*pulls on flame retardant suit*
OK, here goes. I do have a few single friends, but other than those few exceptions, I've found that being married with kids does not gel well with single friends. Why? Because-
My Dh and my kids are a HUGE portion of my life. Yes, I have my own interests, yes, I do things on my own sometimes, but the fact of the matter is, any general conversation (meaning just chit chat, as opposed to talking about a specfic subject) is about 98% guaranteed to include them because they are involved in the majority of my desicions and actions that I make and take every single day. Lots (not all) of single people don't quite understand that. I've heard and seen comments (including on this forum) about single people not liking it when married folks talk about their spouses 'all the time', and I've especially seen the discussions involving those with kids and those without kids and the ones without kids don't like all the kid talk either, and complain about it quite a bit. It's pretty hard not to talk about your spouse and your children if you are happily married and a good parent. Being those things requires that those people take up a majority of your time and effort, which means a great deal of the events in your life worth talking about involve them.
On the flip side of that, it's hard for me to relate to some of the things single people converse about too. The dating scene. I'm so far out of that, I have no idea how to keep up my side of a conversation involving it. There have been times when I can't relate to my single friends money issues as well. When someone's complaining about not having enough money to vacation out of the country, it's a bit hard to sympathize when you are just happy to have enough to buy new shoes for the kids. Also, single people tend not to understand why you have enough to buy your child the expensive gift he's begged all year for for Christmas, but say you can't manage to do the weekend long beerfest at the beach that year. Nothing wrong with either of these things, its just different priorities.
My Dh and children come first. I made that my obligation when I got married and had children. When I tell a friend that I can't go to their birthday party because it's my son's play-off game, it's because I have a responsibility to put my son first. That includes making him feel supported and important to me by not missing his games. I don't want to hurt my friend's feelings, but in a choice between them and my son, guess who wins?
I prefer to spend my time with my friends who are also married and those who have children because they better understand my obligations and my reasons and usually have the same ones. We can happily chit chat about nothing and still not be bored to tears because we go through the same sort of stuff every day. We're comfortable together and no one has to watch what they say or do because we might bore each other or the other person might not relate or we might hurt their feelings. It's easier and less stressful.
Also, my married with kid friends understand how little time there is to get together and don't get upset or offended if I don't talk to them for a week or two sometimes. Working a normal 8 to 5 job doesn't always mean everyone gets time. I work 7 to 3. I have a home to tend to, two children who have homework, ball (there's always some sort going on), Scouts, music lessons, youth league, karate, and church choir. I have a home based business as well as taking internet classes towards a college degree. I have several animals who require time and attention (including a very emotionally needy cockatoo and bassett hound), and a couple of hobbies I like to attempt to do when I can. Dh is just as busy with work, coaching, being on the bowling association as well as bowling, among other things. When you do get an extra minute, sometimes you just want to decompress a little, not entertain (like right now when I'm on this board instead of working like I should be).
THis doesn't always make for a lot of time for friends. My married with kid friends get this. Sometimes, my single friends do not. Even if you explain it, it comes off as Dh and kids comming first and them getting seconds. And it's true I guess, but it's not really meant in the brutal way it sounds. I love my friends, married and single, but I love my Dh and kids more.
Does that make me an awful friend? I don't think so.