Mom Dating. Who would have thought that after being married for 5, 10 or 15 years that we would be stuck again in that “asking someone out” stage? Because that’s exactly what attempting a friendship with another mom is like. There is no Match.com for moms seeking moms for friendship and commiseration, so we are left like animals in the wilds of school functions, playgrounds, and baseball fields.
Had I known before I had a child that I would be tossed back into the throes of middle school as a mom, I might have opted to continue living the socialite life of a married woman with a dog. Of course, this is where I proclaim my love for my child and tell you that I wouldn’t trade him for the world blah, blah, blah…
The only thing that has changed from then until now is in middle school when girls were mean I was anxiously awaiting my period. Now, I’m anxiously awaiting menopause. Other than that, there are still girls on playgrounds gossiping and judging and waiting for their little angels to be dismissed from elementary school. We are all guilty of it, I know. I try hard to not be as guilty of it as others, but it happens.
However, there have been many times where I’ve had the opportunity to chat or volunteer with a mom and get to know her better. I’ve met a mom or two whom I realized was a cool one in the bunch, someone who seemed on par with things that are important to me in parenting and who enjoyed occasionally bellying up to the breakfast bar in her pajama pants with a juice tumbler of wine on a Saturday night after the kids are in bed ready to dissect Real Housewives of every city in America.
I jumped ahead, though. Once you get to drinking in your pj’s you have established a friendship, so let me back up. It’s that time after chatting a bunch at school functions and finding out that she, too, considers pajama pants appropriate attire for anything (I obviously highly value women who enjoy comfort). After I’ve learned that she equally values working out hard and eating dessert harder, it can be natural to want to take it one step further and ask the anxiously anticipated fear of rejection question, “Want to grab coffee?”
Instead of going straight for the solo date, maybe a good strategy would be to use the kids as an excuse like, “Hey, want to take the kids out for ice cream?” then if the group date goes well, we can exchange email addresses (is getting a phone number to text too soon? I don’t know!). Then we can ease into that shared coffee on a Saturday morning while the hubbies have the kids at baseball practice.
Little kids have no problem walking up to another child at the park and calmly and ever-so-coolly asking, “Want to be my friend?” to which the reply is usually an enthusiastic, “YES!” and off they go running to discover their love of sliding, jumping and spinning in circles. Why can’t moms be like that? After we’ve chatted it up at a few soccer games one mom should just be able to turn to the other mom and excitedly ask, “Want to go shoe shopping?” to which the other would reply “Of course!” and both moms giggle off to the department store while planning an evening of pajama-wearing wine drinking while watching almost any show on Bravo.