You’ve seen her in line in front of you at the supermarket. You’ve seen her texting away while her child hangs from the monkey bars at the park. You may have even seen her wearing yoga pants and pushing a stroller down the sidewalk or loading bags into her car.
She’s a mom, and you want to date her.
Okay, let’s back the heck up.
Why do you need to mom-date?
Wait, what is mom-dating anyway?
“Mom-dating” is a phrase I’ve coined to mean “seeking out mothers like you whom you wish to be in the company of”.
Mom-dating can have a downside though: sometimes we can’t be very choosy about the mom friends that we do make and thus, become friends with someone solely because they also have kids.
MOM-DATING CAN HAVE A DOWNSIDE THOUGH: SOMETIMES WE CAN’T BE VERY CHOOSY ABOUT THE MOM FRIENDS THAT WE DO MAKE AND THUS, BECOME FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE SOLELY BECAUSE THEY ALSO HAVE KIDS.
That’s not to say you can’t end up having a satisfying friendship with someone you met first and foremost as a fellow mother.
But, there have been cases where I’ll be at the park with my daughter and The Other Mom is also there with The Other Child. Our kids start talking to each other (or in Pumpkin’s case, she goes to the child’s face and makes loud verbal observations), and then one of us starts the horribly awkward “hey-we’re-both-here-at-this-park-and-our-kids-are-talking-so-let’s-talk-too” conversation.
Why do we put ourselves through this hell? At the end of the day, as anyone who has a child knows, it takes a parent to truly understand another parent.
For me, that means, any new friends I make from now on have to be parents first. Most of my friends—moms and otherwise—don’t live in the same city as me. Same goes for family. If I have to make new friends, I need to mom-date.
These women I’m sure are all lovely people; the irony about most (though not all) of the mom friends I’ve made are really only in my life because they have offspring. They’re nice enough to talk to, but the biggest thing we have in common is our children. In another life, I don’t know if I would be otherwise running into, let alone talking to any of these people at all.
EVERY PARENT BECOMES X’S MOM OR Y’S DAD, SO WE DON’T BOTHER ASKING FOR A FIRST NAME. IT ALMOST SEEMS WAY TOO DIRECT TO INQUIRE.
Case in point: whenever I go for a party in Pumpkin’s class, I say hello or smile at a few moms. The eye contact is brief for both of us, and the smile feels forced. When we introduce ourselves, it’s Hi I’m Pumpkin’s mom. Oh hi, I’m Timmy’s mom. It’s like we both know that’s the only reason we’re talking. Every parent becomes X’s mom or Y’s dad, so we don’t bother asking for a first name. It almost seems way too direct to inquire.
But here’s the rub: moms need to mom-date. We need to network with other females who get what we’re going through day to day.
When Peanut tries to take off her own diaper and her hand smells suspiciously of poop, although I can’t prove anything, I need to know I’m not alone in this.
When Pumpkin refuses to eat a meal and I’m too tired to make her finish, I’m relieved to hear another mom relate a similar story.
Mom-dating, while at times awkward or seemingly unorganic, can pay off greatly if we happen to meet another mom with whom we genuinely connect—even if we have to paste on a plastic smile to get there.
Do you find yourself mom-dating? Do you find it awkward or fun?