Mom Dating

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Mom Dating

  Never did I ever imagine after I got married that I’d find myself dating again. Only this time, it’s not to find a significant other.   It’s to find “mom friends.”   As a working mom, I never really thought much about having “mom friends.” But that all changed when I became a stay-at-home mom. After I left my job, I found it super challenging to reconnect regularly with my friends who were still back at the office. My world became less about happy hour and more about Happy Meals- well, avoiding Happy Meals anyway!   Not to mention keeping up on the office drama becomes darn near impossible when you’ve got kids who are into more things than Ryan Seacrest.   I began to feel isolated and lonely, though I was very aware of the fact I was never actually alone (I mean NEVER, like not even in the bathroom- but that’s a whole other post). But I know I’m not the only one- in a recent social media group I belong to, I saw a post by another mom that actually read ISO: A best friend. It was sort of like a mom personal ad. It was then that I discovered that making friends was going to be more like dating…mom dating.   I was really intimidated by the whole thing but I decided it was time to make some friends that I could connect with in my day to day and “do” this season of life with.   Easier said than done.   Turns out, I’m pretty horrible at mom dating- probably because I met my husband when I was 17 (not much in the way of regular dating skills to carry over here). Mom dating comes with a unique set of challenges- have you noticed any of the following?   Being a mom does not mean you have a lot in common with other moms. It’s like looking at a sea of bachelors and assuming most of them will work out simply because they are unmarried men. Sure, being a mom is enough to start up a little chit chat at the park. But if you don’t find a connecting point beyond feeding schedules and sleep deprivation, you’re doomed.   But who can really have a meaningful conversation at a play date anyway? Between pushing kids on the swings and admonishing them not to throw sand at their friends, when were you really going to talk about anything other than feeding schedules and sleep deprivation anyway?   Small talk is really hard for some people. You either are that person (me!) or you are talking to that person (and mom dates are FULL of small talk). Either way, chances are someone is probably feeling self- conscious about it and waiting for the first opportunity to flee the scene.   The overshare. Ever wonder how you randomly started talking about skin rashes with a woman you’ve never met? See point above- RE: Small Talk.   You have no “game.” When you’re dating, you tend to work on making yourself at least somewhat presentable. Let’s get real- I wash my hair every third day and the highlight of my week was the day I did not wear yoga pants…well, did not wear yoga pants the whole day.   Some “moms” aren’t moms. Ever strike up a conversation with a “mom” at a park, only to find out she’s the college-age nanny? Me neither.   Maybe she’s not that into me? You’ll have a great convo with a mom that ends with an enthusiastic “We should get together some time!” Then weeks go by and…nothing. You start wondering if maybe you had a peanut butter cracker stuck to your tush when you walked away but chances are, it’s not really you. Give her a few chances but for goodness sakes, don’t leave her 19 messages before you move on (insert movie reference here).   Okay, before you think I’m a huge head case, I am sort of making fun of myself here. But I’ve also connected with some really wonderful women because I’ve kept at it (as awkward as the process has been at times). Can you relate to the mom dating experience?    

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