just for the record, not men! it’s finding other (normal) moms that has thrown me into the (play)dating pool. i swear, it’s harder than it looks!
once home, i quickly felt lonely and starved for adult interaction. even though my two close friends (also SAHMs) live within a mile (one across the street!), we couldn’t get schedules to line up. i quickly learned that similar schedules are a necessity for a good playdate.
the kids and i hit parks, malls and the pool… and i found myself giving the once over to every mom who had kids close to mine in age. i couldn’t believe i was checking moms out and eavesdropping on them! sadly, everyone normal already seemed paired up or there was something glaring that deterred me from approaching someone – maybe i was judging the book too much by it’s cover?
in hopes of finding some social interaction for the kids, i enrolled my toddler son in a tumbling class at the rec center. day one: we thought we had found someone. both my son and another boy were wearing truck shirts, and he had a younger sibling (girl) around my daughter’s age and they were all playing well together. so, the kids got along – check. the mom mentioned naptime hours and i realized they had a similar schedule – check. things were looking promising!
towards the end of the class, the teacher put on a tape and asked the kids to march around the room to the music. my son, voted most likely to do his own thing, had no interest. no big deal – i marched holding his sister. however, his new friend also had no desire to march and the mom proceeded to scold him loudly over this. when the scolding did not work, she dragged him literally from the room by his arm. WHOA – clearly not similar parenting styles. bummer.
second class: we ended up switching class time due to nap management and met up with our neighbor’s daughter who has twin girls a few months younger than my son. the kids did well together during the rest of the classes (i.e. no hitting), even with the age difference. the mom and i chatted a lot and got along well.
in summary – here is what i now go through mentally when meeting other moms and their kids:
1- do our kids get along?
2- do we (the moms) get along? do we have any similar interests?
3- do the parents get along with all the kids and vice versa? what’s the group vibe?
4- are the kids’ schedules similar?
5- do we (the moms) have similar parenting styles, especially as it relates to discipline? this is so important, because any moment you may need to step in with her kids and she may need to do the same.
when the 5 week session was over, the mother of the twins and i exchanged contact info and have been out for two playdates already and decided to get together weekly. the mom is great – the kids are playing well – and they are game for anything (including a trip to the zoo today in prime Ohio humidity).
so far, so good… that is until our kids’ schedules change and they don’t mesh anymore! when that happens, i will be out dating – again!