Every mom needs a support network of mom friends.
Moms don’t freak out when you tell them about the gross things your kids do—like when the baby finger-paints the nursery with their feces. Mom friends are more likely to understand, empathize, provide an embarrassing poop anecdote of their own, and maybe recommend a good art school.
It’s been a year since we’ve moved, and I have yet to find my mom BFF. In reflecting on the last year, I’ve narrowed it down to the five ways making mom friends is the worst:
1. The Conversation Sucks
Every parent learns to cope with constant interruptions (I’m typing this as I referee an argument about Bubble Guppies). But it’s almost impossible to carry on a conversation between two parents who are being distracted simultaneously. The more children you are collectively responsible for, the more requests you’ll field for snacks, potty breaks, and toys that other children are playing with. That’s just science.
In the event that you’re able to get in more than a few sentences, it’s usually just swapping generic information about your kids. Can’t we all just agree that no one else cares what percentile your kid is for anything? Let’s move on to the important things, like whether you watch The Walking Dead or the most effective place you’ve found to hide candy from your family.
2. The Venues Are Terrible
The places we meet other parents are inherently flawed because they’re the same places we take our kids. If I’m at the park, I’m preoccupied with making sure neither of them is running into the street, standing in front of the swings, or being a dick to other kids.
And if we’re at a kid’s birthday party—especially if there’s any kind of giant mouse involved—I’m probably too busy hating life to make a genuine effort to connect with anyone. That is a strict, every-person-for-themselves, I’m-taking-the-first-lifeboat-out-of-this-god-forsaken-place survival situation.
3. My Social Skills Could Use Some Fine-Tuning
My kids seem to take turns being sick. I end up sleep-deprived and quarantined with the same Barney episode on repeat. Sure, if it’s done at Guantanamo it’s “against the Geneva Convention,” but when it happens to me, my sanity is up for grabs.
Some weeks, the only adult conversation I have is with my husband, who shares my
twisted unique sense of humor. This is great for our marriage but not so great for play group when I joke about things that others might find inappropriate, like, “Everyone knows ginger babies don’t have shadows.”
4. You’re A Package Deal Now
Making friends used to be as simple as you liked them and they liked you. Now, not only do the two of you have to get along, but so do your kids and your partners. With each additional member of your families, the chance that one is kind of a jerk grows exponentially.
5. The Comfort of Technology
Just like video killed the radio star, our smartphones have murdered our ability to make new friends. I’m totally guilty of this. Knowing all of the reasons mentioned above, and that I get about 30 seconds before a kid needs something, it’s easier to spend that time texting or choosing an Instagram filter.
It’s hard to make friends in real life when we all have so many friends that live in our computers. Trying to make new mom friends is exhausting. It’s easy to get burnt out. But I won’t let it stop me from trying. Because, in the end, when I find that mom who rolls her eyes at all the same shit I do, it will all be worthwhile.