Meeting mom friends is an awful lot like dating.
You have to have the right social situation to meet, you have to be open and friendly, have good topics to chat about, and be available. I was never a great dater, and I can honestly say that I don’t find mom dates easy either. In fact, I suck at it.
As moms we are often told to find our village, or to create our tribe, that we need support and friendship. All true. Many moms are great at this — they join a mom’s group, attend a couple of meet-ups and they are solidly connected with supportive and lovely women experiencing similar challenges and accomplishments. However, for some mamas this is easier said than done and I happen to be a member of the latter group. Some of us are just not good at “mom dating.”
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I want to be a member of the easy breezy mom friends group, but for whatever reason I’ve never really connected in that way.
I’ve failed the mom dating challenge.
I’m not socially awkward, nor am I shy per se. In fact, I can be charming and gregarious on occasion, but I think I would describe myself as aloof, or standoffish in most social situations; it just takes me a while to warm up or have people warm up to me. I’m definitely not good at small talk. I would rather have a deep conversation about world events than chat about a reality TV show. I also tend to have my guard up, as childhood slights often times dictate my adult behavior. Vulnerability doesn’t come easy for me.
I’m always surprised to learn that other moms have gotten together outside of the original social context. When did they make plans? Did they exchange numbers? How did they do that? Why didn’t they ask me? Or more importantly, why didn’t I ask them?
Surprisingly, I’m learning my sense of isolation is not uncommon. A lot of moms that I’ve talked to feel like other moms have it all figured out — they have their support group, rich social calendars and that special mom friend on speed dial. I too have lovely friends on my speed dial and anyone can make themselves busy with social activities, but I think what I and many moms are craving is that deeper connection to a community that promises support and understanding; someplace or someone that we can connect with on a bad day, pick up the phone for a friendly chat, or just see what’s up in another person’s world beyond what they post online.