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Single Mom Sleeping Arrangements?

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What's a single mom to do when her kid refuses to let mommy have time with her "special friend"?

children peeking from doorway

Single Mom Seeking: I recently went on vacation with my boyfriend -- and my kid. We had a great time going to the beach and snorkeling. What I didn't anticipate or plan for, however, was who would sleep where.

Imagine this: we were staying at a big one-bedroom place -- with a huge couch and a roll-away bed in the living room. (You should also know that I've been a single mom from the get-go. My kid and I have a very tight bond. A committed boyfriend hasn't changed that.)

First thing, I whispered to my boyfriend: "Where do you think everyone will sleep?"

He looked at me like I was joking. "We'll sleep in the bedroom," he said. "And your daughter can sleep on the roll-away bed."

I hadn't really given much thought to bedtime (uh oh!) -- and, yes, my fourth grader would see right through my vulnerabilities.

Anyway, I found the roll-away bed in the closet and pulled it out. It looked a bit sad and frumpy.

Still, I put a fitted sheet on the little cot, with a flowery comforter and a soft pillow. When I sat down on the cot and waved my kid over, she made an icky face. "I'm NOT sleeping there!" she said.

Short story: the boyfriend ended up on the cot (I'm sorry, hon!).

After hearing about my dilemma, my trusted Sanity Fairy, Dr. Leah, shot off an e-mail to me: "Sleeping arrangements are an adult decision. Balking at sleeping on the cot in Hawaii had nothing to do with the cot," she explained.

Indeed, my daughter was testing the limits. How do other single moms handle this sleeping dilemma? What do they do when their kids feel like Mom's boyfriend is in the way? And what do moms do when they feel guilty or vulnerable?

next: Just a Guy, Pouting
11 comments so far | Post a comment now
tom September 12, 2009, 5:58 AM

They should call this site Seriously? If you guys were married this would be a different story. I really wouldn’t want my 10 year-old daughter exposed to guy in the middle of the night. She might rightly feel uncomfortable with the situation. Or… frankly… you could have figured out the arrangements before you left and laid out the ground-rules prior to departure. It’s unfair to completely blame your daughter on this one. Amazing…

tom September 12, 2009, 7:29 AM

bah… my wife disagrees with me. Maybe I overreacted.

Pamala September 12, 2009, 1:46 PM

Well I wouldn’t have even put your child in that situation. I’m a single mom and won’t be vacationing with my child and my bf ever. Sorry not how it works.

Julie September 12, 2009, 2:43 PM

Okay I am in a similar situation.. My daughter is 4 and It’s just been me and her for a long time… me and my fiance.. bf of 3 yrs.. moved in together recently… and she flips whenever we hold hands in the car or give a quick smooch or hug.. she will jump between us pushing us apart.. she will ask to hold my hand so i can no longer hold his even tho that means me reaching backwards.. ive explained to her many times he will never take her place and she will always come first.. she tells me she is jealous these days…. she will throw a fit at even the smallest intimate behavior.. ie. holding hands hugging even blowing a kiss… she will scream “u know im jealous” stop off and slam her door… I tried to explain to her i cant change how she feels about something only she can.. and only she can let me know what i can do to make her feel better.. she says she doent want me to not be with him… but she doesnt want me to love him.. she wants us to be married… and so on.. also i just had a son 4 months ago.. i make sure every time i kiss him i kiss her… she isnnt jealous of him at all.. but she is very rude and cold to my fiance… pushes every effort he makes out the window… and flips over our relationship… any ideas?

tom September 12, 2009, 7:40 PM

Don’t let it get to you. Don’t change your own behavior. Just have your fiance ignore her. Girls fall for that every time.

He has to let it play out for a long time too. Hopefully she’ll realize that he’s not that bad of a guy and flip her reactions.

Philip  October 27, 2009, 7:17 PM

I dated a single mom. We had to hide the sleeping arrangements. It just got a bit stupid, as both her kids knew anyway. I found it better to be single than date a single mom.

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Anonymous October 1, 2010, 3:16 PM

I recently dated a single mom, it was alright from the beginning but later her son starts coming up with stories he could not sleep alone in his room, he comes at night to join us in bed. i had no problem with this, he sneaks to catch us having sex, at night even day time. i accepted him as my own but sometimes i just want to spend time with her alone. the only time we have moments to our selves is sleeping at night. but still comes up with different stories just to sleep in the middle. he is 8yrs old, and not tooyoung to sleep on his own. i totally understand that has been the arrangement before me, and i am not trying to take the childs place.

Marylou Longstreet December 2, 2010, 8:01 PM

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