Let me start off by saying I grew up working in the theater, so I’m really good at making fast friends. But, now that I’m a mom I’ve got a whole new set of standards that I didn’t know I’d have. Standards, you ask? Who has standards when you are exhausted from learning how to parent another human being?!
Old Standards of Friendship versus New
I feel like my standards before were common ones that other people had: “Don’t make friends who bring unwanted drama into your life.” “Don’t make friends with people who put down your relationship” and “don’t be friends with someone who is mean to animals.” It wasn’t very hard to find friends who fit those standards and it was really easy to filter people out.
But then I had this little baby (who is almost a preschooler now) and I’m feeling the pressure to make “mom friends.” Like the moms who get together at the mall, or Wonderlab, or Banneker. I want my tot to make new friends and go to all those places but I’m always afraid I’m going to make friends who don’t believe the same parenting tactics that I do, and that’s ok.
Mom Friend Anxiety
Women come up to me at the park and say, “Aww she’s cute, how old is she? Do you have any more? Do they play well together?” Etc. and it’s a nice conversation and pleasant, but the entire time I’m thinking, Please don’t ask me for my number, please don’t want to have a playdate together. I can’t help it. How do you say “No, I don’t want to come over because I’m not sure how well you clean your house.” Or, “Do you let your kids play with toy guns?” “Who did you vote for?” “Are your kids allowed to stand on the kitchen table?” “Do you spank?” “What is your stance on extended breastfeeding?” These are hundreds more are what goes through my head every time a new mom says Hi to me at the park.
I’ve never been a nervous person, but having a little person who relies on you for making all the right decisions in their life is HARD. I’ve hand-picked the people and moms I’ve let into our lives; some friends from high school with whom I’ve grown up with and now have kids of their own, and a few coworkers here and there.
If you are like me, the best thing to do is go to all these places and meet new people and let your kid have these cool experiences with other kids. You will find your new mom friend niche and you will find new ways to meet people. It doesn’t have to be as scary as I’ve made it seem in my life. As I age and my child gets older, I’m excited to go into Kindergarten making just as many new friends as my daughter will.