We all know all about mommy-dating and its perils. When looking for moms and kids to hang out with, it’s hard to find the right chemistry. When you do, though, it’s an awesome combination. Like Oreos and milk. Chocolate and peanut butter. Wine and … well, anything. Wine goes with everything.
But here’s something even tougher: family-dating. Finding a family your whole family likes is like finding a meal that your meat-eating hubby, nugget-loving toddler, and wicked-picky preschooler can and will eat.
Difficult. Bordering on impossible. Seemingly just a pie-in-the-sky dream. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.
I find a family dating fail almost always falls into one of three scenarios:
1) The moms are friends. The kids are friends. The dads have zero in common. One guy loves the Red Sox and the other hasn’t the foggiest who Big Papi is. Or one talks about clients and spreadsheets and stock markets, and the other nods politely while wishing he was at home. With a beer. Far, FAR away from this guy.
Or the worst scenario: the friend’s husband is actually a jerk. Oh, man, does that suck. What’s worse than wondering What the HELL does my friend SEE in this guy? What possessed her to procreate with him?
And in this lovely instance, you sit there during dinner biting your tongue, because you really want to take your dinner plate and crack it over the guy’s head. And throw his third fancy-pants drink THIS HOUR in his face. And your husband is sitting on his hands so he doesn’t sucker-punch the dude. You know. Hypothetically speaking.
2) The dads are friends. The kids get along. The moms couldn’t be more different. This scenario usually rears its ugly head when the men are friends from high school or college and decide to get the families together. Have you run into this? I don’t think it’s too common. Because really, how many guys are actually motivated enough to make plans with their friends? I am the Julie McCoy* of the house. Without me, this ship’s social calendar would suck.
*Love Boat reference. Please tell me you got that? Or am I just old? I am old. Crap.
But … it does happen. And when it does? Painful. Just painful. My advice is to do what I do and hide behind your kids. And make sure your husband is the designated driver.
3) The moms and dads hit it off. But the kids … well, not so much. This is the biggest bummer, I think. You’re so excited that the husbands actually LIKE each other and have things in common. But the kids? They are a disaster.
They fight. And whine. And hit each other with plastic baseball bats. And you spend the whole time refereeing instead of hanging out with the adults. Which turns a fun night with friends into a night just like any other in your house. AND YOU DON’T EVEN GET TO DRINK THE WINE YOU BROUGHT. Not that you’re bitter or anything.
The happy ending to this is … after many family-dating nightmares, we are now in a happy relationship with neighbors of ours. Which is awesome. The kids play. The adults grill and drink. And no one has to drive. SCORE.
But what about you? Is family-dating a disaster for you? Do you have some funny family-dating fails?