Mom Friends: Conversation Starters 101

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 

Your kids are about the same age, and you saw her at the playground, or at mommy-baby yoga, or La Leche League. A sanctimommy started ranting. Maybe how formula is poison, or cloth diapers will destroy the earth, or lizard aliens push vaccines on unsuspecting earthlings. Your eyes met hers. And in synch, they rolled.

Welcome to Mom Friends.

Sure, you had friends before. You knew these friends in and out: their number of siblings, their psychiatric diagnoses, the exact piece of furniture they lost their virginity on. You knew they liked Cake more than Wilco, or Brittany more than Christina. You knew their political views. You had political views. Your group of friends was carefully curated, based on mutual interest and similar personalities, probably life philosophies.

No more, mamas. No more.

Now, your friends are the women you see on the playground, in mama-baby yoga, or during school pickup and dropoff. Your mutual interests include children, and your conversations revolve around children, poop (and where it ended up this time), potty-training, strollers, and who’s got a super sale on chicken breasts this week. You know more about her children’s bowel habits than her inner life.

Ladies, you can’t live like this. You deserve more. You need more. And you’ll never find your MBFF (mom best friend forever) if you stick to poop alone. Move beyond fecal matter with these conversation tips:

1. Sex: She’s had it at least once. She probably wants to have it again. You do too. So a well-placed comment about how you never get laid/want to get laid/fear your lady parts look like ground beef can start some real talking.

2. Childbirth: you’ve both done it. This is a good way to suss out if she’s a hippie (homebirth, birth center, no interventions) or a more conventional mama (hospital, epidural, elective section). It’s not cut-and-dry, of course. But it’s a good place to start bringing your genitals into the conversation. Did you poop during childbirth? Did she? Every mother loves to talk about poop!

3. Music: Start safe, with how much you’re sick of playing kiddie rock all the time. Then move into how much you miss listening to music with the word ‘fuck’ in it. Does she miss Pretty Hate Machine? Eminem? The Sex Pistols? Then bond over your mutual love of shitty 90s music.

4. Politics: playground politics, that is. What do you do when someone tries to help your kid up the slide? Or when another kid beats yours? Are you more Free Range or Helicopter? A good way to learn about life philosophy without asking Big Deep Questions and sounding like a stoner.

5. College: Did she go? Did you? What terrible, terrible things did you do there? Fess up. You know you want to forget about the soggy bowls of cereal on your counter and tell someone about the time you got drunk and made out with the semi-famous drummer of a third-tier band.

6. Sibling drama: Not your kids, yours. If you have a sibling, you have sibling drama. So does she. A good way to learn about someone’s family and if they come from crazy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – in fact, it makes for better conversation. I once found out a friend’s dad is convinced he was abducted by aliens as a kid. This should have been that mom’s lead-in to every single conversation ever.

7. Where to buy the best yoga pants: This is where the conversation should start. If you do it right, you end up talking about the mall, and where you like to shop, and how you dress when you aren’t covered in vomit and small children. This is a good lead-in to asking her out on a Mom Date (no kids).

8. Past lives: i.e. before kids (reincarnation may be interesting, but it’s also got a high chance of pegging you as crazypants if you live in the Deep South). This is one question it’s acceptable to ask right out: So, what did you do before kids? Her answers may surprise you: one of my BFFs was a meteorologist, another a botanist.

9. Crafting: chances are, like you, she does some kind of craft to keep at bay the encroaching darkness and existential woe. Maybe she knitted those hats her kids wear. Maybe she’s a painter. Maybe she can’t make a block tower but that’s just about as interesting.

10. Alcohol: what to drink, when to drink, where to buy it, past debaucheries – the list is endless! It will also weed out the teetotallers, because you didn’t want to be friends with them anyway.

Go on, now. Make some friends!

Related post: The 10 Mom Friends Every Mom Needs

This article was originally published on