I made two new Mom Friends this week. At least, I’m pretty sure I did. I think we hit it off. Will they text me for another get-together? Will it look desperate if I text them first?
Isn’t this what dating is like? I don’t remember. It’s been awhile.
My closest friends date back to my childhood, but I have a number of friends from my adult life too, all of whom I met through work. It’s a strange thing, making friends as an adult. I’m actually pretty good at it – I’ve never felt like I didn’t have enough friends – but since becoming a stay-at-home-mom, my exposure to new people has been very limited. And it’s funny how, after kids, some of your child-free “friends” tend to disappear.
I had assumed I would meet loads of other parents through the plethora of parent-baby activities I could join, but then I had twins. The optimal parent-to-kid ratio for most of those activities is 1:1, and trying to wrangle my twins alone in a group setting just never goes well. As a result, I quit the breastfeeding support group while the boys were still newborns, I abandoned playgroup after the first week, and I didn’t even consider taking the boys to swimming lessons.
I finally smartened up this spring and enlisted help. I invited my mother-in-law to join the boys and me for Baby Rhyme Time, a free program at our local library. For 6 weeks, the four of us would gather in a circle with a group of other parents and their little ones. The “program” – rhymes, songs, and stories, a few of which could I could even hear above the cacophony of baby-noise – was 30 minutes long, perfect for young babies.
The fact that R & D are twins garnered us extra attention, as it always does; notwithstanding this, one of my boys quickly made himself the star of the show. While the other babies were content to sit with their moms, R would ditch me as soon as I loosened my grip on him, and start crawling around the circle. He’d go visit all the other parents, steal their kids’ shoes right off their feet, smile devilishly, and crawl into the lap of the woman running the program. I spent most of our 30 minutes chasing him around the circle, and assumed the other moms were as preoccupied with their kids as I was.
So imagine my surprise when, walking through the park one day last weekend, I heard a woman exclaim, “Oh hey! It’s the twins from Baby Rhyme Time!”
I glanced in the direction of the voice, and saw a vaguely familiar-looking woman pushing a stroller with a vaguely familiar-looking baby in it. I smiled and waved and pretended I had a hot clue about who she was.
She came over with her entourage – a husband, another woman, another guy – and made a fuss over my boys. She even remembered their names. I couldn’t remember her son’s name, for the life of me, because every baby that isn’t mine looks the same to me, but I pretended: “Hey, little guy! How are you?” Neither of us knew eachother’s names. (For this, we can both be forgiven: for reasons that were never explained to me, at Baby Rhyme Time, you wear your child’s name on your shirt, not your own.)
She mentioned that she had been going to the park once a week with another one of the Baby Rhyme Time moms for coffee and a walk. “Would you be open to a joiner?” I blurted out. (What can I say? The weeks get long and my only other stay-at-home mom friend is going back to work in the fall.) She was enthusiastic about the idea, we traded numbers, and she even texted me a few days later to remind me of our date.
The outing went well, I think. I wore my mom uniform – yoga pants, Asics, a hoodie – and so did they. We traded birth stories. We commiserated about the fact that there’s so much more selection for girls’ clothes than boys’ clothes. It turns out our husbands graduated from the same school.
The conversation flowed without any awkward silences, and we seemed to click. They are a few years older than me, I suspect, and I’m not sure how much else we have in common, but our kids are the same age – and in the world of Mom Friends, isn’t that the only thing that counts?
And now I wait. Was I too aggressive? Did I talk about myself too much? Will they invite me out again? Is it weird that I don’t know their last names?
I’ll do the dance, sure. It’s worth it to make a new Mom Friend.