Back on the prowl and putting on the moves: Mommy dating

Uncertain glances. Hesitant smiles. Some perfunctory small talk as you feel each other out.

The end goal? A real first date.

Playdate, that is.

It is with some nostalgia, and yes, some nerves, but I am throwing my hat back in the ring. It’s time I got back out there and into the world of mommy dating.

I am actually a seasoned mommy-dater. It took a while, way back when Anne was little, to find the right match.

I frequented the popular singles-bars of mommy dating (playgrounds and libraries), looking for the right connection. After some promising sparks I had a bunch of completely miserable first dates.

But in the end, I did connect with not just one person, but a fabulous group of mom friends. Score!

Our kids were young. We were sleep deprived. And we were all looking for the same thing: real, cool, normal moms to hang out with.

Oh, how I adore these ladies. We vent about our kids, tell our life stories, and have a grand old time together. We get together with kids and without kids. These are real, true, stick-together friends.

But now our kids are older and we all have different schedules. No one’s around on the two mornings a week that Grace is home with me. We still get together, but less often with the kids and more on our own.

I know that two mornings a week with nothing planned will get more than a little boring in the long winter months. Having a friend or two to get together with would be nice.

So I guess it’s official: Grace and I have flipped our social status to “looking for a new relationship.”

But this time, I’m finding the world of mommy dating is even more complex.

The first time around, my kids were young enough that they weren’t choosy about their playmates. It was really about the mom-to-mom connection.

But now? Grace is three. She’s got a personality. And so do I. Which means we’ve moved on to double dating. If it doesn’t work for both of us, it’s just not gonna happen.

And the other shocker: I have been around such real, normal moms for so long – both in real life and online – that I forgot how many moms are still so UNREAL with each other.

And I think – no, I know – that when I’m doing the small-talk thing with these kinds of moms, they’re shocked by how honest I am. Which is fine, because they’re saving me from wasting further get-to-know-you time on them.

For example. Holiday break is over. Back to school, dance classes, and so on. I’m chit chatting with another mom and she asks the perfunctory, “How was your vacation?” question.

My answer?


And the way a mom reacts to that answer tells me whether or not I have any desire to continue speaking to her.

The looks I have received have been telling. One of confusion. One of wide-eyed silence. One of smug judgement. And one of complete and total understanding, accompanied by a conspiratorial laugh.

Guess which mom I spent an hour laughing with during our girls’ dance class?

She’d be a kick-arse mom to hang out with, but her younger kid is boy and they live kind of far from us. Sigh.

Could’ve been so beautiful, could’ve been so right…

Wish us luck at the library next week. I hear it can be a bit of a meat market.






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25 Replies to “Back on the prowl and putting on the moves: Mommy dating”

  1. I see the end for my threesome I have formed as well. Our schedules are changing and I am really so sad. I can’t even look at another mom yet. I know my *type*, but wonder if I can find this kind of magic again. Am I always going to compare? Ugh! Good luck in your search!!

    1. You’ll never forget your first love. I hear ya. Finding the magic again isn’t easy, but persist! It’ll happen! And we can compare bad-first-date notes in the process. 🙂

  2. In my search for mom-friends I have encountered the exact same thing. I tend to go for the people who talk about their kids being exhausting instead of perfect.

    The sad thing is despite being here for 18 months now I still have NO playdate friends. The Bug’s therapy schedule is intense and doesn’t leave a lot of time. We’re going to try a big local playgroup soon and I’m hoping we can find some there. Fingers crossed. 

    1. I found my awesome group of mom friends through Have you tried anything like that? There are tons of playgroups on Meetup and I joined a few. One was a dud, one didn’t work with my schedule, but the third? Awesomeness.

  3. Go get ’em tiger! So funny! You need a snarky mommy card that can serve as an intro for when you’re just dropping off books or walking by the park.
    P.S. Wish I lived near so we could date. 

  4. Urrgghh… I hate those “perfect” moms… wait, I’m pretty sure I’m friends with, at least, one of them… but I kinda have to be, our hubbies are besties. Good luck in your search! Anyone would be lucky to be buds with you.

    1. My daughter has a playdate this weekend with a friend who has a “perfect mom.” At least it seems she is. I am very curious to see if she’ll open up a bit once she sees I’m full of crazy.
      Oh, and thanks – I’d like to think my friends are a lucky bunch. 😉

  5. I remember that courtship so well! Last weekend at my 50th bday party, many of my friends were women I’d met because of our kids. Love that response to the “how was your vacation?” I never could stand those women who would say “I treasure every tv-free, home-made crafts moment.” Seriously? With your sense of humor I’m sure you’ll find many new friends to hang with.

  6. I ADORE this post. Especially the lyric you chose. Ah, Tiffany. How so much has changed. 😉

    Great to *meet* you and where do you live? I want to be your friend!

  7. You sound like my kind of gal. Every year on the first day of school I have a party for myself, by myself to celebrate the fact that I made it through the LONG summer vacation. I pop the champagne, dance in my underwear, and hoot and holler all day long!!! Best of luck in your search for other cool moms. Stopping by from Kelly’s Break Room.

  8. God, I never thought of losing mom friends b/c of schedules and school. Just moving – which made us cry like 5 year olds. I did lose some mommy friends because they kept casually mentioning things like vacations sans kids to St. Maarten and 7 figure homes. The gals who get you are gold. Online counts too 😉

  9. I hear you JD! At some point even the best matches can fall victim to someone moving or the kids moving on or worse…another mom driving a wedge in the relationship! It’s a jungle out there! Many of the moms I seem to get along with best are the ones whose children don’t play with mine. They have girls, I have boys… I do think it’s important to be real and honest – let “most of it” if not “it all” hang out. 😉 Who better to understand the nitty gritty of life than another mom.

  10. It’s too bad we don’t live closer, oh and that I have a 3 year old, cause I would get that sigh. Good luck, hated trying to find my mom tribe- truth be told I only found a few that fit into that mold.

  11. I know what you mean. With my first, I had one really super great mommy friend. We got together at least once a week and talked several times a week. Then we each has two more kids. Then those kids started school. Then we each moved a little farther from the city, but in opposite directions. I haven’t seen her in about a year now. 🙁 Now that all three of my girls are in school, I’m finding it really hard to make new friends and find a new circle of women to hang with.

  12. I totally know how you feel! I am looking for a new mommy, but it’s so hard. And for us in the land of foreign nanny’s its almost impossible. I wish they made classifieds for that. Maybe a note up on the library bulletin board? Mom who speaks her mind without a filter and has a pyromaniac sometimes violent child looking for same.

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