Oh, it’s that wonderful time of year. Those of us with preschool and school-aged kids are doing our mom-duties of making the rounds of class Halloween parties. My daughter’s was today.
We moved to a new area of town late last summer, and we’re all looking to make new friends – my son, my daughter and me. My husband truly doesn’t care if he has friends or not. Good for him. Anyway, I spend the morning taking a little extra time to look presentable since I would be staying in Darcy’s class for a bit. My traditional hoodie, sweats, and tennies just wouldn’t do this time. Darcy and I walk in, she leads me to a table full of snacks (nothing like rice crispy treats and cookies at 9am) and I sit.
Once again I just notice the lack of interaction between the parents in the room. The kids are playing together, they are drawn to the games set up and talking about costumes. The parents drift over to the games to help, sometimes smiling at the other parent who is wrapping their child in toilet paper or making casual conversation with the kids. But, none of the moms are talking to each other. The teacher, yes, but not to each other. Myself included. I am actually a pretty big introvert by nature. Once I find my tribe you can’t shut me up, but I hate making the first move.
I sat there thinking, “Why isn’t anyone talking to me?”
They’re discussing my kid with their kid in front of me, but haven’t said “hi” to me. I keep looking for an opening to try break out of my box and start a conversation, but of course the moms drift elsewhere before I can. It’s weird and awkward. I’ve been reading “Loving What is: Four Questions that Can Change Your Life”, by Byron Katie, and realize that I shouldn’t be frustrated at the other moms for not talking to me, but instead need to turn it around and see what I can do to start opening the conversation.
The parents finally all parade to the gym to watch the kids’ costume parade. I’m late, of course, because I have to stop for a bathroom break on the way. I see an open spot along the perimeter. Of course most of the women have left a 5 foot barrier between anyone they don’t’ know – all drawn into to ourselves “protecting” from the unknown parents around. I realize the woman standing next to me has a daughter in my dauther’s class. Here’s my chance. I take a deep breath and blurt out, “Do you have a kid in Mrs. Ross’s class”. Phew, I’ve done it. I’m broken the ice – now to wait and see if I sink or not.
The woman smiles and confirms it’s so. We start an awkward conversation of superficial “getting to know you” dialogue. It comes out that she also has a son my son’s age (but at a different school) and we enjoy similar outdoor activities. She seems nice. She seems like some who could be friend candidate – kids the same age, similar age, similar taste – it’s a match. I decide to brave it all and make another move…
“So, since our kids are similar ages, maybe we could set up a play some time?”
“That would be great!” she said!
I left with her number and plans of a playdate soon. SCORE!
But seriously, when did making friends turn into mom-dating? I know I’m not unique to this phrase or idea, I guess I just didn’t take it as a “thing”, but it kinda is, right? Maybe the reason I stink at making new friends is directly related to how much I stunk at dating. I mean, I was almost 30 when I met my husband and we met via Match.com. I keep waiting for them to reach out to feature in a commercial. But anyway, there is something much less intimidating talking to someone online then making the moves in public. Less in-your-face rejection, I suppose. I guess that’s why I’ve been drawn to starting this MoveHealPlay.com website (almost ready, but you can sign up to know when it is). Wondering if I should call it Move (or Heal)ConnectPlay since one of the main reasons for the website is to connect women to each other and set up play dates. I googled “momdates.com” – it’s for sale, but the words associated with it just now quite the traffic I want to bring to the site. Have ideas? Email me and let me know.
Share your own Adventures in Mom-Dating! Leave a comment or email them to me. I’m happy to feature them in a guest blog or post on my FB page. Have a great Halloween!