A Single Woman Spends Time with Families   3 comments

This weekend, I had the absolute honor of spending time with two of my closest friends, their husbands, and their beautiful children.  We talked, we walked, we ate (boy, did we eat), and we just relaxed in each other’s company.  A lovely weekend, and one I really needed.

But it was also a very hard weekend for me in many ways.  For one, I was again the single one in a group of not just couples but families, units that work together to make decisions and build a life.  As much as I truly love seeing my friends with the people that give them hope and security, it is also hard to be the one still alone in that time.

Perhaps, though, the hardest thing was something I have gotten better at over the years but still find very challenging – the complexities of relating to someone else’s children.  I am not a parent, and I am certainly not their parent; yet, I am an adult and not their friend either.  It’s a tough position to be in – to help settle squabbles or not, to calm the legs kicking the cabinets or not, to hold a scared little boy or not.  I’m never sure what my role is to be in those situations.  I muddle through, but it’s a challenge.

Then, of course, there is the pain of not having my own children to muddle through with.  Most days I am at peace with what seems to be a fairly solid reality, but when I spend time with kids, hear my friends talking about schools and books and the gorgeous, unique identities of these people with whom they build their lives – well, it makes me sad.

I also find myself absolutely unable to contribute to entire conversations.  What do I have to say about school choice or discipline strategies?  Usually, I just sit and listen – or check email on my phone.

I love my friends, and I wouldn’t trade them or one minutes with them for the world – not for anything at all.  I wouldn’t want them to have any less of all the glorious people they have (even though I know they are not always glorious).  Yet, sometimes, it is very hard to be in those friendships.  Very hard.

How do you guys negotiate friendships with people who are married and/or have children?  How do you find your place in those relationships? 

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3 responses to “A Single Woman Spends Time with Families

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  1. I don’t relate to friends with children. The moment they had children I was no longer part of their universe. I’m happy that they have children – but it was sad to lose a social circle.

    • You make a good point, Shawna. I am very blessed to have friends who value me for who I am and who want me in their lives no matter what. Thanks for that reminder.

  2. I relate a lot to this. I have many friends and family with young children. I love them and don’t concern myself with the boundaries, I just love on ’em. However, not having kids, I do feel left out of many of their lives because I no longer relate in ways we used to. It’s not easy.

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