The Mom Date: Starting New Friendships with Other Moms

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Photography from iStockphoto.com

I’m going on a date. And it’s not with my husband.

It’s OK—he knows and is endorsing it completely. He understands that this person can give me something that he just can’t give me, something I’ve been sorely missing since we moved to the cornfield in August. (And no, it’s not a date with a Starbucks barista.)

I’m going on a mom date.

A blind mom date.

I have reached this point out of necessity and desperation, having moved 300 km from my home—and my peeps—in Toronto to this lovely, lovely town, where I have a beautiful house and time with my kids, but no friends.

Although this could sound like the seventh circle of hell to some people, I am actually excited about my mom date. For one, I am a social being and I am sick of talking to the cats. For another, she was pre-screened well—she blogs! She’s crafty! She seems to have a good sense of humour (read: snarky)! She’s left the cornfield!

I need somebody to hang with pretty badly (even if it’s just for coffee every few weeks), but I feel like such an outsider here. I’m trying to be open, and it’s only been a few months, but so far, there has been very little opportunity to find “my people”—my moms.

Friendships between women are wonderful, wacky things, and friendships between moms even more so. With more inherently in common (only a mother understands the devotion, frustration, neuroses and joy of everyday motherhood), there are also more areas for divergence. Successful friendship with another mother must transcend two levels of personality integration—you must be able to appreciate each other as women, but also as mothers if the friendship is going to flourish.

I don’t mean that a woman’s every choice and philosophy as a mother must jibe with yours if you are going to be friends, but when women meet each other as mothers—say, in a mom group or in the kids’ section in the library, or on a blind mom date—you need to have a good impression of who they are as a mom as well as who they are as a woman. That is, if you ever want to hang out with them outside of circle time.

In a way, I think this kind of sucks—the fact that I am judging somebody’s identity as a mother when assessing her potential as a friend—but I expect that she will be doing the same. A blind date is not an organic thing after all; I was not fortunate enough to get to know and like my date as a woman before I was introduced to her as a mother. I also didn’t know and like her before she had kids, sealing my devotion to her before I found out what sleep deprivation can do to her general sense of pleasantness.

The truth is, I don’t have many friends left who are not parents. Harder won and harder kept though they may be, the newer mother-friends in my life have proven to be better, more cherished friends than the (childless) person I called my bestie for 20-plus years. But I need friends here—mom friends—and I need them now. So later on today, I am going on a blind mom date. I’m excited. Even if it doesn’t lead to anything, I’ll be grateful for the chat and the coffee and the getting out of the house for a couple of hours.

But know this—no matter how well our date goes, she’s not getting past first base.

Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005. She is thrilled to be a part of canadianfamily.ca.

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