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Just Because I’m a Single Mom Doesn’t Mean I’ll Steal Your Husband on Playdates

by Jacqueline Burt on January 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM

mom on swingRemember when you were in high school and it was cool to hang out with your friend and her boyfriend if your boyfriend was there, too -- but if you and your friend's boyfriend happened to go to the movies or something without your significant others, everybody would be all like, "That's weird" and suspect something was "going on" even if you were legitimately just friends? Well, the same thing happens when you're grown up and taking your own kids on playdates with other parents of the opposite sex -- if, that is, you're divorced.

And that sucks, because, here's a confession: Back when my kids were little and playdates always required the presence of at least one "caregiver" per child, I always secretly preferred it when those other parents were dads.

Which is not to say that I didn't absolutely value and appreciate the time I spent having hushed heart-to-heart chats with fellow moms over tea while our toddlers busied themselves with playdough and cookie cutters or whatever else; it's just that, well, I've always been one of those women who had more male friends than female, and hanging out at the playground with a dad (or two) was actually fun -- and funny. The dads I knew didn't hover over their little ones with bottles of sunblock and bags of goldfish crackers, they sat back under the nearest shady tree and cracked jokes (while still supervising their children from a safe distance, of course).

They talked about rock bands and comic books and took everything way less seriously, in general, than the moms I knew. Which was a welcome change. Of course, back then, I was married -- as were most of my friends. So there was never that moment of hesitation: "Hmm, would it be weird or inappropriate for me and so-and-so's dad to have a playdate?" Now that I'm divorced, it's different. Thankfully, my kids are also into the drop-off playdate phase, so these situations don't come up all that often. But they do, just the same. And honestly, whenever I get the sense that some married parent is sizing me up as a potential threat based simply on my status as a single mom, it hurts my feelings. Like there isn't enough of a stigma associated with my lifestyle already.

Are you a single parent? Do you feel tension about playdates with parents of the opposite sex?

 

Image via Rain0975/Flickr

Filed Under: divorce, marriage, single moms

Comments

16
  • Brittany
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Brittany

    January 8, 2013 at 12:06 PM
    I can totally empathize because I've always been one of those women too- from grade school up I've always had more male friends than female. In college, I didn't join a sorority- I became a fraternity sweetheart! I've just always preferred men to women. Since I've been married though, I don't spend time with other men unless my husband is present. Which is inconvenient because my best friend is still the same guy it's been since I was a kid, and I don't get to see him like I'd like to. But I don't think it's appropriate for friends of the opposite sex to spend time together if one (or both) of them is married. My feelings for all of my guy friends are totally platonic and always have been, but I'm not going to put myself in a position where there's even a possibility of something happening.
  • Lovin...
    --

    LovinJerseyMama

    January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I'm not a single parent but I'm also not married. I have two kids with my long time boyfriend and we have lived together longer then we have been parents. I have been stigmatized for not being married but not in the way you describe. More like the unwed mother way lol. But I do have women give me looks if I'm on the playground chatting with their husbands (who are way more friendly and outgoing then they are) and then they get this look of relief on their faces when my boyfriend comes over to join in lol. I have never had an issue having play dates with the fathers. Growing up I had more guy friends then girls, they're just so much more uncomplicated. But it's rare to see the fathers on a play date or at the playground. And the times I have seen them the moms usually relegate them to a bench somewhere and harp on them to keep both eyes on their child, not conducive for chatting. 


  • Maias...
    --

    MaiasMommy619

    January 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM
    I think a lot of people are not secure within themselves.
  • Flori...
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    Floridamom96

    January 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Right on, Brittany! Exactly what you said.


  • Rhond...
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    RhondaVeggie

    January 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM
    You don't even need to be single in my experience. Any woman who talks to a dad is suspect. I've had some filthy looks from women for talking to their husbands, even when they know I'm happily married. One guy usually does the drop off and I've known him for years so we chat but when his wife is there she glares at me and very deliberately positions herself between us. I have zero interest in him, even if we're single and he were single I wouldn't be after him because he's just not my type at all, but she is so insecure.
  • lulou
    --

    lulou

    January 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I really dont think it has anything to do with single or divorced, or committed.  There are plenty of women I wouldnt want my husband on a 1-1 playdate with, and others I could care less about.  However, having learned from my older kids, I dont encourage friendships with kids who's parents I didnt like/schedule playdates,carpolling, or get too friendly with a parent I may like but kid I cant stand.


  • Cynthia
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Cynthia

    January 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM
    There are way too many people who are not secure in themselves and their relationships with their partners! It takes 2 to tango as they say! I trust my husband and he trusts me. We each have friends of the opposite sex. We have different interests from eachother that those friends share with us. But we also have a strong relationship together.
  • Mommi...
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    MommietoJB

    January 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM
    The way some women are now a days can you blame a mom for keeping an eye on other women, single or not. There are lots of women that enjoy trying to get what they dont have. It takes a lot more than a 30 min. playdate to establish an affair but I dont put anything past opposite sex friendships.
  • the4m...
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    the4mutts

    January 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM
    Secure, insecure, married or not... I view it as improper for a man/woman who is spoken for to be spending intimate time with someone of the opposite sex. Intimate IMO is movies (screams date night) playdates where the parents hang out together (becomes familiar with routines as partners typically would) going for drinks without the s/o along (just, no)
    Proper male/female time IMO is; lunch (with or without kids/partners along) chats durring drop-off/pick-ups for playdates, hanging out chatting with neighbors IN THE FRONT YARDS, and basically anything that to a casual observer would scream THIS IS A DATE, or look like they're partners.

  • the4m...
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    the4mutts

    January 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM
    *wouldn't scream THIS IS A DATE
1-10 of 16 comments

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