Mothers seek each other out to find adult conversation in a world of boo-boo’s and blankies. Having contact and support in people who you enjoy being with may make your day slightly less stressful.
“It's nice to know that you're not alone when you're dealing with things from breastfeeding to tantrums and starting school.” said Kristi Potter, a mom of two from Vancouver, Wash.
But were do moms find one another?
Meeting other moms is very similar to dating - the approach, the discussion, the date, or rather, play-date.
The big difference between dating and meeting other moms is the location where you go on your “dates” and the topic of conversation.
While you still may ask the standard getting-to-know-you questions, topics generally fall back to your labor and birth experiences, breastfeeding, parenting style and potty training.
Gossip and bad-mouthing should be avoided at all costs as many moms feel that this kind of discussion reflects badly on the one spreading mischief.
“I don’t have the time, patience or desire to sort out gossip,” said Potter, “It just makes you untrustworthy. After all, how do I know you aren’t going to talk about me behind my back next?”
Where you go for your play-date should be a mutually decided upon spot. According to the popular parenting website, BabyCenter, located at www.babycenter.com, the most common meeting spots for first play-dates are the park or indoor playground.
“A public place where it’s easy to have an eye on the kids and chat at the same time is best,” Potter said.
Kid-friendly cafés such as the Tot Spot in Woodinville are favored by many because mom can eat with her new friends while their children have a chance to explore the indoor play area.
Other places for play-dates are the zoo, mall, any walking trail or one another’s houses (as long as you have met at least once before).
Signing up for “parent-tot” classes such as Gymboree, Little Gym or Kindermusik, provides an environment where conversation comes easily as you talk about the class with the other parents in attendance.
Remember that, many moms are looking for new friends just like you are so don’t be afraid to take the first step.
“I think most moms are really looking for someone to connect with.” said Lisa Garpestad, a mother of two toddlers from Seattle. “Invite people to get together. Most moms really need this.”
Take into consideration, not all moms will agree with your parenting style or have kids the same exact age as yours. But they can still turn out to be great friends so try and keep an open mind.
Of course, you aren’t going to get along with everyone.
“If our parenting styles are totally different, I know it’s just not going to work,” said Kim Dare, mother of 3-year-old Bailey from Redmond, “Generally our kids get along, it’s the adults that clash.”
When meeting new friends, above all else, show your child respect. “If a woman shows respect for her child, it means she has the ability to respect me,” Dare said, “If she can’t do that, I certainly won’t connect.”
Meeting new people isn’t always the easiest thing but, with a little courage (and a lot of wet-wipes), you could be setting up play-dates with a great group of new mommy friends.