself with married couples who are happy. Now I need to learn a new set of lessons.

I think that as we change as individuals our friendships stand to change. There are the deeper friendships that last a lifetime, fortunately I have quite a few of those, and there are those of mutual benefit.

My friendship with Mia is one of both. After I write this I’m going to dig through my closet so she has some work pants to wear today and last week when I had bronchitis she drove Benjamin to school every morning. She is like a sister to me. We have been friends since we were five. And now we are both single moms.

Her recent singleness has actually given our friendship a new life. No longer do I have to bite my tongue about her ex and now she has half as much free time to hang out with Benjamin and I. I’m not quite sure what my world would be like without Mia and we’ve been friends and will continue to be friend through whatever life throws at us but now that we’re both single moms we are talking more and seeing each other more.

So when I posed this question to the Momversation panel what I really wanted to know was, aside from those lifelong friendships, after you become a single mom or a married mom are you more inclined to befriend solo or coupled moms?

Watch this awesome discussion on Momversation to find out what they had to say:

And please check out the rest of the comments to the discussion on my single moms forum or leave a new comment here.

Related posts:

  1. Can single moms have married friends?
  2. The Married Single Mom
  3. The two bravest single moms I know.
  4. Single Moms and Love
  5. A web site deceiving single moms

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea B. June 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I agree with Kelli who commented on the single mom forum. It is so hard for me to make friends with moms period. I wish I had more "mom" friends because it's hard for my friends who don't have children to understand why I'm exhausted and it's only 8 o'clock. LOL!

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Lauren June 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I didn't get around to answering the question when it was originally posted in the forums, but… even though I know some married moms, I'm not close friends with any of them. My best friend is married and childless, and that hasn't had an affect on our friendship. However, I think it's also an age thing for me. I'm at an age where hardly anyone is married yet (although more and more of them are getting closer to that point).

When it comes to friendships, the biggest thing that has changed for me is my friendships with single, childless women my age. With married moms, you at least have the mom factor in common; with single, childless women… well, there's really nothing there (unless you have an extremely deep connection with someone that was formed when you were both single and childless). A lot of those more superficial friendships quickly fizzled out once I gave birth.

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Hef June 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm

ditto

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ghawk June 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm

same here…

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Ameya June 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I know that my (single) mom has always been really intimidated by married moms, which i think is her hangups more than anything. She always felt so judged by them or that she was threatening them by being near their husbands- which while might be true in some (sad) cases, I think she was just doing some major shame/guilt/fear projection on everyone else, which is very sad because she hasn't allowed herself to have many friends because of it :(

As someone who is engaged, I find that my single friends almost never contact me. They always assume i'm busy or doing something or assuming i wouldn't want to leave him at home or blah blah. Truth is, I'm almost never doing anything, and I just sit around sad that my friends have lost interest in me now! I'd love to see someone OTHER than my DF sometimes but it feels like when someone is in a relationship, all the single friends start excluding them. It makes me sad.

And also.. if those friends live in Yellow Springs, is there any doubt they are so cool? I haven't met many people from there who aren't incredibly awesome :D

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Free Chat Line June 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I think it is hard to keep friends with moms because simply put, they have too much going around them and their opinins are so much different than single moms. Sharing common experiences and thoughts have a big factor in friendship.

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Christy June 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm

It's funny, I've thought along the same lines…every time I visit your blog I think, do a really belong here? I'm not a single mom, in fact, I'm happily married. But I think there are some things about being a mom that are universal whether you're single or not. I think that all of the friendships I've made have happened more out of a connection that I felt with the other person–what we had in common outside of being mothers is what helped us forge a friendship. That said, with my friends that became (or are becoming) single moms, their relationship status has made it a bit more difficult for our friendship in a logistical sense b/c when they have their kids, they're usually too busy to hang out or talk since they have no help; when the ex has the kids, they might have more time and flexibility than I do. We usually figure it out though.

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Katherine SOLOdotMOM June 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Interesting thought process here…. and yes I do agree with Christy, the married mom that visits your site; we do share some things as moms that are universal – single or not. But I have over the last few years as a single mom found it difficult to make any new friends, single or not but do seam to lean more towards taking that effort and making the time to make new single mom friends over married ones… though, not sure if that is a bad thing or not. I just know I have more in common with the single moms than the married moms. And those that are married that I befriend, I usually befriend the entire couple and sometimes that makes a married mom… at times a little uncomfortable if they have reasons to worry about their husband becoming friends with a single female. Perhaps that part is only in my imagination, but I think you can see where this could lead to some awkwardness.

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TsQuest June 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I like this post mostly for this line:

"I think that as we change as individuals our friendships stand to change."

I have a girlfriend that I've known for almost 20 years. I got married before she did and that changed things. Then she had children before I did and that changed things. Then we were pregnant at the same time and that changed things. Now I'm single and she's still married and that has changed things too. Through it we have remained friends but our friendship has evolved in many different ways.

I do know many married women who treat me differently now that I'm single. We're still friends but it is true that we don't hang out as we used to. Some people simply would rather me go out with them when I'm dating someone. I suppose they think I will feel like a third wheel when in fact, I'm pretty comfortable being alone.

Yes, I agree. You will begin to attract more happily married/dating couples because that is where you are now. Enjoy it!

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littlemansmom June 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Ola pretty lady! I have to tell you that despite my many, many years of being a single mom, the majority of my mom friends were/are married! I think, quite frankly, that you choose your friends for who they are not for their current situations. Certainly one tends to surround themselves with others that can understand/have been there/is just like you…but when it comes down to it, true heartfelt friendships are about who the people are inside, and friendly aquaintances are a combination of that and everything else… ;) BUT I insist that this is just MHO.

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Hanna June 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Wow I'm ready to write my own post about this issue. Thank you for bringing up this very enlightening, intriguing issue! Its definitely got me thinking.

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Michelle June 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

I think that single moms can be friends with married moms. I think it is harder to find married moms to be friends with after becoming single. I personally have a couple of married mom friends that I have known for years. I find it easier though to become "new" friends with single moms. There seems to be more of a camaraderie among single moms, maybe? I don't really know. I do know that whether they are single or married moms, when you find a new friend hang on tight. Us moms need each other.

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arscuore June 30, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Almost all of my friends are married, and it's funny because I sometimes have to remind them that I can't just run out to the store, or come over to pick something up unless the boy comes along (many people mistake "single" for "free"). I think it's an age thing — most people my age have found their significant other. I have a couple of friends who are divorced but I don't see them any more often because we are so busy. I also have a friend who is separated, and needs to divorce her lying, cheating husband, but I have to bite my tongue for now. His online dating profile was actually sent to me by a dating site I was on — ewww!

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Abby Carter July 1, 2009 at 12:25 am

I actually have only one single mom friend, the rest are all married. Perhaps its because my kids are older and you begin to meet other parents through school and whatnot. The problem I find is that the married couples are always so busy and much less spontaneous. I wish I knew a few more single moms to be honest. I love the idea of having a "tribe" of sorts where cooking and child care gets shared. I seemed to have missed out on that. But perhaps that's just an illusion anyway.
Overall though, married or single is less of an issue than the actual friendship.

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amy July 1, 2009 at 3:26 am

Have been married 17 years and over those years I have made and been friends with single Mom's and married Mom's. Makes little difference provided the friendship is a rewarding one. Three of my best friends for example are single at this point. Two never married (one of which lesbian single mom), and the other currently separated from her hubby.

It all depends on the person :)

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Amber Warren July 1, 2009 at 3:56 am

Huh. I've never thought it was hard to make friends with moms. Moms of any situation. When I became a mom it was like I was immediately induced into this new fabulous club where its OK to talk about post-partum depression, complain about your husband, discuss boobs and breast-feeding, and pooping schedules. There's no boundaries when you're a mom – you just get to dive right into the nitty gritties. So I find it really bizarre and interesting that so many women think it's hard to befriend moms at all. Friendship is one of the most important things in this world to me and the mom friends I've met and what I've learned from them is amazing.

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SingleMamaNYC July 1, 2009 at 3:57 am

I have wonderful friends who are married mamas. Sometimes a mom is just a mom. I often feel bad for a couple of them actually — I find it's easier to be a single mom and know in advance that you will be doing everything pretty much on your own as opposed to some of the married moms I know who are deeply frustrated at their husband's lack of support. They sometimes admit that they wish they were single mamas like I am. Irony of ironies, wouldn't you say?

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Amy Sue Nathan July 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I find that married moms don't want to be friends with divorced moms – because then you can't do the couples thing. That's why I call myself The Tuesday Target friend. Since I met most of my current friends when I was married, now our friendships are usually designated to the occasional moms-night-out (gag me), coffeee, lunch and day time errands. I work from home – so I can do this – and most of my friends are SAHMs. But it has been years since all but one of my friends has invited me out on a weekend. And since I'm proudly passive aggressive, I figure if I ever meet someone and start to get invited out, I will say no thank you, duly cutting off my nose to spite my face. ;)

I'm struggling with the fact that I really, really need new friends. Even married ones – but people who know me now as I am – not people who knew me when.

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Jenny July 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I have problems being friends with any mom. Some think they're to good to be friends with anyone else, some think they're set in their little circle of snooty, and others think…she's a geek/nerd we don't want anything to do with her. So I just don't bother. Plus, I'm younger then any mom in these groups they have going on in my town. I hate being looked down on, so…why bother if they're gonna be skanks about my age and interests.

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mia July 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I am feeling liek quite the unmarried outcast at the local pool these days. I tell myself its because I am not from the area (it is in my ex's new neighborhood)… but I wonder….

mssinglemama– you are a wonderful friend, and single mom mentor! I am lucky to have you, too!

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Single Mom July 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm

As a single mom myself I can tell you that I have plenty of friends who are married. Actually I think I have more married mom friends then single ones.

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a July 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

It’s hard to be friends with other mothers, let alone their marital status, due to children’s needs and schedules. I also think married moms are a little more hesitant to make friends with single mothers that they barely know in lieu of the cliche “husband cheats with friend” scenario. Plus, as mothers, we are all at different stages in our relationships, have put many of our own needs aside, and are at different maturity stages with our children. (I, unfortunately, think some mothers shun other mothers out of petty jealousy…say…one mother is in great shape with 3 kids, while another mother has struggled for 2 yrs to get rid of the baby weight or another scenario: one mother is in her late 30s to early 40s and another mother is in her early 20s to early 30s…..one mother looks unfrazzled and free of wrinkles/lines while another mother is casually dressed, hair thrown in a ponytail, and worry lines all over her forhead and mouth while shouting for her child to get down or stop that..etc. Also, one mother may have the perfect husband who comes to the kids school functions and who is polite and everything while another mother may have a husband she has to yell/taunt/ or threaten to do anything for the children. Just my 2 cents…that envy in some form or another may prevent alot of mothers from striking up a bond. Don’t hate me for writing all this…just writing from my observations.)

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a July 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

I get along with old moms who are now grandmothers because they can laugh and relate with any of my stories about child-rearing, marriage, or physical changes. They also are more carefree, non-judgemental and hope for the best for you. Just my opinion again. Some on nicest friendships I’ve ever had were with moms, 20-50 years older than me, who are now grandmothers.

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