I’ve been with my husband for 17 years. 17 years! Holy cow, that went fast! And as any married person knows, not all those years have been picture perfect. We’ve had our highs and lows (with the occasional low so low I’ve wondered if marriage was for me).
Truth be told, I’ve occasionally envied my single mom friends. Who doesn’t love the idea of not having to compromise and never having to share the remote? Oh, and let’s not forget about all that laundry we marrieds have to do that isn’t ours. Plus, it’s hard enough to get time to yourself when you have kids. Add a husband, who also wants attention, into the mix, and one can’t help but occasionally feel like being single is where it’s at.
But just today, I read a story about a Los Angeles woman who met a guy on a dating app in August. He invited her to a swanky lunch, ordered half the menu, and then ditched her and the bill, before the date was over. As I read the story my first thought was, “Suddenly, being married doesn’t seem so bad.”
The truth is the grass is always greener whether you’re single or married, but you single moms have to go through a whole host of things that make us marrieds not envy you. We may have to watch “The Bourne Identity” 52 times with the hubs, but we don’t have to do some things you do. For example:
While married sex isn’t always exciting, it’s never weird either. I’ll take it!
1. Married = No Online Dating, Phew!
I met my husband before online dating was really a thing, but I will admit it sounds sort of awful. Sure it’s like shopping for a date online, but it leaves no room for chemistry. Plus, I’d be a nervous wreck hoping someone normal swiped right on me. What if they didn’t? Aaah!
2. The Walk of Shame
OK in college plenty of us (myself included) had a date that led to a sleepover and you had to find a way to get out of there, or get him out of there, before the roommates noticed you or he had spent the night. Well, it’s a lot more humiliating when your roommates are your children and they’re wondering why mommy’s “playdate” went all night.
3. No New Sex
Some people find monogamy boring, but at least we marrieds don’t have to have new sex. We don’t have to get naked with someone for the first time and find out he has a tattoo of his mother on a weird part of his body or that he has more body hair than a werewolf. So while married sex isn’t always exciting, it’s never weird either. I’ll take it!
4. We Don’t Have to Date After Having Kids
Dating is complicated enough. Add kids into the mix and it’s nearly impossible, from having a kid who doesn’t like your new man to finding time to actually go on a date because you’re overwhelmed while driving carpool and getting homework done.
5. No Back-Up on Weekends!
I know I’m not the only parent who can find the weekends or summer break a bit long, but at least I have the hubs there to run interference with the kids. The good news is most single moms get some weekends kid-free because the kids are at their dads. The bad news, there’s no one to back you up on those weekends that seem endless.
6. Your Ex Has a New Girlfriend and She Looks Like She’s 19
It’s probably hard enough to see someone new dating your ex, but having her assist in raising your kids has to be downright excruciating. Oh, and he’ll probably date someone who looks like she’s barely legal. Wonderful, she can be besties with your kids and your ex!
7. Married Moms Don’t Have to Get Used to Some New Guy’s Weird Habits
It took me all these years to get used to my husband’s snoring, the food that makes his stomach act like a volcano and his nail clippings in the sink. I can’t imagine having to get used to an entirely new set of weird guy habits.
8. The Rules of Technology Make Dating an Entirely New Awful Adventure
Gone are phone calls before dates or a quick text to check in. Now, dating is all about apps, Snapchat, Instagram check-ins and Google searches. The Internet makes everyone a dating detective. It’s like everybody knows you before you've even met. Ugh.
Now before you go thinking I feel sorry for single moms, I don’t. You ladies get to call your own shots, don’t have to answer to anyone, and you can watch all the Bravo reality show you want without your husband saying, “Didn’t you watch this one already?” So the lesson is, there’s good and bad about being a single or married mom. But one thing that we can all enjoy is our kids. We don’t need a partner to do that!