I am starting to realize my pursuit for mom friends is much like dating. The local park is like my neighborhood bar and my daughter is the closest thing I have to a wingman.
I went to the park today and ran into a mom’s group. They looked around my age, had kids around Mia’s age, and seemed somewhat normal. I found myself hoping they would befriend me and take me in as part of their tribe. My first plan of attack was to nudge Mia along so she could suddenly start playing with one or two of the girls. “Oh, sorry about that”, I said, “She has a mind of her own. ” No dice. I was ignored. I spotted a mom standing alone and used the best pickup line I could muster. “Pardon me, but may I ask you what sippy cup your daughter uses? It has been so hard for me to find one Mia really will take to.” My plan to generate some conversation about product reviews falls flat. “Oh, it’s Gerber. You can find them at Babies R Us.” She walked away. I started to doubt myself. Maybe I am coming on too strong? Is it what I am wearing? Do these running shorts and this sloppy bun make me look too low maintenance? I started to beat myself up. I should put more effort into what I wear out. Why did I ask her about sippy cups? That was the best I could do? Where is my game? Too bad Mia doesn’t talk much. Otherwise I would be able to use her to talk me up. Have you met my mom? This is Kate, she is funny and smart. She loves vodka tonics and David Sedaris. You should meet her.
Then it happened. One of the women walked toward me and introduced herself. She told me this group of women meets every week at the same time at this park. She invited me to join them. I am in, I thought. Finally a chance to meet some mom friends. I asked how everyone knows each other. Then she said it. She told me they met through a church group. I started to zone out. I know myself and I am not a church group sort of friend. It’s not you, I thought. It is me. My idea of fun is not reading bible passages. I just could not see this as a long-term friendship, and at this time in my life my time is limited and I want to reserve that time for meaningful friendships. I reasoned in my mind how I could exit the conversation without exchanging contact information. Maybe she could tell I am not her “mom” type because as I chased after Mia she did not follow. That’s good I thought. It makes it easier on us both.
As I left the park I wondered if I will ever meet mom friends. I don’t have that much time during the week and that will always make it difficult for me to meet anyone quality. Why would anyone want to be my friend when I can’t give them the attention they need? If I really want to meet someone I will need to reprioritize, right? But then again the right kind of friend will probably come when I least expect it. They will get me and it will feel right. They always say when you know – you know.
See what I mean? I am trying to pick up friends. So sad.
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