The other day I was having a conversation with someone about getting ready for the holidays. I said something like “December is going to be really busy” and she responded with “You have no idea! Things will actually get busy for you when you get married and have kids.” With that statement, the conversation ended and I felt offended.
While I understand that being married and/or a parent adds constraints to a married woman’s schedule, the fact that I’m not married doesn’t mean that I’m not busy. It’s not uncommon for single people to hear comments like this. Even some of my friends who have only been married for a few months say things in passing that make it seem like being single means that your life that has few obligations. I have a full-time job and volunteer weekly at church and for other organizations. I do all of my own laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning in my downtime. I also try to maintain a social life. I may not have kids or a husband, but I have a full life.
As singles, we may have added flexibility in our schedules but it’s unfair (and maybe a little arrogant) for anyone to tell us that it isn’t possible for us to be busy. Those kinds of comments can convey that our lives may be less valuable and fulfilling than if we were married with kids. A lot of single people already struggle with the fact that they’re single, so it doesn’t help when married folks tell us that we aren’t busy.
Instead of playing a game of “I’m busier than you are,” it would be great if our married friends could empathize with us and think back to what it was really like to be single. The holidays can be particularly awkward for single gals who will be interrogated at family gatherings about why they aren’t married yet and the only one at the work Christmas party without a date. I know that married people can be busy, but so can we. We aren’t losers because we haven’t walked down the aisle yet. Be kind to your single friends.