Back in my 20s I was young and pretty in New York City. It was the life I'd worked for and the life that I wanted. Nobody I knew had kids and nobody, it seemed, wanted them. Near the end of my 20s I found myself unpartnered and pregnant. It wasn't the path I would have chosen but I decided to make the best of it. Finding a bigger apartment and child care was a challenge. Finding great mom friends felt impossible!
By the time my son was three I was married and living in the burbs. My white picket dreams came into focus while my fun girl dreams faded away.
A few short years into suburbia it was time for me to start dating again -- dating for mom friends! Looking back, it seems crazy that I didn't think of it sooner! Why not apply the skill and savvy I'd learned from dating to finding cool mom friends?
Just like with regular dating I created a mental "must have" list. I wanted to be a part of a group of moms more than a one on one situation. I wanted social and economic diversity and basically fun loving people. What I really wanted was moms who were just like me -but not. (One of me is plenty!) How hard could that be to find?
Turns out is wasn't that easy, but it also wasn't too hard. I trolled for mom at the playground and in churches. There were online meet ups and mommy circle at daycare. I still love the sisters of the Red Tent but that's not really a mom's group.
I finally found "my people" in the Mocha Moms. Mochas offered diversity of experiences and parenting philosophies and it's also just fun. It's the first mom's group I've come across that's not about the kids! We have spa days, wig parties and wine tastings. There are family events a couple times a year, but basically it's by moms, for moms! My group puts me back in touch with the non-mom me but leaves room to honor family life.
Fun time apart from the kids allows me to be better with the kids!
I have no desire to go back to being the single version of myself but I also don't want to put her on a shelf. I need to find ways to be foot loose and fancy free while honoring the family person I've grown into. My mom's group allows me to be every part of myself and that's a real gift.
On June 4th I'll celebrate my 17th year as a mom! It's a tremendous accomplishment and the hardest job I've ever loved. My only regret is that I didn't shop for mom friends sooner.
The Longest, Shortest Time podcast is hosting an event called Speed Dating for Mom Friends. It's exactly what it sounds like and it sounds totally fun! If you're a new mom, or a lonely mom, I say get on out there girl! Start dating for mom friends!
Whether you prefer groups, one on one mom friends or something else, I hope you find "your people" in the ocean of mommies out there.
As we honor and are honored as mothers this Sunday, take a moment to raise a glass to your great mom friends! They love us, care for us and keep us sane!
Happy Mother's Day mamas! Now go on out there and get yourself a girlfriend!