Find mom friends they say. It’ll be easy they say. Wrong.
My personal experience with motherhood is that the beginning of it can be incredibly isolating. I was a few months post partum and I had finally crawled just far enough out of the black hole that is infancy to realize that I was alone (but not actually ever alone, because of the baby human). I think it’s natural to temporarily disengage a bit from your pre-baby friends and it was hard coming to terms with the fact that I wanted to talk about things outside of parenthood, but didn’t necessarily know how. I was easing back into life and I thought one of the solutions would be finding a “mom tribe.” The word tribe is 3 years past its expiration date, but whatever you want to call it… I was out there looking for friends who also had dependents.
Which is harder than finding the baby-less friends of the past and not unlike modern dating in a way. I tried the Internet, I tried mom running groups (decided not running was much more important to me than having friends), I tried the library. I even exchanged numbers with a few moms – no callbacks. We just didn’t vibe.
Once you’re a mother, people assume that you will automatically be friends with anyone else that is a mother. They will tell you that they know someone else who also had a child and you guys should obviously be friends. And on some level, this is true. There is a certain understanding between people who have had to push a baby through their private parts. Or had one cut out of their stomach. Or are tending to the needs of another human. We come to be mothers in all sorts of ways (these days, sometimes moms are actually dads), but we all are a part of the same club.
But after we cover the regular bases, which include our significant others’ occupations, whether or not we work out of the home, and teething remedies, I’ll need to have more in common with you than wiping snot. If we are going to go the distance and be more than mom friends, we need to connect on a fundamental level. There is more to being a mom friend than just being a mom.
I want to make this abundantly clear so you know what you’re getting into, certainly not trying to cat fish you: I am not an Instagram mom. Don’t ask me about filters, you’re not going to see pictures of fresh flowers on my feed and I do not pose in front of brick walls (that much). Who I am as a person carried over into motherhood, my strengths and weaknesses are much the same.
Here are a few highlights from my (mom)match.com profile:
The snacks I pull out of my coat pocket are not organic, on any given day they aren’t wrapped. Actually, if our kids are hanging out… it’s likely you’ll be providing the snacks. My neighbor can attest to this. I found 3 goldfish on the bottom of my purse and one half eaten animal cracker and I don’t mean to brag (I do) but my kid is full and perfect, so you do you, but so far so good on my end. McDonalds has a presence in my child’s life and her exposure isn’t via food documentaries. (Do you know how hard it is to eat fast food after you watch those?)
My daughter’s third word was, “Tiger.” As in Daniel Tiger. Hella screen time in this bitch. I hope you have Disney Channel queued up.
My child is 20 months old, this is no longer “baby weight” – this is just my body. I like to work out, I like to eat well, but I also like Bourbon and designer cupcakes. Take me as I am.
Which is a good segue into my biggest pet peeve, if you’re talking about “how amazing the human body is” and sharing post-partum pics of you in a size 2. I’d really just prefer if you would cut the shit and say, “you guys, I’m skinny again!” Because that’s what you want us to know, and I’m not blaming you. I am however skeptical of your newfound enchantment with the human body. These types of photos are what women who post selfies with meaningful quotes transition into after they have children. ~*~*beautifully broken*~*~ I need you to screen shot those to me and then make an unwavering pact to work out “at least 3 days a week” (never).
I’m not that concerned with things being clean. I eat things that fall on the floor and so does my child. Do you have things on the ground we can come over and snack on?
You might think I’m a dirt bag, but there is one perfect parenting pillar I hang my hat on, and that is: the schedule. If you suggest an activity during my kid’s naptime, you’re dead to me. And no, she can’t stay up a “little later.” We follow one rule in this house, and it was hard won.
That’s who I am as a mother; it’s part of who I am as a person. I won’t judge you if it’s a little different from me (even if you invite me to the zoo during naptime or take those post partum pics), so maybe we could hang out. I’m just trying to do the best I can. I think I’m doing ok. She knows she’s loved. I whisper it very creepily in her ear several times a day. So if you are barely getting by, overwhelmed by life and the love you have for your children that you’re unsure how not to screw up, come sit with me.
I want to talk to you about being more than a parent. I want to talk about politics. I want to complain about my husband. Most importantly, I want to tag you in memes. And I want to be your friend, but not your mom friend, your real friend.