by Mama A
It’s funny –and fortunate – how having a child becomes a passport to an entirely new social scene. Pre-baby I was happy and fulfilled with my world of friends, scattered both in town and across the country. Since I’ve had my daughter I still cherish those relationships but I’ve also grown hungry for a connection with someone who also worries about things like their milk supply or how to best trim miniscule fingernails and has an opinion on whether to go with the SnugRide 32 or 35.
My daughter is now 11 weeks old and I finally feel ready to meet some fellow moms in a similar situation (i.e. I’m not totally wiped out, I’m able to string a sentence together, willing to put on clothes that may not have a draw-string waist etc.). My Great Beginnings class at Isis just ended and while providing a good initial foray into the new world of parenting, it didn’t produce the new, life-long best-mom-friends that I was hoping to find.
So I’ve ventured into the world of on-line dating. Mom-dating that is.
I recently found an online “ad” placed by a new mom seeking the company of other new moms. I’m typically a chat-room “lurker” and never reply to such posts however, my desire to meet other new moms emboldened me. I replied, included a little info about myself and my daughter, and after one more exchange we agreed on a date to meet. That was it – my first blind mom-date was set! We agreed to meet at the Pru, near Isis, and I chuckled as I shared some identifying details – “I’ll be the one with the rose - er I mean red UppaBaby”.
Preparing for my mom date was a bit of a puzzle. For one thing, since the birth of my daughter I have loyally stuck to a three-outfit rotation of which one critical piece is my bathrobe. Thus, getting into “real clothes” itself was a conundrum, but beyond that, I had to determine just what would be appropriate for my first mom date. Of course I was excited to be getting out of the house and I felt the urge to look nice (an urge that has been predominantly dormant since I hit my 8th month of pregnancy). But just how nice? First impressions go a long way and I was meeting someone who, I presumed, was in the same boat as I was so I knew that any ensemble that was too coordinated or on-trend would be an immediate turn-off (and please, have I really gone shopping for non-maternity clothing in 2010? No.) Similarly, I quickly put any internal debate about footwear aside as just plain foolish – when you can wear flip flops in Boston, you wear them – mom or not! I finally opted for a cotton-on-cotton get-up that just felt comfortable and was pass-able for a first meeting.
Since the arrival of my daughter, I’ve looked on with envy and awe of you moms who already have your park friends, coffee partners and play-date groups. As I walked out the door on the day of my mom date I smiled at the vision of myself venturing out of my post-partum cave to test the waters of Mamatopia. Maybe today I’d meet my future mom-bestie??? I made my way to the Pru and quickly located my date and her son. As both our babies are young – too young to really play – it was perfect for my date and I to just sit and exchange stories about our parenting triumphs and follies thus far.
Immediately, I noted the main difference between regular blind-dates and mom blind-dates is an absence of alcohol in the latter!! I sort of instantly longed for something a bit stronger than caffeine to take the edge off the initial awkwardness. Alas, we made our way through the basic pleasantries and started chatting more comfortably. I think we both just enjoyed an hour of conversing with someone we could relate to. We parted ways with plans to connect again the next week.
Overall, it was a good experience. Did the date give me butterflies? No. I don’t think she was necessarily “the one” for me, but I am happy to have met her. Besides, unlike romantic dating, mom dating allows and encourages one to play the field so, here I am, immersed in the mom-dating pool and ready for action!