Chronicles of a New Mum: Mum Dating and the (Awkward) Quest to Make New Friends, with Babies.
She seemed like friend potential. But I was nervous to make the first move. Do I complement her diaper bag? Ask if she knows of any good parks around here? Say something about the pasta selection? (No, definitely not.) What should my “pickup line” be? Making mom friends was like dating, but worse. My hair was a mess (and there was probably some dried spit-up in there if you looked closely). I was wearing my husband’s hoodie and Uggs that were well past their prime. I was in no condition to woo anyone right now. And the whole thing just felt so bizarre. Oh, look, another person with an infant. Let’s be instant friends!
Before I could obsess any longer, she asked, “How old is your daughter?”
We started chatting and discovered we had a lot in common right off the bat. Our babies are close in age, we live in the same neighborhood, and both of us can’t seem to make it out of the house before noon. I mustered up the courage to ask if she wanted to meet up for coffee one day soon. We exchanged numbers and made a plan for next week. I walked home with a skip in my step. (Well, not technically... my daughter started crying and the bags of groceries were really weighing down the stroller basket. But making plans was still a win!) Best-case scenario, she’s my future BFF. Worst-case scenario, we grab a latte, trade sleep deprivation stories, and amicably part ways.
Friendships have always come easy to me. Before becoming a mom I never anxiously hoped someone would talk to me in aisle five at the grocery store. Now I feel like the new kid at school, with no one to eat lunch with. Mom dating takes guts. There are pickup lines (“Do I know you from story time?”) and pickup scenes (the park is a major late-morning hotspot). There’s anxiety about texting first, or too soon. There’s the worry of rejection or feeling like an outsider amidst the crew hanging out by the swings.
But I think it’s safe to assume that anyone pushing a stroller during the week between the hours of 8 and 6 is just as desperate to discuss failed nap schedules and reality TV with another equally clueless new mom. Once my daughter gets older and we join some classes, I’m sure new friendships will form more naturally. But in the meantime, the grocery store isn’t a bad start.