Mommy Dating

I’ve been married for years, yet recently I’m finding myself in the throws of dating…. Mommy Dating.

Yes, go ahead and change my status to ‘Looking for a Relationship.’

We’ve recently moved and being in a new place means my kids and I are starting out again with no friends. I love my kids‑ and they love me- but as any mom will tell you, we’ll end up strangling each other if we’re left alone with each other all day every day. And so begin my adventures in Mommy Dating.

In more ways than one, Mommy Dating is a lot like regular old dating. Only more awkward.

In real dating, there are so many criteria to finding a partner- someone who is attractive, has the same interests as you, has a good job, has certain qualities, etc.

But in Mommy Dating, there is really only one initial criteria to finding a potential mommy date- kid’s ages. I know your six year old won’t want to play with my one year old, and I know my three year old doesn’t want to play with your six month old. So the kids have to ‘match.’

And actually, the more attractive you are- think fancy clothes and makeup- the less attractive you’ll look to the mamas wearing yoga pants and tee shirts with juice stains. You know, it’s all about chemistry.

For me, it usually takes place on the playground. While helping my kids climb the jungle gym and watch them slide down the slides, I surreptitiously scan the playground looking for a mom whose kids are around my kid’s ages.

Sideways glances eventually turn into a little casual talk. It usually starts with one of us making a comment about how cute the other one’s kid is, or about something adorable they’re doing. From there, a question. “How do you like that stroller?” perhaps. Being new to an area is a great entryway into conversation. “Do you know of any other nice playgrounds around here?” or, “Is there a splash pad somewhere nearby?” or, “What kinds of cool things can you do with a three year old here?”

If you hit it off during casual talk, you could possibly exchange phone numbers or email addresses. When I get home, I could do a little Facebook stalking, wondering if I should message my new potential mom-friend right away, or maybe follow the three-day-rule so I don’t seem too eager… I do have other things to do, right? Like fifteen thousand loads of laundry and vacuuming and keeping my kids alive.

More often than not, these encounters don’t lead anywhere and you end up following the pattern all over again at a different playground the next week. Or, you’ll have a series of first date flops. Once in a while, you’ll meet a few times with a mama and your kids will play together and you’ll make a friend.

All in all, Mommy Dating is exhausting. It can also be exciting and fun, though. So here we go again- today, we’re off to story time at the local library. Wish us luck in finding that spark!

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