What a brat. Yep, I thought that many times while looking at your kid screaming for apparently no reason in public. Most likely while I stood there, comparing prices and calmly reading labels because nobody was screaming for me while trying to climb my body like a monkey. This was, of course, before I had a baby and found out there is absolutely no way to avoid an occasional public meltdown besides never ever leaving the house again.
So I ventured out. And there were tantrums, and there were the looks. I know those looks! But the moms know. And the dads too. You can see in their eyes they feel your pain. You can also see a hint of “I’m just glad it’s not me this time,” and that’s OK because we’ve all been there too.
So, tantrum toddler moms, I salute you! You are out there just trying to keep it together while your kid has a nuclear meltdown. Ignore the stares from the ignorant. They know nothing! But, if they are lucky, they will learn one day. And one day, when they have a rare quiet moment, they’ll think back to all those judgey looks and then write a blog where they apologize for everything. Or maybe that’s just me.
Let’s start this by being honest and saying I suck at this “mom friend” thing. It’s just like trying to make regular friends (not so great at that either) but harder because you probably have nothing else in common except your mom status.
* I do thankfully have friends who just happen to also be moms, but I’m talking about meeting new friends.
I started by joining mom groups on Facebook. I concentrated on one active one thinking, hey I’m making connections! But then I got kicked out, right on the day I was having a total mom breakdown because I hadn’t had much sleep in two days and K wouldn’t stop crying. Previously that week I had tried to do a meet-up at the zoo with them and totally failed finding the meeting spot and tried to be like, hey no big deal, we’ll just play here at the water park area. Apparently that was seen as “blowing them off.” See? I had no idea how horribly offensive I am.
I also joined a local place where kids can go and play, and in all the reviews it talks about how people just LOVE going there and have met SO MANY great mom friends! But unfortunately I have not met one other person in the 3 months we’ve been going there. Oh, I say hi and smile. Ask the obligatory “How old is he/she” while hoping I got the gender right because sometimes I can’t tell and that seems to be a conversation killer right there. Then we both go off running in separate directions to chase after our kids. And therein lies the problem. Even when I actually do meet up with another mom, we get maybe a few whole sentences in the span of a couple hours. I’m starting to suspect people who make mom friends have kids that stay still and aren’t trying to hurl themselves from the top of the jungle gym or throw toy cars over the fence.
Also, moms are busy. They are terribly hard to set up a date with and easily cancel due to a million different things. The more kids involved, the harder it is to meet up. And no matter where you met up, it’s like hanging out with someone with a severe case of ADD.
So maybe I am a little sad I never had that magical moment where your eyes meet across the playground and you become lifelong pals as your kids grow up together. (That’s how it happens, right?) But at least I’ve got my little buddy to keep me company so I’ll never be alone on the playground.
8/22 Update: Check out Dorky Mom Doodles, who reposted this blog along with spot-on illustrations. She gets it 🙂