I thought I was done with awkward dating after getting married, until I went searching for some new mommy friends. After my first mom date didn’t ask me out again and stopped returning my emails, I realized how much the whole process was like dating. Can you relate to these stages?
You have to figure out where to look for them. Do you want to hit the parks and hope you find someone interesting or go searching online? You tell yourself it doesn’t matter if she’s a new mom or a veteran mom, but ideally you’re seeking another mom in a similar stage as you.
While your kids play, you try to figure out how to approach the mom you spotted across the park—the one that seems like someone you’d enjoy hanging out with. It’s easiest if their kid starts playing with yours; otherwise you have to create a casual reason to walk over near her, like finding random trash you must throw away right now or accidentally overthrowing the ball to your little one.
Some moms are smooth, putting you at ease when they come up and compliment you on your baby carrier. Others are a little more awkward (like myself) as they nervously look at you without making direct eye contact and use their baby as a conversation starter.
You finally worked up the nerve to talk to her, but now she has to go. You don’t want to lose this one yet. Should you ask for her number? Should you give her your email address? What’s considered moving too fast at this point? I’ve danced around exchanging contact information in the past, so recently I handed over my business card with the invitation to email me. Then I worried I looked too pushy or that they feared becoming blog fodder. But if you don't go for it, you may miss your chance and risk never running into her again.
She took your information and gave you hers, but how long do you wait to contact her? When can you Facebook friend request her? I don’t like to come across too strong but don’t want to seem disinterested either. It's always a relief when the other mom makes the first move!
After a few texts and emails back and forth, one of you finally asks the other out on a playdate. Do you go somewhere more intimate where you can easily talk, such as your backyard, or a public, non-committal type of play place in case things go downhill fast? Wherever you get together, you’ll also be thinking of what to talk about and wondering if she really liked you and your kid. Will she ask you out on another playdate?
Hooray! You’ve made it past the second playdate. After a few get-togethers, it’s easy to forget that she might be seeing other people. I mean, you aren’t the only mom on the block. It’s inevitable that you’ll meet some of her other friends either on a future public playdate or at her kid’s birthday party. You worry about whether or not her friends like you. Hopefully you will all go out together for a much-needed Moms’ Night Out and someone else will fulfill the role of "the crazy one."
It seems like once you've gone through the mom dating process a couple times it gets much easier--especially if you click with her friends. But that first time when you are a brand new mom? Yeah, it can be a little intimidating. At least it was for me!