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Mom Friends – To Have or to Have Not

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After giving birth the first time, I became surprisingly open to meeting other new moms with whom I was certain to form a lifelong bond. If you told me you had a kid, even if you were a total mom dick raising a brat-to-be, it was a done deal; you and I were to be mom friends. Within moments of meeting, I was envisioning gleeful play dates, successful carpool arrangements, sleepovers without slumber, and trades during which you and I take turns relieving one another of our mommy duties to free up time for self care (for example, peeing with the door closed).

Not only was I super receptive to making new mom connections, I was also all about rekindling old friendships with ladies who, like me, now had offspring. Out of nowhere, I was agreeing to meet up with childhood acquaintances whom I hadn’t seen in twenty plus years (thanks for that, Facebook). With more recent lost friendships, years of hard feelings evaporated more quickly than the stretch marks earned in pregnancy. We were moms. Need there be more to it than that?

I bid adieu to my more introverted and often crotchety self and adopted my new identity as social mom. You want me to drive 45 minutes across town with a colicky baby to hang out with you and your colicky baby? Yes please. Skip nap time for a mom walk during which my kiddo fusses uncontrollably and we moms receive glares having unintentionally formed a sidewalk-blocking stroller brigade? Sign me up. Get up at the ass crack of dawn for a mommy and me breakfast? I don’t eat breakfast, but by god I’ll choke down that frittata to show you that I’m worthy of your company and of motherhood. Host small gatherings at my house despite the fact that both my dog and my cat have a strong desire to attack humans? Okay! But only if you pull your boob out to breastfeed the minute I put mine away.

I never really questioned the change; it all seemed pretty natural, and certainly for the best. After giving birth to a small human, I was determined to become the best mom possible. Socialization is part of the deal, right? For a second it was fun. I got into it. But then something gave way. As quickly as my social switch flipped on, it switched off and has remained off ever since. It’s been months since I’ve actually followed through with a mom date. These days, before entering into a fast friendship with a fellow mom, I need info:

  1. Are you located within a five minute drive of me? If my kid falls asleep while driving to your house, even if only for a minute, my day is shot. Nap time is sacred and not something to be taken lightly.
  2. What times are you available for playdates? No thank you early risers – you live in a different time zone than I. I’m not looking to meet up before 9:30 a.m. While your day is half over, we haven’t showered or brushed our teeth. Likewise, in the afternoon, I’m not about to wake my kid from one of those rare but amazing 3-hour naps for a pre-planned playdate. No way.
  3. Is your kid the germ-laden, sickly type?
  4. What type of commitment are you looking for? I’m anti-commitment. Already, I stave off guilt on a daily basis. I don’t need additional reasons to feel guilty, stressed, pressured or tied down.
  5. What unspoken obligations am I signing up for by befriending you? Are you going to start hocking your kids at me every time you have a nail appointment for which you can’t find a sitter? Again, I’m seeking zero added stress or guilt.
  6. Exactly how good are you at moming? I’m open to the occasional motivation to be a better mum, but I don’t need to feel any more inadequate than I already feel on a daily basis. I’m willing to befriend the good enough mom, but if you are the always-on-top-of-your-shit mom, I’ll pass.

I don’t know what caused the switchback, but I’ve definitely noticed a return to my more introverted and crotchety ways. Perhaps reality seeped in when the pink cloud of new motherhood faded. I have a tremendous admiration for social moms, but these days, I simply don’t want to be one. Coincidentally, I met a new mom today who asked me if I have a lot of mom friends. Half jokingly, I told her that I go out of my way to minimize my mom friends. Moments later, she invited me to join her mom’s group.  Think we’ll become besties?

Robin is a Colorado native living in Denver with her her husband and son.  For the past several months, Robin has been consumed by fear and excitement as she prepares for the arrival of her second child, due at the end of March.  Her go-to coping mechanisms are sarcasm, sleep and sweets, in no particular order.

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