After college, all of my girlfriends scattered across the state. Now that some of us have kids, getting together takes lots of planning and is often thwarted by a sick kid or diaper disaster. While I have made a few amazing online mom friends that I consider myself to be very close to, sometimes you just need to talk to someone in the flesh that isn't the UPS guy.
At first, I stumbled into story time at the local library, assuming that just like me, the other moms would be looking for buddies. Nope. Most moms there already had a friend to sit next to in the circle, leaving me the odd man out. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I'm kind of a catch as far as mom friends go. As long as you don't abuse your kid I'll never judge your parenting choices. I can keep a secret better than a CIA agent and I will always bring baked goods to a play date. I wasn't sure why I was having trouble striking up conversations with other moms. Was it my Basic Mom attire? My bitchy resting face?
I decided to put in a little more effort, planning outfits that looked somewhat put together but were still comfortable. I threw my hair into a braid instead of its usual messy bun. I tried to smile at people and compliment their kids. I hung out in the playroom after story time instead of heading home immediately. I even enrolled my boys in a gymnastics class, hoping the old dating adage of "putting myself out there" would also apply when seeking a mom friend.
My increased efforts have led to a couple brushes with fate, but so far, nothing has panned out. There was the chill mom with cute glasses that came to story time and rolled her eyes at me when Miss Michelle was really getting into her rendition of I'm a Little Teapot. We chitchatted a bit between songs, but as our respective kids started to melt down once story time was over, we parted ways without exchanging names or contact info. She mentioned a much cooler story time at a different library, but the time doesn't work for me, so I may never see her again.
There was the mom I met in the grocery store who stopped me to ask about my kids and shared her excitement at being out of the house without her two little ones. I think we recognized the slightly overwhelmed look in each other's eyes that all moms with young kids seem to have in common. Even though we spoke several times throughout the aisles and checked out in the same lane, both of us were too shy to make the first move.
More recently, I exchanged small talk with a mom at gym class and then ran into her and her daughter at the park the next day, where we chatted again. I haven't been to class in a couple weeks, so I'm hoping that when I go next week she hasn't met someone else.
In comparison, meeting and marrying my husband was relatively easy. I dated throughout college but found myself single in grad school. I had zero interest in dating a fellow law student, so on a lark, I joined an online dating service with a few other girlfriends. I met my husband a few days later when he appeared as one of my "potential matches." We chatted online for about a week before having our first day at an amusement park. Seven years, two kids and a mortgage later, we are happily stuck with each other- a modern day technology inspired fairy tale. Both of my girlfriends who joined the online dating site with me also met their current husbands soon after we signed up.
Maybe there should be an online mom friend finder service similar to online dating. I would love to click a few buttons and create a profile that would vet other potential mom friends. My mom friend profile would read- Likes: vaccinations, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the occasional McNugget. Dislikes: red wine, spiders and the little bald bastard known as Caillou.
I refuse to give up my quest for a mom friend. Winter is coming and I promised myself after suffering alone last year I would try to get some local mom buddies for play dates so that we aren't cooped up alone all winter like some strange sociology experiment that vaguely resembles The Shining. If I can meet the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, surely I can find another mom to share a pretzel with me while strolling around Ikea.