Ok so you’re out and about getting some time away from the house with your child. Maybe you’re at a music class, play group, Gymboree, school drop off etc. You see a mom who seems nice so you strike up a conversation. They seem receptive and friendly. Yay, you think, maybe she’s the one! The one mom friend meant for a long lasting friendship. The class is almost over and you make your move. “Sally and Annie should get together some time”, you say. Then you feel it, those long few seconds before the answer, where thoughts of whether you will be rejected run through your head. During the longest ten seconds of your life you hope you haven’t said anything weird during the class and you’re remembering, and now kicking yourself, for the messy bun on your head. You should have left it down, aww man you hope this mom recognizes you don’t always look like a hot mess and can see the diamond in the tired rough. Then, FINALLY, the answer, “Sounds great. Here’s my number. “ .... And there it is, you’ve initiated the first step in making a mom friend.
Having young kids who like to socialize and are starting to make friends themselves you are now thrown into a world where YOU also need to be making these new relationships right along with them. I’ve had a main group of friends for more than half my life, some all my life. I love my friends, but I don’t always get to see them as much as I used to and none live in my town where my children will grow up. Now that I’m in this new situation, trying to set up play dates and getting together with other moms, I’ve flashed back to my dreaded dating days and laugh at the similarities.
- After overcoming the awkward hurdle of making plans and spending time with them, things may not have been a perfect fit. Maybe you didn’t have much in common, maybe you realized that they are nice but have been trying to sell you something the entire time you spent together. Whatever you’re reasons, you sometimes have to figure out how to never meet up with them again, yet maintain friendliness because you know you’ll see them around. Not to mention you maybe don’t want to spend another awkward second pretending you may join their sales team or purchase the best serum out there, so their feelings aren’t hurt. Just like an online date, maybe you realize they are nice, just not for you and you prefer to keep the peace.
- After a play date (or real date) you’re left wondering if they liked you. Especially if you enjoyed their company and your kids played nice and all went well. Finally you’ve met a mom you totally vibe with, but is the feeling mutual? Who makes the next playdate plan? What if I try to make another plan and all of a sudden they’re always busy. Just like a great first date, you’re left wondering what they are thinking.
- You have to play it cool. No one wants to feel like they are forcing the play date, the coffee talk or the next get together. You don’t want to seem desperate for mom friends. Yet you want mom friends. Not just any mom friends! Friends who you feel comfortable with and relate to and who’s children play nice with yours. Is there a perfect match for you? How many of these playdates do I have to attend before I find a fit for me and my child? All these questions bringing back flashbacks!
- When you do agree to meet up with another Mom and you see a Mom you used to hang out with, you automatically feel guilty. Will they be upset with me I’m out with someone else? I’m allowed to have other mom friends! I hope they don’t think I’m leaving them out, I still want to hang out with them too.
- And lastly, people are not always what they seem. Sometimes you get to know a mom you thought for sure would be a good match, then you realize this isn’t working, but they are always asking for another playdate. Sorry I’m not sorry, there are other fish in the sea or moms on the playground.
Even with so many anxieties that go along with making new mom friends, finding those who make you feel confident, accept your quirks and the ones who’s playdates turn into true friendships are worth all the nerves of the first step. Just like real love. Good luck out there! Find your tribe … or maybe just a perfect match. Just remember … always be kind.