Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dating and the Married Mom

It’s true. I admit it. My husband has said he looks at my blog sometimes and he’ll see it right there in black and white. And what will happen then? Well, he’ll probably ask me how my dates are going and if I’m making any progress breaking into the Moms groups around here.

Yes, you see! Not nearly as tawdry as you thought. I’m not dating men. I’m dating other Moms! Wait… now that sounded a little tawdry too… Let me try again. I’m “play-dating” other Moms!

The longer I've been trying to find other moms – people with kids my daughters age, people I can hang out with, people I have something in common with! – the more it begins to feel like the old dating game. Worse, actually. See, I’m shameless now. I’ve tried “e-baby” (ok, not really – my husband says that there should be an e-baby or maybe baby-harmony to meet your Mom mates) - checking out all the meet up websites and groups. I’ve tried the Mom version of 8 minute dating. The real dating version was so much more fun… But then again, I think I was less desperate in my single status than as a Mom! I’ve tried friends of friends (or wives of friends). And I’ve gone with the old standby of straight up pick up lines! It’s just now I’m doing them at the back of church rather than a bar. And they sound more like “so how old is your baby?” rather than “do you come here often?” (Disclaimer: I think it’s important to note that I’m almost positive I NEVER actually used that line. Almost… Well, maybe ironically…)

You know, now that I think of it, I’ve really even done personal ads… web based personal ads, but still… Oh God, I’m starting to feel like a loser… How did I get here...?

In those early days of mommyhood, my Mom stayed with us for a few weeks and she was NEVER more welcome in my home than then! When she left I cried and wondered how I’d make it through every day, as my husband was working crazy hours. I started to feel lonely, so I started to reach out to look for moms groups, but by the time I found them it was nearly time to go back to work anyway.

I kept looking for groups, but it seemed hard to figure out around my work schedule (and his!) and now we were thinking of moving – maybe I should just wait for our new neighborhood… And I put it off. The truth was I think I was a little scared of the moms groups. The only woman I knew who was really involved in one from a prior job was … oh gosh, how to describe her? I’ll go with a little narcissistic and a bit ditzy. I had this vision that the groups would be filled with clones of her.

But once we moved I started to notice again how VERY long those days off at home alone with the baby could be. So I started looking again. And this time with a vengeance. One of my problems on this front has always been my husband’s work schedule. I really want to find groups when he’s at work. Because if he’s home, we really like to have that family time together. The problem is – everyone else feels the same way! And their schedules are totally different than ours. So, where I may want to be home when he is on Thursday and Friday, they want to be home with their families on Saturdayor Sunday when my husband is at work. I started to realize I probably needed to compromise on this to establish the friendships. (Then, once they saw how awesome I was wouldn’t they all want to change?! Ha!)

So, step 1. My church stalking / desperate card distribution! One of my friends insisted that staying home, you’d start to meet other people “naturally.” If you are in the grocery store at 10:30 am on Tuesday, a good number of the other people there are probably stay at home moms too. You’ll see babies your daughter’s age and just start talking. I have yet to find this to really be the case. Instead I tried the crying area at church. The key was to try to find a Mom who looked reasonable / like someone I could get along with, who had a child my daughter’s age and ideally did not have other older kids. If she already had kids, she’d totally already be in the playgroup circle – and, man, are those Moms circles ever hard to break into!

I started flinging out my card with a vengeance! Oh, your son likes trucks, my husband’s fire station participates in “truck day” in the county. Here’s my card. Why don’t you send me a message and I’ll find out when it is? Oh, your daughter is just a little older than my little girl? Hey, here’s my card! Oh, your son is so cute – why don’t you take a card?

And here I have to turn to the great wisdom of Jersey Shore to say – “it’s a numbers game. If I give out my number / call 30 different girls, at least a couple of them will be into hanging out with me.” (No, I didn’t memorize Jersey Shore. I’m paraphrasing.)

And, as it turned out – ONE mom did respond! And we actually had a play date. And it was fun! No, she’s not my new best friend. But she’s a cool person who I could hang with again.

Desperation – 1, Dignity – 0.

As this is getting very long, I’m going to do separate posts on other “dating methods.” But I’m hardly done with my pursuit! So I turn it to you – what have you done to meet other moms? Find playgroups? What were your most desperate moves? Your most successful?


  1. I had worked for twenty two years when my daughter was born and only been living in the US for two years with no family here at all. So when I decided to stay home and not go back to work I found myself completely on my own, all day long every day of the week. I decided I had to do something about it for the sake of my sanity and also because I wanted my daughter to socialize with other people and eventually make little friends of her own. It was really hard - talking to Moms with babies of similar age in the grocery store or at a restaurant etc doesn't really work. I never tried any Moms clubs but for some people these can and do work really well. What I did was take my daughter to the local library story time for babies and later for toddlers and there I met some nice Moms and we formed a play date group there. I also tried some different Mommy and baby classes at My Gym, KinderMusik and Gymboree and made some friends that way too. You have to go places and do things that other Moms with babies do, but in an environment where you get a chance to talk also. Hope that helps! I know how hard it can be but keep persevering, there are lots of other Moms feeling exactly the same out there and wishing they could find some new friends too!

  2. I started a blog all about my love for my daughter. Haha!

    I totally know how you feel! The only thing that is sometimes worse is trying to stay connected with old friends who don't have kids yet...it's like we live on two different planets!

    My hubby and I are relocating soon...I'm going to file these tips away for my not-too-distant-future notice.

  3. I totally know how you feel. In fact, reading the process you went through sounded a lot like my own. I still struggle with finding moms that I want to spend time with during the day. I must say, though, that sometimes I get tired of being with moms whose kids are too close in age to my own little guy. I feel like it's a constant comparison of what the kids are like and our parenting techniques. It's exhausting. It's nice to have those friends so they can relate to what you're going through, but on the other hand kids develop at very different rates and have very different personalities, so they might not relate at all! I think that it's been helpful to find a couple people who had more than one child or a child significantly older or younger than mine, too. They're not my new best friends, either, but they do help me fill the time with a little laughter and a break in the monotony.

    Can't wait to read more about your dating adventures! I should work on my own and blog about it, too. : )

  4. I was so lucky...I had three best friends, and we all got pregnant with our first kids at the same time (no we didn't plan it). all 4 kids were boys, and three of the four were born within a month of each other. So i kind of had a built-in playgroup. other than that, i meet moms at church. i feel for you -- i don't know what i would do with myself if i couldn't inflict my terror of a two year-old son on some other poor mom at least one day of the week. good luck!

  5. Ahh I just lost my blog comment. There's something wrong with blogger I think. Anyway what I said was, thanks for the comment yesterday.
    I think there a lot more mums out there than you may think feeling the same way. And you deserve a dignity point for all your efforts.

  6. It does feel like dating, doesn't it?

  7. My kids are older than yours (they are 8 and 9) but I SO remember being in your shoes. The hubby and I had a not-so-brilliant idea: why not move across the country where neither of us know a soul and start a family? He got a great job--financially; otherwise not so great as it meant he had to travel overnight ALOT! And, not only was it a cross-country thing it was a cross-cultural thing.

    I kept thinking I was crazy--how could I feel so alone when I was with my kid(s) 24 hours a day? But I did feel it and I was lonely. I also hit that desparation for a fellow mom to hang with.

    I really have no sage advice except to just relax and let it happen naturally. Honest. What saved my sanity was that my kids are 13 months apart (it wasn't planned, but we love her anyway). I was so exhausted when she was a baby that I really didn't have the energy for that frantic search for fellow moms. Instead, I'd go to playgrounds and other public areas and let them play as much as they could or just sit in the double stroller while I fed them or something. After a while, I noticed I had moms as friends. I'm not sure how or exactly when, and I think it was a long while, but eventually it happened.

    Then we made another cross-country move, this time to the state where my husband grew up. I thought it would be easier because he knew people here. It wasn't. But I decided I wasn't going to make myself nuts. And eventually I made some great friends, just by relaxing and letting things happen on their own.

    The key is to Get Outside! I don't care what the weather is. I don't care if the only place you have to go is to the mall where you "mall walk" for exercise or sit on a bench and people watch with your kid. Find a park. Find a museum. Find a clean bench on a downtown road. Get out there and relax.

  8. I've been having these same issues since we recently moved across the country where I know no one and have no family. It's pretty isolating. I'm hoping the church thing will pay off and hopefully things will really get moving when my son starts preschool. ;)

  9. I can imagine how hard that is! I have no kids yet...but I can only imagine! Hang in there! :)


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