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?