Monday, July 19, 2010

Finding a mommy friend is like dating all over again.

Being a stay at home mom reminded me of my long lost dating skills (or lack thereof). I'm sure I am not the only one who feels this way.

Being a mom can be socially isolating. Sure you may have a significant other, kids, pets, whatever but without someone with whom you can relate (share stories of diaper rash and vomiting and all he other highlights of motherhood) it can seem like you are very alone. Enter the "mommy dating scene".

The playground is the mommy equivalent to a singles bar. Here is the scenario.

From across the park you see a mom. She looks normal. Her kids are about the same age as yours. You watch from afar for a little bit trying to pick up on some signal that maybe she would be interested in a playdate. Finally you go up to her with the pick up line "Nice diaper bag," or "Want to use my hand sanitizer," or even "Wow, your kid is so adorable".

You wait to see if she wants to continue the conversation. She does! Now you are in business. You sit and watch the kids play as you swap stories about your little one's firsts. After a while one of you says "Hey we should get the kids together some time". Fantastic. You swap digits. She calls the very next day!

Then comes the first playdate. You get there early but she is late. You wonder if she has had second thoughts. You wonder if maybe she forgot. You wonder if the kids just have her running behind. Finally she shows just as you were starting to feel stood up.

The kids play. Yours are having fun and hers aren't acting like brats (which can be a big time deal breaker). She shares goldfish crackers and you supply juice boxes. Everything seems to be going great. You say "We should do this again sometime," and she agrees saying she'll call you.

But she doesn't. Was it something you said? Something you did? You wait a few days as you try to figure out what went wrong before calling. Finally you call her 3 days later (you don't want to seem desperate by calling too soon) and you get voice mail. You leave a message saying "Hi, this is _______. We hung out at the park a few days ago. I just wanted to see how things are going. maybe get together again sometime. Give me a call ________".

Ok, you made the first move. Ball is in her court.... but no call back. Should you call again? Maybe a text? You don't want to seem like a stalker. You can't risk being clingy. You may have already had experiences with the over eager mommy friends who don't give you space to breath. You don't want to be that mom.

You do nothing hoping she will see the light and realize how awesome you are and call you. She doesn't.

When you take your kids back to that park you can't help but look for her. She doesn't show up. Is she avoiding you? Just as you decide to give up on finding a mommy friend a woman sits down next to you and says "Awe, what cute kids."

And your back in the game. It's not a rebound friend... it's another chance and you hope this one goes better.

And when the playground/bar scene doesn't work you can take your hunt online to any number of parenting sites. My favorite is Moms Like Me where I have made several friends myself.

It's tough finding a girlfriend nowadays. You have to b willing to be shot down a few times but keep putting yourself out there. There are a lot of moms in the sea... and if you catch the right one or two or even more your life will be better for it. I promise.


  1. Not at all alone in this. I myself...well...I just told Chris that unless I've already developed a friendship, or aquaintance with you...or it's necessary for some reason- I'm through trying to make friends. In the last year I've had two close friends CRUSH me....

    I adore my friends I have right now- you and all my tampa and wesley chapel moms included!!! I just emotionally dont know if i can put myself out there to MORE people feeling how I do now. (But who needs more when I have you girls!?)

    None of that makes sence probably...and I'm on the verge of bawling lol.

    I <3 you. And your kids are adorable. But you are SOOOOOOOOOO right about it seeming like a "dating" ritual of sorts ...

  2. You know what I love most about mommy friends? They don't leave their shoes all over my house. I have a few I'd marry if given the chance ;-)

  3. Echo... I try very hard not to place any value in people who do not place enough value in me Easier said then done but a good policy to live by if you have the strength.

  4. haha! I once got up the nerve to hand my phone # to a mom I met and had talked several times to at Gymboree - I say, "here's my number" she says "what for?"

  5. Ouch, misread the signals huh? See it's just like dating!

  6. Wow, great post Steffany! I think all of us SAHM's can relate. I never realized how it could be related to old dating scene days. Loved it!!