I’m Mom Dating

My older son is in 4th grade.  This has given me plenty of time to work out the mom dynamics with his group.  There are moms I talk with, moms I don’t.  Or maybe I should clarify that as moms who put up with me and moms who don’t.


My younger son started kindergarten this year.  I figured since I’ve already been at this school for 5 years it was going to be easy the 2nd time around.

Let’s go ahead and mark that “Wrong, Jen.”

My older son has had no problems playing with boys or girls right from the beginning.  That gave me a whole field advantage when hunting.

My younger son tends to play with just boys.  I’m no math genius, but that cuts the field by at least 1/3.

So there I am at drop off and pick up with other parents and I just want one of them to say “ME!  I’m your new friend!”

Weird?  Yes.  Effective?  Also yes.

Instead I stand there.  Hoping conversation can naturally start in some way.

Oh, and you want to hear pathetic?  Yesterday Pinterest came up and I threw out there that Martha Stewart followed me on Pinterest.

If that wasn’t a sad attempt at being relevant, I don’t know what is.

And you know what?  These relationships matter.

My kid will be in school with many of them for years to come.

His best friend could be in this group.

Hell, MY best friend could be in this group.

Maybe there’s a book on this sort of thing.

Like Mom Dating 101


1)      Make sure your kids get along

2)      Set up play date at your house

3)      Have fabulous snacks and activities for them to do at play date

4)      Make their kid fall in love with you

5)      Make their mom wonder why they like going to your house so much

6)      Make their mom wonder so much that she asks you to go on coffee date

7)      Take shower

8)      Put on your best game face and be as funny as possible at coffee date.

9)      Send her home with a handcrafted best friends forever frame decoupaged in heart craft paper.

10)    Never hear from her again.


If I’m being completely honest, I suck at this.

But my son?  He’s like the captain of the social chair.   Three days into the year and he invited himself to a play date.  Thank god she let him go but maybe I shouldn’t have let him go?

Now is he known as “that kid who invites himself to play dates all the time and the mom didn’t even stop him?”

Being labeled as “that kid” or “that mom” this early in the game is not good.

So back to the play book I go.




39 thoughts on “I’m Mom Dating

  1. If you are labeled “that mom” at least they are paying some attention to you. I am older by about 10 years than any of the moms in my daughter’s kindergarten class, and they have already cliqued off into their little groups, leaving me to just stand there and look stupid. Last night at Open House, the groups were having their own conversations so much it was hard for the teacher to get a word in.

  2. Sigh…I don’t really much bother. I don’t have time for mom stuff during the school year anyway. The summer is when I wish I had more mom friends that actually lived near me. Or maybe I don’t? I don’t even know.

  3. Love this! My girls have trouble making friends and I know part of the fault lies in my social awkwardness. I’ve kind of given up trying (after going so far as to host 2 daisy troops one year – rock bottom!)

    I hope you find true mom friendship, though! (And then let us know how you did it!)

    • I’ve had the same problem with my 13 year old son. I know I’m not a social person, but he is way less social than I am. My daughter is 5 and a true extrovert. She makes friends just fine, but it doesn’t ever seem to extend to mom relationships.

  4. Wish we lived in the same hood! I’ve been struggling for 5 years in the mommy friend dept. I joined countless moms clubs and found them all cliquish and not at all folks I want to waste a Thursday afternoon with nor did I enjoy them for moms night out at Olive Garden. Good Lord. I could tell you things that you wouldnt believe! My perfect match is somewhere. I know she is! As is yours…

  5. I suck at Mom Dating. I have 4 kids, 5-13 and have done this whole thing quite a bit. What I have found is that once my kid has a bestie, I have hit it off pretty well with their mom. I think it’s the like-attracts-like thing. If our kids get along well, more than likely we are somewhat alike and will probably get along. I have made 2 really great friends that way. These are women that I would go do things with, sans kids.
    So, my thought is, it’s great that your son is outgoing, think of him as your Mom-Cupid :). Good luck!

  6. Why can’t you live near me, Jenn?

    I would want to be with you.

    Every day.

    We could laugh, sit on top of newspapers on the sofa together, have who has the highest pile of laundry contests.

    And have cupcakes.

    Good, warm, moist cupcakes.

    I would love it.


    (me, too, by the way: my 3rd and last baby going through grade school. And here I am again, trying to figure out why everyone else has the secret password into the Let’s Be Friends Club , but me.

    What is it? I don’t know.

    But I know I’d love you.


  7. After moving to Phoenix 4.5 years ago and never making a friend I was hoping that when my son started school this past Monday that I too would meet a friend during pick up or drop off. Nope. There are only 15 kids in my boys class. And all 15 of those moms are significantly older and wear mom jeans. They look at me like I’m a freak when I just say hello. The one mom who did talk to me only wanted to talk about herself. And how she thinks kindergarten is a waste of time for her brilliant child. So bummed. Mom dating is hard yo.

    • Yikes. I’m older. Maybe that’s why no one talks to me? But I don’t wear mom jeans, but I am older.

      I hope people aren’t really like that, basing on age? Oh. dang. If I was nice and said hello, would you care that I was older? I am nice.

  8. I have been struggling with making mom friends and my daughter isn’t even close to school age yet. I think it’s incredibly difficult. I know people are really busy, or tired, or whatever, but still, politeness is nice. Call people back at least. Something!

    All of you big personality types come sit by me. You always put me at ease because I don’t have to obsess over what to say next. You take that awkward out of mom dating (for me).

  9. I’m fine at all the boring chitchat that goes on at afternoon pickup, class parties, field trips. . . I just never got any follow-through. My kids never gave a shit about play dates. Their best friends were their cousins and they were always around, and I sure as hell am not friends with those kids’ parents!

    • This is how I grew up…lots of cousins to play with. Now we don’t even live near family and I waited to have my daughter until I was ancient so she doesn’t really have any cousins her own age anyway. Things are so different that I don’t even know where to start.

  10. This was a big concern for me when I was a new mom. I started going to a moms’ group when the baby was 3 months old. Everyone there had been going since birth. (I have no idea how. I didn’t leave the house for the first 3 months.) But everyone had already formed friendships and I had this horrible feeling like I had missed the make-mommy-friends boat. Now, of course, that seems ridiculous.

    You do have a big personality, and I’m sure there will be moms that find that off-putting. But I’m pretty sure those are also the moms you’d be fake smiling and dreading having over for a play date anyway.

    I’ve stopped worrying about it. I don’t need to be friends with everyone. And there’s usually one or two people in a large group os other moms who “get me.” A mom on Twitter or obsessed with Pinterest, a mom as anal retentive as me, a mom with a sarcastic, sharp wit. I find them out there.

  11. I met my best friend when my eldest and her youngest were in first grade together. We’d both signed up to do the Christmas party…..and we were inseparable until she died last year.

    I’m still close with many of the moms who my boys (now mostlygrown up) went to school with- but maybe I just got lucky.

    This matters. No pressure.

  12. My oldest starts Kindergarten on the 4th. And I already struck out at orientation.

    25+ moms all in their mom uniforms, lining the walls, chatting amongst themselves and there I am in my skinny jean capris, bright tank and flip flops, on the floor playing with the kids.

    ONE parent talked to me. The rest just sort of not-so-discreetly gawked at me.

    They may have thought I was the nanny. I have no idea.

    We are an extremely visible minority in our neighbourhood (my kid is 1 of 3 white kids in his class) which is fine but all the other moms already know each other and all speak and language I do not know and they DO NOT seem welcoming of outsiders.

    Given that I already supremely SUCK at making mom friends, I’m not sure I’ll even try.

    • What is the mom uniform?? OH my gaa! The comments here are making me think I am doing everything wrong.

      What is the mom uniform? Maybe I wear it and don’t know and oh my god I thought things were bad already but reading the stuff here: I think I do all of it.

      Kinda making sense now…I’m old and in a uniform.

      What a wanker.
      And if that’s not bad enough, now I’m taking over jen’s blog comment section.


      • I am terrified to answer this! Ha!

        All the mom’s in my kid’s class were clad in those gawd awful mom jeans and old lady blouses – the kind that look like they *could* be maternity wear but you’re just not quite sure.

        By the way I wouldn’t care that your older, I’d still talk to you. As long as you weren’t wearing mom jeans.

  13. I drop my kids off, I pick my kids up, I come back home to live inside my laptop until it’s time for me to do it all over again. Coffee with strangers? I can’t even.

    But! If I know you through my blog or through Twitter and you wanna meet for coffee 200 miles away, I’m there. It’s how my life works.

  14. I hope you get this figured out and then post a “for Dummy’s” version of how to do it. I’ve got 2 years. So far I’ve struck out on the daycare scene with Mom Dating. I don’t think I fit in.

  15. I’m dreading this phase in my future. Hello, I’m awkward, nice to meet you. And I’m sure my kid will be super social-able like his dad which make this an even greater challenge for me. Did I mention I’m dreading this phase in my future?

    • The thing is that I AM pretty social (even in person) but I have a big personality. So, I tend to be a bit much. Or a bit know it all. Or a bit loud. Or just all of that.

      • Wear the sequined pimp hat from BlogHer on the first day!!!

        Let them decide right away, do they like you or not.

        HAT! HAT! HAT! HAT!

        (did you ever notice you’re the only one that makes me wish for a tin cup to rail against the metal bars with??)

        You’re awesome, Jen.

    • Oh, man and yes. YES.

      My husband LOVES people and talking. Me, I just sit frozen and scared and wondering why it feels like they all give me toe head to toe once over.

      This is so hard. I just want someone to laugh and have dance parties with while the kids are at school.

  16. Oldest is entering first grade. Youngest is 14 months. So far in his school career I have managed to make ONE mom friend. I’d consider that wicked awesome if our work schedules didn’t prevent us from becoming besties. ALSO, every time we go to a scool function there is a lot of snubbing. I think my husband and I are so hip it intimidates the other parents. At least that’s what I tell myself.

  17. I am no good at this either. My son only hangs with a few kids but my daughter is a social butterfly. Meanwhile I just hope that the parents don’t think I’m a bitch because I am quiet.

  18. I feel the same way. I wish they had speed dating for moms…. I’m always on the lookout for moms who are committed to their kids, but can also talk about other stuff. And who embrace the rough edges of the whole mom experience a bit. And who still might be up for a shot of tequila once in a while. …actually, I hate tequila, but ykwim.

    • Yes! I\’m more of the go home and eat donuts while dishes sit in the sink mom. I\’m not perfect and am crafty and lazy at the same time.

      I drink coffee and red wine.

      I can make you laugh or think \”she\’s nuts\”

      Now, who wants to be my friend?

  19. Step 7 is essential. But you may want to cut back on Step 9 until at least date 2 Even a lesbian waits until the second date to bring the U-Haul! ;)

    And maybe you might want to tone down #8 just a little… Not much, though… ;)

    P.S. CONGRATS on Martha and Pinterest. I’m sure she’s kicking herself for not getting together with you at Blogher, so she could get an invite next year to the beach house …

  20. dads have it easy.

    not even tooting a sexist stereotype horn (which has a huge pair of testicles btw), at birthday parties, fairs, concerts, games, etc – all we do is nod what’s up to each other, stand with our hands folded, and gradually over time learn their names and their kids’ names, and then it moves on to handshakes and discussions on sports or suspensions.


    if only all dads watched Big Brother and could OMG TOTES with me and the other closet Big Brother fanatics.

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