Friday, December 18, 2015

When Moms Date... Other Moms


We moved two months ago (sheesh, has it already been THAT long?!) It feels like an eternity and a day all at the same time.

Back in my hometown are my best friends from childhood and several other very good friends that I dearly love. For the past couple years I haven't made a lot of new friends, because my friend bank has been rather bountiful.

And, then we moved... It's not a secret that I've been lonely. A naturally social person leaving all my best friends has been a rough transition. Leaving my weekly girl's night, leaving our bible study, leaving our church, leaving, well everything... yeah. I miss my peeps - and you know who you girls are.


So I've had to put myself out there - market myself per se. I like to talk, so it's not hard to strike up a conversation - and having kids makes it easer. "Oh! You have a kid! How old? What's their name? Cool name! My kid's names are..." and so on, so forth.

Here's the thing, I'm used to the conversations that happen when you meet other moms, but I'm not used to the "mom dating" because let's just call it what it is. If you're another mom and I'm trying to be your friend we call it a play date, but really it's more of a date so to speak and we're trying to not only see if our kids can be friends, but if we can be friends. Like, good friends, you know?


I even downloaded an app called momco - an app that helps you find other moms in your area to meet up with. My husband is really the one who said, "So basically it's a dating app for moms?" Well, sure, yeah.

Dates can be really awkward, especially when you're trying to *not* be awkward. Why is that?! That just seems unfair. Maybe it just feels awkward to me, but it's just little things like when I say all nonchalant, "I'm just going to throw some dinner in the crock pot - be right back!" mid play date (because really I'm trying to impress her that I'm actually on top of the dinner scene), and the other mom comes in and asks me what I'm cooking. We have a larger than average family, so when I buy food I usually buy it in bulk. In that moment I was stuffing a huge piece of pork - basically an entire pig in my crock pot and I said, "Easiest recipe ever! You just throw some whole berry cranberry sauce over a pork and put some chicken broth in with it and then apples at the end. Six hours later - bam!" And she says, "Oh we don't cook a lot of meat." Suddenly the meal I'm cooking seems a little extreme. "Oh well you know, I'm on a diet and meat is protein!" I explain.

I find myself allowing my kids to behave differently because we're trying to impress people and then halfway through thinking, "Wait! This is fake!" Then I go all crazy and start telling the other person what kind of My Little Pony I am... I said Twilight Sparkle, but I'm reneging that one - I'm really Rainbow Dash.  Fortunately that time they totally joined in (we're destined to be good friends, I think).



I asked someone once how they'd met their significant other and they said, "I actually put up a craigslist ad saying I wanted to meet up with someone and just pretend that we'd known each other for a long time, because I was sick of the dating scene."

THAT.

All the preliminary dosey doe-ing. All those questions - the ones that you have to go through to get to really get to know people. All the silly stuff that seems really unimportant, but at the same time tells you a lot about the other person. Like, what they do in their spare time, what do they read, what do they do for fun, what types of food do they like, what do they do with their kids, how do they take their coffee, do they even drink coffee at all, where do they shop...

I'm finding that I'm putting myself out there more than I have in a very, very long time. In a lot of ways it's great. It's fun to get to know people and it is stretching me. It's like I'm exercising a body part that I haven't used in forever and a day and I'm enjoying that. It's also work, just like any type of exercise is.


The thing is, most of us are relational. We're not built to be hermits, spending most of our time inside and only coming out when we've run out of food. We want relationships, we desire companionship, and most of all we want to be known and accepted for who we are - flaws and all.

So, when I start going off the chain and saying things like, "Sometimes I yell at my kids." (i.e. I'm not perfect, I get angry). Or, "We eat off of paper plates quite a bit!" (i.e. I'm not always environmentally friendly). Or, "I like to dance crazy at weddings." (i.e. I'm fun and also not a total conservative). It's because I want you to like me despite the fact that I'm not perfect.

I also want to know I'm not the only one who identifies with My Little Pony characters, eats pig for dinner, and drinks way too much coffee.

Can we be friends?







12 comments:

  1. I moved this year too - so tough to start again. But I read a blog post early on about "going first" - being willing to ask and initiate and put yourself out there and I made it my mantra. I've been amazed at all the relationships that have grown. Praying it's true for you too.

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    1. I love that. It seems like a common theme among women who have moved. Making that first effort, putting yourself out there, being open - it's a necessary part of the process. Thank you so very much for commenting!

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  2. This is a great post. I moved last year, and I totally understand what you're talking about. I wonder if the app is any good? Let us know. :)

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    1. The app seems like it consists of a lot of younger moms with 1-2 kids. (At least in my area). There is a great post out there about being lonely. It's called, "Are You Lonely, Mama?" and the woman who wrote it has a Lonely Mamas Map. Here's the link: http://www.whenathome.com/lonely-mamas-map/ I looked at it and think it's great. I think a lot of moms are lonely, even if they haven't moved. <3

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  3. Even though I've lived in my area for over a decade, I have found myself "dating" other moms since I'm home during the day and most of my pre-baby friends, even the ones who have since had kids, work during the day (and don't all live super close). Sadly, my closest mom friend, the one who lived two blocks away and had a daughter a month older than mine and who I could relate to so well, moved away this summer. Ever since I haven't found quite the same mom friend and something definitely feels like it's missing from my life, so I can definitely relate!

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    1. Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I think in some ways it must be even harder to start over in your own area. I think there is an acceptance when you move yourself that you're going to have to move on and strike out. When you're still in the same place, though... that's different. Prayers for you to find a new group of people to relate to. <3

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  4. I'm more of a Fluttershy. I wish I had more initiative and was less introverted when it came to making friends...I miss the feeling of having close girlfriends. And I haven't moved (more like my friends did). This is a great post and I can totally relate. Thanks for being so honest!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Meredith! I love Fluttershy. I kind of wish I was soft spoken and sweet like her, but alas. ;) I wish *we* lived closer. We could totally hang out.

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  5. I can't imagine moving, though my husband and I talk about it sort of frequently, to the point where I know one day, it might happen and that day may be kind of soon. You seem awesome, so any mom that you meet would be lucky to have such an honest, down to earth friend like you. I hope you get into your groove in your new home, my friend! Great post.

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    1. What a sweet comment! It's so fun to talk about moving. For a long time before we moved we discussed different places we would like to move to if given the chance. California was never on my radar before. I thought a place like Colorado would suit me well. Funny, the changes that happen, and sometimes so suddenly. I hope that if you move you end up loving where you go!

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  6. How's this for 'mom of the year': When my second son was about three years old, I was having one of those days. I was exhausted, people kept talking, I was getting food on the table, I desperately needed sleep, and he kept asking questions. I was ready to lose it. And then he asked me this one: 'What happens if you don't get enough sleep?" I was so exhausted that I couldn't stop the words that came out of my mouth. I looked right at him and in all seriousness I said, 'If you don't get enough sleep, you'll DIE.' I could see my husband's mouth drop open and his eyes bulge out of his head. In my exhaustion it made sense to me. Without restorative sleep over many, many days, your body would shut down and stop working (or so my tired reasoning went). But I quickly back-pedaled and said, 'You will get really, really tired and not be able to function well.' A couple days later, my son asked me why daddy and I were staying up after he had to go to bed. And I said it is because mommies and daddies can stay up later than kids. And he looked up at me with tears in his eyes and in a quivering voice he said, 'But then you'll die.' Oh yeah, lesson learned about not saying too much when I am tired. Just one of my glowing 'mom of the year' moments. Fun post!

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