I like to call befriending other moms “mommy dating.” It is pretty similar to real dating and just like real dating there are so many variables: where to meet other moms, making the connection, going out for that second (play)date, keeping in contact, when to Facebook friend each other and getting to know one another. It’s a lot of work!
Before getting married, I was very straight forward when meeting someone. For instance, I’ve never been afraid to walk up to a guy, start talking and ask them for their digits (wow, that made me feel old). But starting friendships with other moms (mommy dating) makes me anxious and I have more butterflies in my stomach than a teenage boy asking a girl to homecoming. Just thinking about it right now is making my chest tight and armpits sweat. There is a weird dynamic to making friends as an adult. The pickup line “hey wanna play?” has a totally different meaning when you’re grown. I don’t want to seem too eager or desperate and I’d like to show that I am informed about mommy stuff without sounding like a know-it-all. It’s a very tight rope to balance, but once you’ve made the connection you’re golden!
My tips for mommy dating…
1. Where to meet moms. The park is a great place because it is free and there is almost always someone there. Check your local library or children’s museum for kids events. Getting your kid into a sport or activity is bound to help both of you make friends. Meetup.com usually has playdate groups or you can start your own.
2. Breaking the ice. Talking about a stroller, a toy, or her baby’s cute shoes are all easy ways to break the ice. Also mommy struggles and triumphs are lively ways to connect.
3. Talking about the daddy. Beware. Sounding too happy or unhappy about your relationship can make or break things. Quickly. A little back and forth about silly things The Dads do is ok, but who wants to hear about Mr. Perfect or about the psycho you definitely don’t want your kid around? Keep it to a minimum.
4. Ending the convo. This part is so awkward. The conversation is dwindling down and it’s obviously time to leave by the sound of your cranky, screaming child, but you’re not sure when you should jump in with the line “so… are you going to be here tomorrow?” Or even more awkward, “do you wanna get together… ya know, maybe take the kids to Gymboree?”
5. When to send a Facebook friend request. Ok, so of course you have to check out her page, ya know, just to make sure she isn’t a crazy person. It definitely helps you get a sense of what you are dealing with – vegan, religious, drama queen, “crunchy,” a partier, whatever. And no this is not Facebook stalking! I, I mean you, are merely doing your due diligence and checking out a new person who may be around your child. All-in-all, I’d say wait until you have talked on the phone a few times to see if you two click.
Have any tips or experiences to add? Comment below!