When you become a new mother it can feel somewhat isolating. Your life gets turned completely upside down and your world starts to revolve around this tiny little person who eats, poops and cries a good chunk of the day. You want to socialize with people, but the evenings are tough because you are trying to establish a bedtime routine and during the day, most of your friends are at work.
So, you start looking for mommy friends. You cruise Facebook and join mommy groups who have regular play dates. It only takes a while and suddenly you are invited on your first mommy date!
This is a big deal. So many things are crucial. You want to make sure you’re on time and that you don’t come off too nervous or too eager. Date day comes and goes. And you think it went really well. You made sure that you were on time and you remembered everyone’s name and could even pronounce those baby names that you’ve never even heard before. But then you don’t hear anything for a day. And then it turns into two days, and then a week and then several weeks and then a month. What did you do wrong?
I don’t know specifically what you did or didn’t do during your play date, but I can guarantee that the following things will almost 100% ensure that another mom won’t want to spend time with you again:
Overdressing. By overdressing I don’t mean that you wore too many layers. No, what I mean is that you dressed up like you were going to a job interview. Most moms were probably sporting yoga pants, ponytails and sneakers. If you showed up to a park with flawless makeup, manicured nails and a power suit and heels, then there’s a good chance that the other mommies thought you were ridiculous and that you didn’t actually WANT to be in a park. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, but you need to dress the part. Save your heels for date night or in the bedroom!
Out-doing everyone. Did your baby crawl at five months? That’s fantastic. Did they sleep through the night at two weeks? You’re one lucky lady. Do they take two really long naps every day? I’m jealous. But seriously, don’t brag about this stuff. Especially if another mom is pouring her heart out and talking about her struggles and how tired she is because her baby only sleeps for three uninterrupted hours at a time. Listen to her and let her know that it will eventually get better. Do not try and out-do her and let her know how awesome your child is. Because she’ll start to wonder what she is doing wrong, and the truth is; she isn’t doing anything wrong. No two babies are alike.
Put your phone away!!! Nothing annoys me more than going to dinner with a friend and having them continuously check their phone and answer texts while I am talking to them. It’s rude and shows a lack of interest. When you’re on a play date, it’s about spending time with other moms and talking to them and getting to know them. You can’t do that if you’re looking at your phone every 3-4 minutes for Facebook updates. Seriously, put your phone away for an hour. You and Facebook will both survive.
Terrorizing moms to be. If there happens to be a mommy-to-be at the play date with her cute pregnant belly, do not terrorize her with labor horror stories. Yeah, labor sucks. It’s not exactly a walk in the park but the end result is; you get to meet the love of your life. A first time expecting mom does not want to hear that you were in labor for 56 hours and needed 42 stitches and spent 8 days in the hospital. GTFO here with that. Tell her she’ll do amazing and that they have great drugs for pain.
Hot topics. There are some topics that you just never bring up with other moms. Do not, under any circumstances, offer your opinions on a hot topic during your first mommy date. You will, without a doubt, hurt someone’s feeling. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t agree with co-sleeping, vaccinations, extended rear-facing, breastfeeding or whatever else the topic may be. Stay neutral. Everyone is doing their best to raise their children in a way that works for them. Which brings me to my next topic.
Don’t be a sanctimommy! If you see someone feeding their child with a bottle and you’re a huge breastfeeding advocate, don’t lecture them on the benefits of breastfeeding. I’m sure they know. And don’t act as if your way of doing things is the only way of doing things, because it’s not. There are tons of different parenting styles and every child is unique and different. If you start with that holier-than-thou shit you can bet your freshly manicured nails that those mommies will never want to see you or your power suit again.
If she’s not calling you, not returning your texts or not answering your Facebook messages, then there is a reason. Something went wrong and she’s just not that into you. It might be her or maybe it’s you. Whatever it is, it’s okay. You’re a new mom. You’re learning and growing. And guess what? So am I. And I might even be guilty of a few of these play dates faux pas. No need to panic. Have a glass (or bottle) of wine and consider it a lesson learned for next time!