Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The (Play) Dating Game

On the never ending list of Things I Was Unprepared For in the world of parenting is how difficult it seems to be to meet other new moms. And when I say other moms, I don't mean your girlfriends who also had babies; they usually aren't the same age as your own baby, and at this stage, a few months age difference might as well be a decade (it's a napping issue). I'm talking about the women you meet when your child runs up to theirs on the playground; the kids seem to instantly bond, but the mommies do not.

It's a totally new concept to me that I can only liken to the dating experience. Here's how it seems to play out (for me, at least): You meet a nice mom at a park or a party or through a mutual friend who thinks you two might hit it off, you exchange email addresses, you work up the nerve to ask her for a (play) date and you never hear back. I am currently on my third play date ask and am waiting for my third non-reply. I am starting to feel like the mommy equivalent of Andrew on the Real World D.C.--100% desperation and zero game. (Yes, I realize I'm about 15 years too old to still be watching that show. What's your point?)

I've heard it's easier to meet other moms once your child starts school, but that's not for another year and a half. Right now I'm researching mommy groups in my area, but they are somewhat hard to locate and inexplicably esoteric in their application process ("Email Theresa P. and wait for further instruction from Emily K." So bossy!). I guess I'm just a little envious of the groups of mommies I see picnicking at the park or taking Pinkberry field trips post-music class.

As a lifelong introvert, it's sometimes challenging for me to keep trying, but I want to show my daughter that it's good to put yourself out there. I'm so grateful for the support system of mothers that I am lucky enough to already have in my life; I have learned a lot from moms with older children, and hopefully I have something to offer to those with newborns. One of these days, though, I'm sure I'll meet the nice mother of a 20-month old (who is going through the same developmental milestones as Penelope and all that that brings with it) and wants to go on a play date with me. A girl can dream, right?

Here is an unrelated cute picture of Penelope:



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