An entirely new type of dating scene
Picture this, you’re in your 20’s. A young woman in the big city. Your career is just starting to take off so you aren’t the starving student anymore. Your conscience is all of a sudden clear about ordering the 9oz instead of your usual frugal 6oz. Moving on up!
The dating scene changes from meeting someone within your immediate friend group, to blind dates and chance meetings outside of your friends (I am dating myself here, clearly pre-Tinder). The awkward first dates that never turn into a second. Or multiple dates in, you discover “he’s so much younger than he said he was!” Run, and quickly at that!
Then, you meet Mr.Right! Everything clicks! He’s a gentleman, you have amazing conversations, he’s fun to be around, your values line up, and he’s sexy as hell! All falls into place. Phew! Finally out of that dating scene!
Comfort is a beautiful thing
Next steps being a proposal, an engagement, a wedding, the house, and then a new baby. You get the picture.
Now, you are all settled in to your sleepless, yet comfortable life. Then the comfort fairies come and pull that plush, shag rug right out from under your feet. Don’t get to comfortable yet mama, here’s a curveball for you. When you have kids (and most of your current friends do not) you all of a sudden are thrust into a whole new type of a dating scene.
In comes the mom friend dating pool. Except now there are so many more check boxes to consider when swimming in this pool. You have to make new friends for yourself, and your kids have to get along with their kids. If you’re really lucky, your husband hits it off with their husband. I like to call that the trifecta! It does happen, but it’s few and far between.
Managing and juggling your schedule to makes sure you include ample nap time, meals, snacks, learning, and play. Plus your own work schedules, hobbies, and time to have any kind of relationship with hubby. The sheer number of appointments have now doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled for some (don’t even think about it Iain!). We’re good at three for now!
“Where the f*ck am I supposed to fit in time to do the small talk dance, over and over again to make new mom-friends?”
If you are an amateur on this front as I was, you are going to try and meet some new mom friends at local parks, maybe at the daycare drop-off, or just not at all. These are tough go’s and unless you are very outgoing and can catch someone not rushing off to work, this route takes a very long time and often comes up short.
In comes mom meetups. Pre scheduled groups setup for women of similar stages to meet and socialize together. Thank goodness you exist! This allows you to meet multiple people at the same time, looking for the same thing, with similar aged kids, all while living within a close proximity. BINGO! All while living through this new phase that if you haven’t been through it, is so hard to explain.
I recently came across a term that perfectly describes what this phase could be called. The on trend word for a woman’s 4th trimester being “matrescence” (a combo of ‘maternal’ & ‘adolescence’). It’s a developmental transition into motherhood. Giving a name to the phase that a woman goes through after her baby is born, where a massive amount of identity crisis AND personal growth happen. Hormonal imbalances and physical healing are taking place. As well as trying to juggle the life we have built around us. Remember the emotional roller coaster you went through called puberty?! Sort of like that, but with way more responsibility attached to it.
So when you are entering into this new phase where sleeplessness takes over, your body is changing (not always for the better), your having a mini identity crisis, and a scheduling roller-coaster of events to coordinate all happening at once. You now, have to start a sort of “courting” ritual to find friends all over again?
Insert a deep breathe here
But you know what, I have come to realize that in this type of phase, I need to shred that long checklist. How fair is it to hold this checklist over a person that is going through just as busy and challenging of a time, if not more, as I am? How silly of me!
What I am so thankful for, are those of you who already live in this mindset, and make those connections happen with both love and non-judgement. Thank you for showing me a better way.
It is crucial to go through a life phase like this with other women by your side. Sharing in each other’s experiences, wether it’s a triumph or a failure, instantly creates a connection between women. It’s pretty unbelievable. You could live very different lives, but you know from your heart what each other are going through, and only want to offer support in any way you can. Having an experienced ear to listen to you, is enough.
It is inspiring what women can accomplish with how they manage themselves and their families. All while newly navigating building and nurturing new friendships? We are the master multitaskers I tell you!
What I am getting at is, let us all be forgiving on each other. We have gone through a hell of a lot in this new phase and we are all trying to do our best! A friend just recently spoke jokingly about why we have to be called yummy mommy. “Can’t we just be yummy?!” she said. We all burst out with laughter.
So instead of calling each other “mom-friends”…let’s break down the wall and start referring to each other as FRIENDS shall we?