Frenemies of the Unmarried Mom

by Ashley Trexler
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock

Unmarried Moms are scary, unpredictable creatures.

Staying together, and not getting married? That takes work, just like staying married does. (It also takes blowjobs, but I’m pretty sure that’s every relationship.)

Not only does Every. Single. Bloody. Person want to know when you’re getting married, they also want to know why you haven’t gotten married, and are often offended by the thought you wouldn’t want to get married.

The Chief and I have lived together happily, in mortal sin, for over a decade. Having children was not part of the original plan, but the more important it became to me, the more important it became to him.

See, he’s one of those guys that you just know will make a great dad…if he decides to take the plunge. (Pun intended)

Or maybe that was the hormones talking. Anyway, we surprised a lot of people when we revealed some wonderful news:

I was pregnant.

Not everyone was excited.

From the divorcee who asked me not to raise a bastard (full story here), to my own mother admitting that, just for a second, she thought I might have gotten myself knocked up on the sly (I didn’t), Frenemies of the Unmarried Mom are everywhere.

People fear what they don’t understand. And there’s a whole lot of people who don’t understand why a mom would choose to remain unmarried.

So, who’s most afraid of an Unmarried Mom?

The True Believers: If you’re truly religious (not a Jones, see below), you have every right to be offended by my unmarried marital status. To you, it’s an act against your God, and I’m truly sorry for the upset caused by my living situation.

But your God is not my God. Just like you praise Dawn dish soap and I go to bat for Palmolive (seriously, Palmolive with Oxy-Clean is the shazam), we aspire to different goals in life.

Should I decide to save my soul, I will seek advice. Probably not from you, though. ‘Cause you’re really religious. Just sayin’.

The Joneses: The Joneses are the biggest enemies of Unmarried Moms. While the True Believers want me to see the light, the Joneses just want to out-Jones me.

A Jones is addicted to making things look perfect. Dedicated to shiny, happy hearth and home. A Jones spends a lot outspending fellow Joneses. Starting with the ring.

And there is no ring on this unmarried mom’s finger. Which makes me imperfect. The saddest part is, you’re often the unhappiest of us all, because you spend so much time covering up the messiest parts of your life.

Married Moms: Similar to a Jones, but nicer. You like me, when it’s just us moms. But every time you see me, there’s an instinctive twist of your wedding ring to confirm you’re still happily married.

I am happy you’re happy, mama. But your happy is not my happy.

So let’s crack open a bottle of wine and agree to disagree. And don’t worry, I’m not going to steal your husband just because I’m not “officially” married. Pinky swear.

Do-Good Dads: This one took a while to discover. They look so normal. Dad of the Year, right here. Really, they’re beaten down, forced to attend every birthday party, and told how to dress, talk, drink and act.

A trip to Home Depot requires special ops planning, signed permission slips, and an ETA based on current traffic conditions prior to departure.

Do-Good Dads are instructed to avoid Unmarried Moms. Why? Because an Unmarried Mom is not committed. Or she’d be married. Duh. (Keep up, dear.)

The funny thing is, these are the guys trying to tell me we have to get married. Tales of marital woe and crazy wife talk do not make me beeline for the altar, however, and their subversive tactics usually backfire.

(I’m sorry, Do-Good Dads. I totally want to help you reclaim your right to sit on the couch. But your wife would maim me with that huge rock on her finger. Hey, you put it there. Don’t blame me.)

Childless by Choicers: Unmarried moms scare the shit out of you. Because one broken condom is all it would take to become an Unmarried Mom.

Just wait. Married or not, you might be us one day.

In the meantime, take your birth control regularly, use a condom, and quit trying to get me drunk in an attempt to relive the old days. (I freely admit it: I can’t handle a hangover like I used to.)

How to Spot an Unmarried Mom? You can’t. We roam among you, often mistaken for other moms.

Single Mom? Married Mom with ring off? Childless by Choice aunt? Missing rings cause lots of confusion.

Before you judge me, think about this: If this mama wore a ring on her finger, would you even know the difference? Because I’m a textbook great mother.

If my ringless finger doesn’t bother me, don’t let it bother you. Married or not, I can pay my taxes, raise my child, and bake with the best of ‘em. (Just don’t try my buttercream icing – it tastes like frozen ass. Send me a good recipe if you have one, pretty please.)

Let’s be friends. And I’ll answer your question one more time, but please don’t ask me again: I don’t know if I’m marrying my daughter’s father. Right now? No. In the future? Maybe one day, maybe never.

Only time will tell.

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