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A Single Mom Has Trouble Making Friends

Published: March 14, 2024 | By | 15 Replies Continue Reading

This single mom  has outgrown her old friends and hasn’t found new ones.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I am 28 years old, a single mum, and had friends once upon a time with whom I would go out and party.

Since becoming a mother, however, I admit I straightened up and stopped going out, stopped drinking, stopped smoking cigarettes, and changed my life completely.

I absolutely love motherhood. I love playing games, acting silly, going on outings, planning activities, helping with schooling and everything in between.

However, I’ve noticed that since I’ve made these changes, my friends started treating me differently and I decided not to hang out with them on account of our different lifestyles.

But I’ve found it hard to make or simply get along with other people who have similar interests, views etc. I wouldn’t say I’m a pushy person or a snob but I get the impression when I talk to people that they aren’t interested in me anymore.

I mean, I’m still me. I’m a single mom but I just don’t find partying appropriate at this time in my life. Now since going to school, my daughter as started asking me about my friends.

It kind of broke my heart a little. I didn’t tell her I had no friends. I just started talking about my old friends and led the conversation into other things.

I guess my main worry is that, since changing my life so dramatically for the better, am I ever going to find other people that understand?

I’m not a snob. I just like routine, healthier living, setting a good example, ensuring the best for my daughter and being a role model. I’m a strong person and can persevere with the whole ‘you don’t have friends’ ridicule.

Any advice, comments or even something to make me laugh and have hope again would be very kindly appreciated.

Signed, Louise

ANSWER

Hi Louise,

You’ve made big changes in your life since becoming a single mom, leaving dancing, drinking and smoking behind—as well as some friends from your days of being single and carefree.

It’s great that you’re enjoying motherhood and take your responsibilities seriously. This isn’t the same as being a snobby or unfriendly person. Nor is friendship only about partying. Solid friendships also have quieter moments. Perhaps these former friendships never “stuck” because you really didn’t have much more in common with your old friends than the desire to hang out together.

Being a single mom isn’t easy. It’s common to feel left out of friendships with married women, and to feel left out of friendships with single women who are childfree. However, you may find that you have common interests with some women in both groups.

Are there married moms at your daughter’s school you might invite for a playdate with their kids? Could you volunteer at school as a way to meet new people? Are there single friends or neighbors who might want to join you for a day in the park with your daughter? Are there any single mom groups in your community or online that can offer opportunities for you to m make friends?

You are absolutely right to focus on your daughter now and it sounds like you handled the “friendship talk” with her perfectly. But single moms like you are also entitled to some “time off, time for yourself” which may entail carving out time to be with other women who could potentially become new friends.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Category: Finding friends at different ages and stages, MAKING FRIENDS

Comments (15)

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  1. Winnie says:

    Carol,

    That is very inspiring. When I read it the first time it touched my heart. When I read it the second time, I cried. I think what you said really relates to how I think and feel as a new single mother whose friends have all abandoned because of different views and lifestyles. I really like the example you have about the boy and how we encounter salt oh different people in our lives. Thank you for sharing you’re view, it makes me feel so much better to know i can use other ways to try to talk to people. Thank you

    [LAST NAME REMOVED BY MODERATOR. FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION AGAINST SPAMMERS, PLEASE DO NOT USE LAST NAMES ON THIS BLOG. THANKS!]

  2. Miss Anne says:

    Hey there, so first off in Annie, I am a 34 year old mom, my fiancé has been away for about 2 years. He will hopefully b returning to me in about 6 more months, Had my kiddos fairly young. My kids r 15 one my youngest is going on 13. My entire like for so many years was about my family and only about them, well with not only my fiancé but my best friend as well gone for all this time. I last all contact to pretty much my old “friends” they suddenly decide my new life style was very unfamiliar to them and they didn’t really want to ne in that environment. They wanted to go live their lives which they should have, As happy as I was watching them move on the bigger and better things, even in different states, I was happy for them but sad Cruz all my friends were gone very soon. I never made it out of Spokane, if any other moms can relate to my story and wants more friends. Around my age if u got kiddos that’s something we have in common, my personality is well, in no angel, I love to relax and have a good time. Love top surprised love trying new things love being spontaneous. If our in need of a friend in spokane and think maybe we one or a few things in common. It would b good to hear from u. Thanks.

    • Irene says:

      Welcome to the blog, Miss Anne. This website isn’t intended to match people for friendships. Rather it’s to help each other discuss and navigate problems related to making and keeping friends. Posters are discouraged from posting their real names or other identifying information that would make them vulnerable to spammers.

      However, if you want to connect with someone in real life, you can do that through a special group page I’ve set up on Facebook. See:https://www.thefriendshipblog.com/something-new-check-out-friendship-blog-connection-facebook/

      Thanks for your cooperation! Best, Irene

  3. Wendy says:

    Hi thanks for posting this ; I can relate. It’s been a while so I’m not sure if anyone will see this message… Do any of you live near Maryland or on Facebook Etx? I’m in the same boat most likely because my child was born with medical issues and outside from crying for my family, I worked all the time. I lost my job after a brief illness and the reality of how isolated I’ve become has been shocking. My youngest still faces illness but is able and more interested in social interaction… I am at a loss as I miss having friends and especially friends that I can hang out with or let our children play together. My other children are older and many of my old friends children are older so I am pretty much starting again.

    Have things improved for any of you? If so, what did you do differently? I appreciate your response :).

  4. Maddie says:

    I’m in the same boat, single since my baby was born and now she’s 17 months. All moms run from me when I tell them I’m a single mom. I can’t make any mom friends anywhere so I spend my days in isolation with my daughter. I have single friends but I have zero child are options so I can never go hang out with them. It’s so hard being a single mom, but the loneliness is the most challenging part. I hope you find friends soon.

  5. Lah says:

    Carol,

    What an inspiration you are. Louise you can’t go wrong when you keep going up and up. I wish you the best.

  6. Cara says:

    I’ve watched several of my own friends and girlfriends/wives of my SO’s friends become mothers and lose themselves in the process. It’s quite common. Something happens–similar to what you’ve described–in which they change their lifestyles and become focused on their offspring. Suddenly everyone and everything else falls by the wayside and one day, usually soon after the little one starts school, the mum finds herself alone and lonely. What she may or may not realize is that in the process of revamping herself, she created walls. She may have started judging her childfree friends as selfish or somehow lesser than herself for living their lives as they saw fit, without children. Or equally often, new mum merges her identity with that of her child/children. Her whole world and existence is lived through her kids and while it’s important to ensure your baby(ies) are taken care of, it’s equally important to remember who you are in the equation. After all, there are many facets to your personality and they ALL need to be nurtured: woman, sister, daughter, friend, and mother. When we turn all our attention to just one aspect of who we are and neglect the others we often become unbalanced and our other relationships suffer. It’s essential to take time for yourself away from being just a mother, because you’re more than that. Making and keeping friends means making time for them whether they have kids or not. They need your time, attention and love just as much as you need theirs. In other words, you need to make an effort. Get a baby sitter so you can have one-on-one time with a pal. Have a girlfriend over for a glass of wine after your daughter’s gone to bed. And there’s nothing wrong with having a late night out with the ladies that doesn’t involve “partying;” dinner and a movie counts! Give yourself a break so you don’t have to be “on” all the time.
    What you say you want–“routine, healthier living, setting a good example, ensuring the best for my daughter and being a role model” aren’t all that different from what people (mothers and otherwise) want so you need to create an inviting, positive environment and meet others halfway. They might do things differently but that’s their prerogative. It doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends with them but you have to embrace the fact that there’s more than one way to do things and that the term “better” is completely subjective. Loosen up some and you’ll create a more inviting atmosphere to which potential friends will gravitate.

  7. Missabi says:

    Hi Louise,
    I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying. I met my husband, got pregnant and got married and within one year changed my lifestyle from one where I went out a lot and had a good social network, to one where I stay in and hang out with my husband and don’t smoke or drink at all. I was disappointed to notice that most of my friends that I hung out with on a daily basis weren’t interested in keeping up. For awhile, I felt like I wasn’t ‘cool.’ Even though I was glad that I found my husband and was going to have a baby, I am a little ashamed to admit that I resented that I had to stay in, couldn’t flirt any more, and didn’t want to go to parties. And some other friends, I ended up letting go because their lifestyles weren’t really compatible with the lifestyle we are trying to create. It was hard to change my lifestyle, but it was actually sadder to realize that a lot of the people I felt close to, there wasn’t as much of a connection left without that lifestyle in common.
    I can relate to what you said about feeling perceived as snobby. Maybe they are judging you as snobby, or you are judging them as unhealthy or something, but that is not really the important part. Its not actually snobby to take care of yourself and try to eat well especially if its because you need to be well to care for a child.
    Haha, I don’t think finding friends just so you can rub it in people’s faces is a good foundation for a friendship, just saying…I think I know what you meant though.
    Anyways, I am finding more in common with women who are pregnant and with couples who stay in. So, I guess its a trade off. I’m going to join some new mom groups or play groups after my son is born, and try to make friends that we can have as a family. Good luck and I think you will be able to find friends with more in common.

  8. jas says:

    why not influence your old friends to be on the same track as you? you have found happiness isn’t it?

  9. Amy says:

    It sounds to me like your priorities are in the right place. As a single mom, you’ve got friendships challenges single women without kids and married women don’t have, but you are definitely not alone.
    You might tap into your daughter’s mothers as potential friends by suggesting a mother-daughter outing with one of her friends and that friend’s mother. Lunch, shopping, movies, skating rink, a craft show are some activities you can try or if you live in a warmer climate, an outdoor activity like the playground is a good idea.
    Good luck.

  10. Carol says:

    Hi Louise,

    I am not on this site to find your answers but hopefully to inspire you to believe in yourself no matter what. Just reading your post makes me want to know you better. I believe it is the bravest thing anyone can do, the exact thing you are doing. I was born in 1939 and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had to change in my life. I use the word “had” because I believe when our heart and soul is pushing us to makes changes in our lives, it’s a powerful voice. Even though I have had many, many close friends in my life, three long-term relationships with partners, here I am retired and on my own. I have been alone for long times before, but this time I am facing the facts of body changes, grieving all the memories of family members gone and many, many past friends no longer here in my life. I do have a best friend and she is an amazing person. We met on the job and when I asked her why she decided to be my friend, she said, “Because you asked me questions about myself and my life.” A person or persons are just waiting for you to show up in their lives and ask them questions about their life.

    Solid and enduring friendships are waiting for you and your little girl. I don’t have children, but have worked in Education and have known literally hundreds of children in my lifetime. Just yesterday a boy who entering middle school saw me on the street as he rode by on his bike. I made eye contact and said, “Hey!” He turned around and came back, got off his bike said, “Mrs. Owens, I miss you.” (I am not a Mrs. but kids always think every older woman is married, makes me chuckle.)We talked and he told me about a saying no to drugs incident. As he shared his story with me, his younger brother stood close to him. I said to him, “You will have a good time at middle school. I hope you keep away from those who try to encourage you to do things you don’t really want to do. You are a smart boy and I know you will do well in your life.”

    We all start very young trying to find our way on this journey called life. Just like that boy, we will keep going through changes because we are trying to know who we are. I am glad you are attempting to find the new path in your life, as your little one needs a Mom who has her heart and soul in a place of learning still. You found the previous way you were living wasn’t working for you, you are in the throws of change and that’s a great place to be. Just like your child, she will ask for a new piece of coloring paper if she doesn’t find the one she made, you’ll give it to her because we all deserve new chances to “try again.” I wish you courage to see this new friend or friends when they show up.

    I wish you courage and a deep appreciation for who you are as a Mother who is learning to trust her life. Remember there are always surprises.

    Carol

    • Emily says:

      Carol, your words really made me smile and also shed a tear. Thank you for encouraging me to have hope, as I, like the original poster, find myself isolated trying to get back to a friend filled existence!

    • Ana says:

      Carol, I just loved the way you share your wisdom.

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