Unless you are in one. Then, I imagine, it’s fabulous. Your kids are all friends with each other and you have your social activities lined up for the next five years. Saturday nights are spent watching chick flicks, braiding each other’s hair and gossiping about boys. Or is that grade school? It all feels very “grade school”, regardless I want in.
My obsession with becoming part of a mommy clique began a few months ago after a local friend of mine invited me to her very well-attended birthday happy hour. I was jealous and I thought to myself, if I had a local birthday happy hour, how many people would attend? Five? Three? And then jealousy quickly turned to fear as I started to worry that my baby would never be invited to any of her future classmate’s birthday parties because I hadn’t bothered to make friends with their moms. Obviously.
My best friends are exactly that, the best, but the nearest one lives 15 minutes away which can feel like light-years. And so I started on my quest to make some local mommy friends.
If you’ve tried to make friends with other mothers then you know that it’s a lot like dating, if not exactly like dating. It can be awkward. You may get dissed. But sometimes what starts as a chance conversation in the park leads to lunch and, before you know it, you are spending romantic weekends away together. With your husbands. And your kids.
Picking up the ladies is the easy part. You can meet other moms at the park, sign up for a Meetup playgroup or join a local Yahoo user group. Most towns have libraries or gyms with children’s programs that are just swarming with moms. If you are working a full time job it can be a little harder to meet other moms, but guess what? Daycare is a great place to make mom friends. And, if all else fails, you can always ask your husband to make friends with the husbands of your desired friends.
It’s always tough to put yourself out there and there’s a chance things may not work out. I have had some disastrous first mom dates in a very small town where you see everyone and their mother on the train platform (my solution: pretend you don’t see them). On the other hand, play your cards right and you may end up with a great local support network to help you out when you need a carpool or provide a much-needed sounding board. And, if things don’t work out, at least you got a nice meal out of it.