Making mom friends is a lot like speed dating. We stand around the playground watching our kids while checking each other out. My palms are sweaty and the small talk is awkward. If the conversation becomes stale we move along the line to the next mom, hoping to make a connection.
Recently I met a new “mom friend” at the park. I was so happy to meet her. Instantly we talked about everything from exploding diapers to schools to housing prices. The connection was made and my “playground speed date dance” was successful. I totally got her digits with plans for a play date.
Moms tiptoe through the steps of this dance because moms need other moms.
We need someone who is living through the same sleepless nights, development milestones, and obsession with baby purees. Moms need someone who won’t care that you are wearing the same sweatpants for eight consecutive days.
When you have young kids, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. Making mom friends is important, but it’s not easy.
Connecting with other moms that you can laugh with and share your deepest fears with isn’t an easy feat. So pour on the extra perfume and put yourself out there.
Making mom friends 101
Put yourself out there. While eHarmony hasn’t capitalized on the whole mom-friend dating scene, consider the playground your ultimate pick-up zone. Your kids are great little icebreakers at the park. Other great options include the Whistler Public Library, any of the Marketplace coffee shops or a music class. Don’t forget to brush your hair. I always forget this one. How does one forget to brush their hair? Have two or more kids and you will understand.
Make the first move. Hanging out at the monkey bars watching the action is the same as standing against the wall at a junior high school dance. If you see a mom you could connect with, go up to her. Practice some opening lines; a compliment is always a good step. It’s awkward, but if it is someone you click with, it will pass.
Get some contact information. The ice has been broken and a connection has been made. Now it’s time to seal the deal on this new friendship. Be sure to end successful playground connection by exchanging contact information. How does your new mom friend like to converse, email, or text? Don’t worry about being clumsy or awkward. Remember how many sweaty awkward guys got your phone number back in the day? If they can do it, so can you. Take a page out of your junior high school boyfriend’s playbook.
Plan the first play date. Planning a play date can be nerve-racking. Will your new mom friend find common ground while keeping an eye on the kids?
Think about it this way. Best-case scenario, you get to know each other better and swap parenting stories over coffee. Worst-case scenario, the kids scream like banshees, you have nothing to talk about, but you still get to drink coffee. Then it’s back to the playground for another speed date session. Just think how much easier it will be to make a connection the second time around.
Seriously though, many of the connections you make with other moms, even if they started at the playground, may last a lifetime. We all need someone we can call when things seem overwhelming.