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June 29, 2012 / mommy brain

My first mommy friend crush…what should I do?!

My good friend with two boys a few years older than T has told me about making friends in the mommy world, and how it’s a bit like dating. Here’s how it goes down:

1) Meeting a mommy at the park = checking someone out at the bar.

2) Saying, “How old is he?” = ice breaker at the bar.

3) Saying, “Awww…he’s so cute!” = pick-up line at the bar.

4) Saying, “We should meet up for a playdate!” = asking someone out.

5) Playdate = date

6) Having a new mommy friend to meet up with for playdates = dating; and mommy brain win.

7) Playdates don’t go well because your kids don’t get along or you’re not into it = the dude you’re dating is not that into you or you’re not that into him. Potential awkwardness. But I’m so far from this, it’s not worth even getting into this part.

I am really good at 1, 2 and 3. I have those down. No problems there. 4-5….a bit more challenging. I’ve never done that before! It’s scary! I guess in the same way that asking someone out on a date is scary? I guess I haven’t done much of that either. I have moved around many times in life, and I think I’m actually quite good at making new friends. And I don’t have a problem reaching out to other girls I meet who I’d like to be friends with. But the mommy friend thing is a little different. But maybe it doesn’t need to be?

SO I am thinking about all this because I have a mommy friend crush!! Eek! It’s a mommy in my baby swim class. She has two boys, one about T’s age, and she seems nice and super cool, and I feel like she must live somewhere nearby since we go to the same place for swim class, so it’s perfect and we should totally hang out, right?

Two issues I’m facing right off the bat:

1) T is super clingy and sometimes a little cranky at swim lessons. He’s just not his awesome super social self in the pool. To be fair, pretty much all the other kids are also clinging to their mommies because I guess that’s just how it goes at baby swim class. BUT how is mommy supposed to make mommy friends so you have playdates if you don’t look like you’re super fun to play with, T?? Help me out, will ya?!

2) I don’t really feel like I fit in at mommy swim class….because I don’t own a mommy swim suit. I just wear my bikinis, but all the other moms have “mom-like” suits and skirts and other cover-up thingies. The thing is, most of these moms are in great shape and pretty hot. Seriously, unlike me, I think many of them stay at the gym to work out after swim class. I even caved at the last lesson and wore an old speedo one-piece and some long board shorts. But I still didn’t really fit in because that’s not really a “mom” look either, plus I felt dumb because it’s totally not me. I even thought, maybe bikinis are a no-no because your kid might yank the top off, but I have a feisty squirmy (and strong!) bambino, and he’s never pulled my top off by accident at swim class or at the beach or anywhere else. One of my favorite bloggers recently covered this topic, so I know I’m not alone in my confusion as to why this happens. Attractive moms who still totally have it wear pilgrim suits in the water. I should be clear that I don’t think everyone should rock a bikini, but I don’t get why the full quaker outfits have to come out just because you have a kid. Anyway, I feel like I don’t fit in, which isn’t helping my “make mommy friends’ mission.

Obviously, I  am over thinking both concern 1 and 2 a nutcase, and it’s all just in my head. But I’m still nervous about how to get to step 4 – Saying, “We should meet up for a playdate!” Any thoughts? How many swim lessons before I can suggest a playdate? Is this all easier than I realize? Should I get over myself and just ask out my mommy friend crush?

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5 Comments

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  1. sarahsjoys / Jun 29 2012 10:47 AM

    I say go for it! Be yourself and wear the bikini too. I just made a new friend at the playground recently. We’ve had one playdate and set up a second for next week. What do you have to lose? Maybe even just stay and play with the kiddos in the pool for a while after class. And I thought your “pickup” lines were hilarious! 🙂

    • mommy brain / Jun 29 2012 12:12 PM

      Thank you, Sarah! I’ll try to go for it this weekend. If I’m not brave enough to ask her out on a playdate, I’ll just hang out after the swim lesson. That’s a great idea. She stays after because her older son is in the more advanced class, which starts right after the baby class. The mommies are not in the water for that class; they just hang out near the pool, and some of them have their younger babies along to watch the bigger kids. If T is ok to hang out a little longer, we’ll stick for a bit because it really is prime mommy networking. And I’ll definitely wear the bikini : )

  2. Off Duty Mom / Jun 29 2012 10:59 AM

    I think we all have our insecurities. I have the opposite swimsuit concern. I feel like I am the only mom on the planet who LOOKS like she’s absolutely had 2 children. I have varicose veins and cellulite and a flabby belly. So, when my friends go to the pool in their bikinis with their kids, I feel like absolute shit with my Lands End one-piece and as much fabric over me in the form of pareos, shorts or anything else I can find to hide behind.

    It is probably important to remember that we all feel the same way inside, but for different reasons. I remember being a teenager. I spent a whole lot of time being jealous of a friend because she was popular and cute and always found it easy to be surrounded by cute boys. Then, one day she called me crying at 11 at night because she couldn’t take it anymore. Her parents were wasted and fighting. Again. I had no idea they were alcoholics and that her home life was sad. But it was.

    You never know someone’s else’s problems. But, everyone has them. So, any insecurities or shyness you may have is normal but unnecessary. Think of all you have that would make someone intimidated by YOU: body confidence, a beautiful child, a kind hearted interest in being a friend to someone. Then, realize that your differences might complement one another, not be a reason not to be friends. Isn’t the point of friends to learn from one another, laugh together and feel like your better people together? How would any of us do that if we only hung around people who wore the same clothes as we did or who thought just like we did?

    Good luck!

    • mommy brain / Jun 29 2012 12:22 PM

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment! You’re absolutely right. I should remember that many of these mommies are probably looking to make friends, too, (perhaps it’s one of the reason they joined the class!) and may have their own reasons for not feeling like they fit in or their own insecurities about asking someone to meet up for a playdate. If I take the plunge, they are likely to be happy I did (I hope?) It’s interesting that you recalled the high school experience because, while I overcame a lot of shyness in high school (after some seriously shy years in middle school), this mommy world does bring me back to that shy state a bit just because I feel like I’m so new at it. It’s a bit like being in a new school where, as a new mom anyway, I don’t know all the rules or what to expect.

  3. Felicia Kemp / Jul 3 2012 2:46 PM

    I say first and foremost be yourself! I can see myself hesitating to approach a mommy in a bikini because of MY securities – thinking she’d judge me or something because of my full shape covered by a tent. With that said, as soon as someone like you spoke to me, I’d be like, “Hey! Maybe we’re not so different!” What has worked best for me is seeing the same mommies and tots at the same activities several times and making small talk before we get to play date talk. It also helps when you’ve heard about something going on that you could potentially meet at (song circle/story time at the library, the neighborhood pool opening, etc.). Granted it’s been over a year since I started going to song circle at our local library, check our my blog to see all the kiddos that ended up at our 4th of July party! I think as long you are yourself and flexible, you’ll be just fine.

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