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Desperately Seeking Mom Friends
I’ve always been a bit of a mother outsider. When I had my daughter in my early twenties, I was too young to have friends with children the same age as mine. While I hunkered down for two weeks and set up a sleep schedule – pulling down shades at 7 PM and turning on a soft light – my friends were doing whatever they wanted. They were wonderful friends, but I was the only one with a baby.
Now, as my daughter has gotten older, my friends are women in their 40’s while I am a decade younger. Age, of course, is nothing but a number, but my outsider status as someone who was too young to find mom friends and now too old to have friends with children my daughter’s age, I’m more than used to being stuck in the middle of nowhere.
It can, for sure, be a lonely place.
I’m almost ten years into being a mom while my best friend has a 10-month-old and is pregnant with her second. I have a softball team’s worth of friends and acquaintances just like her. Her focus is on family and mine – I thought this day would never come – is on other things. Wasn’t it just last week that I was holding a tiny spoon debating how pureed carrots ended up on the ceiling and nowhere near my daughter’s mouth?
I’ve never be able to get this mom friend thing down. In my opinion, you would be much better served taking out an ad for a mom bestie and writing a book about it than going about it the way I did.
I’ve made friends in the most unassuming places: the bus stop, pre-school, swim class, the soccer field, Girl Scouts, and day care drop-off. I never made mom friends at the playground because I came with a book and a motto: never make friends at the playground. If only I had listened to myself and been on guard everywhere else. I should have. The playground was probably safe the whole time.
It’s not that I don’t like other mothers, I just don’t like other mothers all up in my mothering. You know what I mean? If I post a photo on Facebook of my child doing X, Y, and Z and then – yep, there it is – a child that’s not mine doing the same exact thing. It amounts to a level of competition I never wanted, so I tried to be smart about making mom friends and ended up with all the wrong ones: the women who judged and posted cryptic updates until I un-friended them and they went berserk.
Which has me wondering, if I did have an ad for a mommy bestie on Craig’s List, what would it say?
AM Seeks AAM:
Awesome Mother seeks Another Awesome Mother that will never compare and/or judge my child with her own or my parenting skills or lack thereof. AAM should be prepared to never have a conversation about Facebook, the PTA, or 50 Shades of Grey (unless all of these things are in the same sentence). She must have a sense of humor, leave her house occasionally, and, when I die, throw herself on my casket and tell everyone I was the Thelma to her Louise. Bonus if she can get Brad Pitt to show up.
I’m not asking too much, right?
Liz Henry is the irreverent voice behind the award-winning blog The Six Year Itch. She lives with her daughter and her partner, Slasher, in Philadelphia. That's not his real name and that's not her real hair color. Her soft middle is totally real. Liz graduated sum...Read More