After 6 years of marriage, I suddenly found myself in the dating pool again. Glances and smiles at potential prospects. Polite small talk during which I try to make sure I sound fun, light-hearted, and engaging. And if I succeed and someone asks for my number, then there’s the anxious waiting period during which I overanalyze our initial interaction and wonder if the call will come. And if I get that second date my husband laughs at me as I try on different outfits before I select just the right one. Wait, you’re thinking, did she say her husband? Yep. I’m still happily married. These “prospects” are other moms. It’s called Mommy Dating.
I chose to stay at home with my daughter. For those of you who chose a similar path, I think you’ll agree with me that it is not always easy. How many times can a grown adult be expected to reenact every episode of The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? There is no limit according to my daughter. And don’t even get me started on the baby days. I felt my brain turning to mush as I made funny faces and silly noises in an attempt to get the ever elusive baby giggle.
Enter the Mommy comrades to save the day. I crave adult interaction. Just having another adult around during the day does wonders for my sanity. Even if I can’t actually speak to that adult because my daughter literally grabs my face, turns it away from said adult, and says, “no Mommy. Don’t talk.” At least I can exchange a sympathetic look with someone other than Daisy Duck. Or when I’m dancing along with the Elmo CD player and thinking, good thing I got that Master’s Degree, at least I can look at my fellow mom friend also who is also making a fool of herself and not feel as bad about myself – she has a PhD.
So I search for other SAHMs to help me make it through. I scope them out at playgrounds, libraries, sing-alongs, and museums. I’m looking for a few key qualities – general pleasantness, flexibility, proximity (I rarely leave the 10 mile radius surrounding my home), availability, and similarly aged children. When I’m able to find all those qualities wrapped up in one Mom…magic!
The Mommy Dating scene has treated me well since moving to New England two summers ago. I’ve been able to fill my Mommy Black Book with fabulous friends who make my life as a “stay at home” mom (who stays home?) a true pleasure. I honestly don’t know what I would do without these ladies.
So Moms of New England, if you find yourself at the playground and you get this nagging feeling that someone is checking you out, don’t worry. It’s probably me. Wanna have a playdate?