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Single parents and mummy cliques- do you find it hard?

(37 Posts)
poshsinglemum Wed 03-Jun-09 23:26:03

When I first burst onto the mum and baby scene with my liitle one I was so deeply insecure about my lack of marital status and I may have said too much too soon or something.
I have now noticed that the group of mums is becoming increasingly cliquey and I feel a bit left out. I naively thought that I was ''accepted''
I have other friends in similar situations but I am fed up of being left out of the mainsteam. I have no deesire to join some snobby clique but neither do I want to be ostracised.
Does anyone have this issue?
It's hard enough for the average mum, let alone for us single folk.

Am I being pathetic?

zookeeper Wed 03-Jun-09 23:32:59

I've never once felt ostracised for being a single mum . I do feel different sometimes looking at a group of married/cohabiting mums and sometimes I think that that can come across as defensive. You don't sound pathetic at all but maybe you're more concerned about your status than they are?

poshsinglemum Wed 03-Jun-09 23:35:24

I think I am tbh and mabe that comes across and rubs people up.
Sometimes you know I feel so proud to be a single mum and surviving then other times I feel inferior

zookeeper Wed 03-Jun-09 23:39:06

Me too PSM - and every single mum I know. ou sound completely normal to me.

If it helps I've learnt that nothing is what it seems - those couples you look at who seem happy may well be anything but.

supagirl Thu 04-Jun-09 11:52:00


I agree with others, perhaps you are feeling more awkward about it than they are? I have a partner, but he is not my DS Dad and I was a bit worried about it when ds started school. I decided not to mention it unless it came up. When it did, I discovered that another Mum was in the same situation and subsequently a friend who seemed happily married has split from her DH and is now in the same boat as well.

IMO a parent is a parent, we all have things in common and things that are different. Some of the parents in our friendship group smack, some don't. Some work, some don't, some are single parents and some aren't......

It's hard not to label yourself sometimes as a single Mum - I know, I've been there! - but if you do it, then others will as well.

That said, if they genuinely are excluding you because you're a single Mum, then they are not worth worrying about imo - who knows, they may well find themselves in the same situation one day!


ninah Thu 04-Jun-09 16:37:42

I know just what you mean I had a chip on my shoulder the size of Britain when I first moved here, not helped by the fact it's a small village chiefly populated by Stepford Marrieds
I've since made some very good friends, and envy few of them their marriages. On the contrary, several envy me for the total freedom and independance it's possible to have as lone p. I really enjoy my life now the way it is; it can be the 'cool' option

SarahMac30 Fri 05-Jun-09 22:22:59

Thought I would jump on and comment here.....I feel a soapbox moment coming on wink. I have been a single mum for 5 years now....since my DD was 1 year old. I moved to a different town 60 miles away from all my friends so I could be near my parents, but I knew nobody here at all. The feeling of dread of having to explain my situation has now subsided and I am incredibly proud of us as a stable family of two. I have worked hard to get out of the benefit system and now run my own business. My DD goes to a school where I initially worried I would be looked upon as a sub human as I am divorced! The chip on the shoulder has now gone. Every time someone tells me my DD is a lovely child I am proud. Single parents are strong because we have to be. If others can't see that or don't bother to see past their own narrow minded view on the matter then they are not worth it. I did have the odd problem with insecure Mums when my DD was very little and I was concious that they were wary of me talking to their husbands....obviously a single Mum will be after someone elses bloke.....LOL.Either that or I felt they had pity for me. Now the other mums I am friends with don't bat an eyelid and comment they don't know how I manage it. The answer to that is my own parents who are a huge support and my daughter is loved and cared for. THAT's all that counts to me.
Rise above it. Let them get on with it. Chances are they are in awe of you for having the strength and freedom to bring up a small child on your own. grin

chattysoul Sat 06-Jun-09 09:05:22

I would like to add my own point of view here. I am a single parent myself and have been right from (by choice) when my son was a mere 5 months old, and have brought him up without family intervention/support (only child, both parents deceased, not close to cousins etc.) I can only say it is great for bringing you a huge sense of total freedom over decision making and lifestyle choices, ways of spending our income etc. n However that isn't to say I do not remain grateful for the little bit of access his dad does do (one every 3 weekends) plus his much needed (small)maintenance monies.

I find that 9 times out of 10 I simply do NOT respect or admire the lifestyle of a married woman as they have to invariably defer to their man's opinion the whole time, constantly make shared decisions, sacrifice independence etc. I also don't respect the cushion they are in. They are in a cocoon (I should now, I have been married twice before I had my son and have lived with four different men over the years) and don't know they are born. The things they moan about I invariably cannot respect. Does that make me sound bad? I just can't help it!

I also detest the 'smug marrieds' who think they are better than single parents, whereas I am sure 50 per cent of them are unhappy in their relationship and simply haven't got the guts to end it/start afresh.

I also don't appreciate pity from people, I only expect respect and consideration nothing more. To be honest I pity most of the marrieds!

This isn't to say I wouldn't still like/need a viable soulmate indeed I would but it is much more preferable for me to live on my own with my son than live with someone I am not suited to.

Does this strike a chord with anybody?

Chattysoul x

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 12:11:34

I'm a bit sad as I havn't been invited to a few of the first bday parties in my circle and I am aware that mums that I made a bond with are meeting without me.Stupid bday party politics! I did give up too much info about myself at first though. A major failing of mine.

I am proud to be independant and I am very anti-clique so mabe it's the solo way for me! Luckily two of my best mates of ten years got pregnant the same time as me so I have two 'real' mates to hang round with.
Plus if marrieds see me as a threat then mabe it's a complement. I have to say though I would NEVER go with a married man. Am happy alone and don't share my men with anyone! I think married men who slime onto other women are the lowest of the low.

MaggieBee Sat 06-Jun-09 18:46:01

I don't tbh. I haven't been invited to dinner parties mind you, but at the school gates and on the mums' nights out, no I don't find it hard. I dont' think I'd want to go to dinner parties with a load of couples though. I have some single friends, some married friends, some friends with no children... I have NO other single mum friends in real life though. I could do with one.

chattysoul I agree 100%! I very rarely find myself envying somebody their husband, for the reasons you mention and also, if they crash the car, they have to 'confess'. They have to watch hours of football. They have to explain why they spent 150 on a handbag when they already have loads. And that stuff is in the mostly happy functioning relationships.

Poshsinglemum, I find that when your child starts school the competitiveness is watered down a bit by then. People's children's abiliities have panned out a bit, people are, to be frank, bored of talking/boasting about their children!! other subjects come up in conversation! it's a bit more like the office. Friendships are based on clicking with people with a similar sense of humour to yourself. Even if that person's child is 3 yrs ahead. I just think it gets better.

I'd never, ever go out with a married man either. He'd be by definition another shit. Why would I want another shit. Have the t-shirt. I would like to meet a decent man but I don't meet any men so in the meantime, I'm not looking. Why drive yourself mad!. I think I come across as being quite content to be single though.

Tongith I'm ordering chicken badam passanda and washing it down with a wee bucket of vino.

RockinSockBunnies Sat 06-Jun-09 19:04:35

I've been a single mother since DD was born 8 years ago. I do have other friends who are mothers, but I have found, over the years, that people do tend to be suspicious of single mothers.

I think the fact that I'm only in my twenties means that those in their thirties and forties don't quite know how to relate to me. Also, I found it terribly lonely in the early days at weekends, when my 'mum' friends would reserve the weekends for 'family time' with their husbands/partners and wouldn't want to meet for coffee etc.

Things have certainly improved as DD's got older. I think though, one thing that stops other mothers with partners from being friendly is the fear that you're planning to sleep with their husbands hmm. I think they're suspicious that as a single mother you have designs on their man! Completely ridiculous but that attitude is very prevalent!

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:35:43

I can't think of anything worse than a dinner party! Far to formal. I invite my friends out for informal meals and chats but dinner parties- yuck!

MaggieBee Sat 06-Jun-09 20:38:28

yes, all that showing what a great, effortless hostess they are! boak.

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:38:55

I know that attitude is there! I would rather find myself a nice SINGLE man thank you!

littlelamb Sat 06-Jun-09 20:41:33

Do you really feel you ar ebeing ostracised because you are single?? Honestly? Blimey, I wouldn't want to be friends with people like that in the first place so it's their loss really. I can honestly say I've never come across that attitude amoung other mothers
<<wonders if it's because I am ugly and hence not a threat wink>>

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:41:48

When I have an informal meal I like to be a good hostess but as we have no dining table as our little house is so small my friends and I eat on the floor-oriental style!
Posh it aint!

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:42:45

Hi little lamb- mabe it's not because I am single but because I am objectionable! grin wink

Meglet Sat 06-Jun-09 20:43:54

since i split up with ex p i have noticed that the group of mums i know are more comfortable moaning about their dh's grin.

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:45:18

I just feel that I got too close too soon and now I feel pushed out.
I do think that mabe they feel we can't relate to her set up. I don't feel taht I can totally relate to them in many ways.

I think I used to go on about dd's dad a bit because I was in limbo and wondering if he's ever come back. I needed people to talk to and these poor mums were the chosen ones!
Oh dear!

MaggieBee Sat 06-Jun-09 20:45:37

I have a good friend who is a good friend 'A' (since school) but that one aspect of her socialising does annoy me. She'd never include me when there were men around. We go out with girls we've both known for ages. Another mutual friend 'b' is far more casual and invited me to her house for dinner and shock there were 7 women and only 4 men! SHe didn't tell us where to sit or anything hokey like that!

I did briefly date somebody and 'we' were invited out for a meal with my friend 'a' and her husband. THat stuck in my throat tbh, as I'd never be asked out to dinner with both of them if it were just me. So I made an excuse to that one.. He was boring anyway so that was that.

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:46:26

I have a friend who never moans about her partner. Most other women do but she makes me feel like she has the perfect life. She is lovely too!

poshsinglemum Sat 06-Jun-09 20:51:46

I don't mind that I am not invited to couples nights as that would be torture (thinks back to Bridget Jones and the smug marrieds) but it does hurt me when I am left out of exclusively mums groups. Mind you one mum I have in mind dosn't seem to like anyone and I feel that she could have taken a disliking to me.

MaggieBee Sat 06-Jun-09 21:08:13

There was one woman clearly disliked me because her husband spoke to me. He's a knob. She's a bitch. God!!

Most people are absolutely fine and totally sane though! MOST people. There are all sorts of fruit cakes though. Even the conservative, smug, happily marrieds have their own various neuroses.

My friend who I refered to as friend A earlier! if we arrange to meet up somewhere, she insists on meetign outside. She hasn't the confidence to just walk into a bar or restaurant and sit ther and wait. seems bizarre to me. I put that down to being one half of two people rather than a whole ONE person iyswim. NOT for a moment suggesting that all married people are like that. There is a type though.

MrsFlittersnoop Sat 06-Jun-09 21:52:00

I was a single mum in my early 40s when DS started school, so I was doubly different! grin. I must admit that the mums I got friendly with were all single parents. You don't tend to be invited to dinner parties or barbecues when the majority of other invitees are all couples hmm.

Us single mums formed a great mutual support network for babysitting, nights out and finding work.

It could get lonely though. My friends were all at least 10 years younger than me, so there were obvious differences in our backgrounds and interests,and I found it stressful at times (although very flattering) to be viewed as a "mentor".

7 years on we are all still close. Most of us have gone on to find new partners and many have had more children.

chattysoul Sun 07-Jun-09 07:49:40

I would just like to add one more thing. I have been married twice, for quite lengthy intervals in the past (7 years and 5 years) so I am no 'spinster' plus lived with 2 other men. I therefore am fully aware of what it is like living with a man, the pros and cons etc. I have NEVER felt insecure and thought a single woman would pounce on my husband/boyfriend, I think people like that are completely ridiculously insecure and need to examine their psyche!

I would also like to add that it seems to happen a lot when people haven't lived a very interesting life e.g. same place same house same partner all their life. They are usually dead boring people and the most insecure of the bunch.

Whereas I have always lived a very interesting varied and adventurous life and have no regrets/insecurities about men/attracting a man etc. I still get plenty of looks I just don't fancy anyone right now! The occasional one I do fancy tends to be above average in looks and I invariably find they haven't worked on their personalities sufficiently so I view them with suspicion.

Any views you clever ladies??!

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