Dear Married Mom Friends,
How’s it going? I felt like writing you a letter tonight. Yes, I know we talk and text all the time. And yes, it was just last weekend that we went out for dinner and you made me laugh so hard that I had tears rolling down my face and my stomach hurt (or abs . . . or whatever it is that hurts in a good way when you laugh a lot). We are not short on opportunities for communication, so perhaps this letter seems unnecessary. But, there are a few things I want you to know. And this is the best way for me to make sure I share what I want and how I want.Maybe you are reading this while you wait for your kid to finish a dance lesson or basketball practice. Maybe you had a rough day at work. Or maybe you are standing in the kitchen and thinking about how much you don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight. Did your preteen daughter roll her eyes at you today? Or did your son make your heart shatter into one thousand pieces when he described for you the way a couple of boys won’t stop picking on him on the bus? I can relate to all of that! In so many ways, our mom worlds are quite similar — both our struggles and our joys. I love that we just get each other.
When we do have differences, it’s OK to notice them and be honest about them! If you would complain about something your husband did around your married friends, don’t hesitate to do the same when we are hanging out. I get it! It’s part of your life, and I am all in for every part of it. Sometimes he DOES disagree with your parenting decisions in front of the kids. And that’s not OK. Maybe he COULD listen better when you are describing a problem with another mom at school. Don’t ever feel like you cannot express those frustrations around me because you worry it highlights my chronic singleness. (Now, along a similar note, if you are upset that your husband wants to have sex with you for a second time this week, and you are talking with a single mom friend who hasn’t even been on a date IN YEARS, then maybe the level of sympathy might decline just a smidge.)
I also don’t mind when your husband has to go out of town for business for a week and you say something like, “I’m a single mom this week!” or “Ugh, this single mom life is no fun!” I’m not possessive over the single mom title and I’m happy to share when it applies. When it comes to what makes for a difficult parenting day, you start from the baseline of what you know. If you are used to having a helpful partner around the house, then it’s natural that you are going to struggle with the changes that come with being alone for the week. For me? Being a single parent is all I know. I sometimes wonder if I would know how to share responsibilities and decisions. That type of parenting seems foreign to me. While I would love to have a partner in this whole parenting experience, I imagine that I would have some difficulty relinquishing the autonomy I’ve come to know.
As a single mom, what do I need most from all of you wonderful married moms? Well, I think you know a lot of it already. That’s why we are such awesome friends. I need you to care about my kids — to love them and invest in them and reprimand them when needed. Knowing that other adults are there for my children is one of the best feelings. Also, we love coming over to your house to hang out once in a while. It’s good for my kids to sit around a dinner table or play a board game and watch how a husband and wife interact with one another and with their kids. And I enjoy the chance to have a conversation with other adults over a meal! Finally, don’t be hesitant to invite me to do stuff! Don’t worry that I will feel uncomfortable as the only single person in your group at the movie theater or concert. I’m used to it, and I don’t mind! Obviously, there are times when having a singleton join the crew will not work logistically. (If several couples are heading out for an evening of free dance lessons . . . I get it if my phone doesn’t ring.) Otherwise, I’m fine with being the “extra” and just want to get out and have fun once in a while!
Thank you for all that you bring to my life. I appreciate the support I get from both you and your husbands. I look forward to walking through life together for many more years to come. Married, single, widowed, or divorced . . . we’ve got each other through all of this.