Why Meeting Mom Friends Isn’t Easy

Ever change schools growing up? I did – a few times. Can we say BRUTAL?

First I moved from a Catholic school over to a public school when I was in 3rd grade. I’ll never forget stepping onto the playground for the first time at morning recess. I knew no one. To top it off, I was quite small for my age, making everyone else (from my perspective) look like they were in high school.  And I’ll never forget that ONE girl. I kid you not she was rocking a short, curly hipster hairdo, a shimmery gold jacket, purple suede boots, and a Debbie Gibson hat. BAM – no prisoners for that one. She was on fire, just waiting to take out anything that got in her way. Instantly I was intimidated. Not one friendly nun to be seen. Welcome to public school, pipsqueak. You’re on your own.

What happened next?  I figured it out. We all eventually do. It took throwing myself into soccer games and any other activity I could find. Soon enough, the other kids started talking to me and I began to find my group of friends. We got super close. So close that I actually cried at our 8th grade graduation because I happened to live on the opposite side of the river as everyone else. Do you know what that means? Different high schools. Awesome. Time to start over. Again. Super.

High school was so much easier. NOT. Cue MUCH older looking girls with boobs that I certainly did not have, hot teenage boys, city kids, drugs, alcohol, and quadruple the population of my last school. Lucky for me, my mom was a teacher in middle school for the town that several of the kids at this high school went to. This would either help me or seriously hurt me. Might I add that my mom used to dress up as a globe for social studies lessons? That’s right, she would trek out of our house wearing a ginormous world. Super cool.

Fortunately (and to my utter surprise)  a few days into high school I am interrupted by shouts from a few guys: “Oh my gosh! No way! Mrs. Toland’s daughter!”

I found out she was one of their favorite teachers, globe costume and all. Never could I have imagined my mother helping me make friends in high school. I’ll take it, I thought. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Within days I was introduced to a group of girls who ended up becoming my best friends on the planet (no pun intended, mom). We had sleepovers, talked on the phone, slipped each other notes in class, and together we ran from the cops when our back woods bonfire/keg parties got raided on the weekends. It was so much fun. A dream. And then before I could blink, it happened. We graduated. All ten of us threw our black hats in the air and took off to different colleges.

It was time to start over, again. Ugggh.

Enter college-age me. Going through the exact same brutal “meet new friends” process. Seriously? Luckily, these things continue to work themselves out. Eventually you meet your new group of college friends, create insane memories together, and get super comfortable. BAM – right in time for graduation.  It’s been fun. Time to go home or wherever you need to go to get a job. If you’re like many of us, it means you have to travel to see your college friends maybe once or twice a year if you’re lucky. Time to make new friends. Again…

Depending on where life takes you next, you may face an additional stage where friend-making is once again a brutal start-from-scratch process.  Many of us begin to find ourselves and our independence, and then once again, life takes a turn. Some of us get married, some of us don’t. Some want kids, some don’t. Some of us try for a baby. Some of us adopt. And for some of us it will happen unexpectedly – maybe even before one or a few of the previous stages mentioned.  Regardless, all of us reading this experience a similar change: We all become moms.

Cue the most challenging friend-making time of our lives. Hold onto your carpets ladies because they are about to get pulled out from underneath you.  In an instant we find ourselves back where we started – back on that damn playground again with the same Debbie Gibson lookalikes frolicking around us. As in high school, the number of people we have to choose from to be our friends is overwhelming. How do we know if we will make the right decision?

You know, I thought that one mom was pretty cool until she invited us over for a playdate and showed us all of her husbands impressive guns in the back room. Time for a mommy breakup!

And just like college, logistics eventually play a part. Listen, I want to be your mom friend, but there is absolutely no way I will be able to meet you for a playdate after work if you live 45 minutes away. Not happening. Maybe we can get together once or twice a year? Where do you even meet mom friends? At the park? Grocery store? Gas station? HELLO, AWKWARD.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s toss in the new dynamic of KIDS. Will our kids get along? Are they at a similar stage? Is your child going to dropkick my child in the face because he has no manners? Will my child gross you out because lunch time means food everywhere and if you’re lucky he’ll find his way into his poopie diaper and start a poop war in your living room? It’s probably a good idea to gauge the compatibility of our children. Or if you’re cool enough, I don’t care. Let the dropkicking and poop wars begin. We can just kick back and enjoy some much needed adult conversation while our children destroy the place and each other. Should I bring wine?

Lucky for all of you, a few moms who have seriously been there (oh my GAWSH, the stories) came together to try and help you out. Mom Meet Mom was built to give you a little push toward the right group of mom friends. You have so many other things to worry about – why worry about how to make mom friends? Our goal is to help you skip over the whole awkward throw-up-from-anxiety I’d rather lock myself in the house phase. The best part: all of the moms on our site are there because they want to meet YOU. How cool is that? Oh, and they probably live right around the corner (go figure), and have kids that your kids might actually want to hang with. So before you freak out because EVERYTHING IS CHANGING, head on over to Mom Meet Mom and find your new best mom friends.

P.S. I bet you’re wondering what ever happened to Debbie Gibson. Wait for it….. she’s one of my best friends still today. Go freaking figure. You just never know.

Good luck mamas… you’re gonna do just fine 😉

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3 Responses

  1. I moved to SF from Kansas 3 years ago, and making friends in this city is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do… and making MOM friends is even harder than that! It’s so hard – if you see a mom that looks cool, child same age as yours, what do you do? Do you just go up to them and say “Hi, will you be my mom friend?” That approach doesn’t work past middle school. THEN, even if you’re brave enough to start up a conversation on the playground, she leaves and you realize you never even caught her name, letalone any information to meet up with her again. SO frustrating. I haven’t made it to the playdate stage yet- THAT will be fun, I’m sure.

    • You know what’s funny, Barbara? I now make a habit out of of trying to pick up mom friends in the grocery store and at the park. Why? Because we all want to hang out but no one has the guts to make a move. Are they surprised when I ask for their digits? Yes, but most of the time they get giddy excited because meeting mom friends is such a pain for everyone. Go out on a limb…what’s the worst that could happen? Oh, and playdates can start right away – no need to wait. Have you found any San Francisco moms near you via the Mom Meet Mom MomFinder? We are actually rolling out a pretty awesome new local Socials feature that will really up your chances of meeting a cool new mom bestie. xoxo

  2. I *LOVED* this article! It pretty much summed up my experience in life. Right now I’m definitely locked up in the house because I keep having failed mom relationships. I have resorted to trying to pick up mom friends at the park-about 5 times now-and none have ever called me back. I promise I’m not crazy and I even give them my number so they don’t feel weird giving out theirs but to no avail. I have given up on the whole park/library scene. I’m in a rut. My poor kid

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