Friday, November 4, 2016

How To Guide to Being Friends with a Single Mom

Tonight I made a new friend. 

We sat and talked for about an hour while our kids played. We let them eat bagged chips and watch Netflix. The only negative is that we didn't open a bottle of wine. As I left her house, I realized something important that needs to be shared:

Single Moms need certain qualities in a friend. 

Maybe I shouldn't speak in the collective 'WE' until this is confirmed by a group of my peers...

We I need to be able to share the honest reality of our my day. What life is like raising children alone; the struggles we I deal with each week; figuring out how to date after divorce or death. The day when the school calls and you have to stop everything to pick up a sick kid. 

People ask, "How do you do it?"

I HAVE TO. There is no one else that is going to make dinner, calm a crying child, or wipe up vomit at three in the morning.

So, here are a few tips on 
How To Be a Friend with a Single Mom.

1. LISTEN - this is true for any friendship but a single mom really NEEDS you to listen, to hear her.

2. SYMPATHIZE - a single mom doesn't want pity, she knows you can't fully understand, but validate her.

3. HELP - she might not admit it, but she needs help. 

There have been many times when I just wanted someone to see things from my point of view. My day might share a lot of similarities with other moms, but at the end of the day; I don't have anyone to talk to. It is so nice to just talk with a friend.

It is even better when that friend tries to understand her day. I don't need you to nod your head and murmur in agreement. I need you to try to imagine life in my shoes. Sometimes, I don't want to hear your version of the same situation, I just need to know that you heard ME. (Hopefully this is true of other single moms and not just because I am a bitch.)

A single mom can always use some help. There were many years that I wouldn't ask for the help I really needed. Sometimes I wouldn't ask for any help at all. A good friend can sense what you need and do it before you even consider forming the request. 

BONUS TIP: Do not compare your husband being out of town to being a single parent. Just don't. 

I appreciate all the friends I have. However, tonight I think I made a new BEST FRIEND. Why? Because she is also a single mom. 

This is going to be a new feature at CoCo And Twins. Friendship Fridays. If you are a single mom, send me an email with a list of the qualities you look for in a friend. If you are friends with a single mom, let me know what ways you think your friendship has helped her. Maybe I can expand this list.