I appear to have a problem with making mum friends, and it’s a really obvious problem. It’s not because I have a body odour issue (I think), it’s not because I’m an unpleasant person to speak to (although I’ve really ballsed it up with some potential friends lately), oh no, it’s something FAR worse than that.
More particularly, it’s mine, and other people’s, children.
See if you recognise the situation:
You’ve gone to a little friend’s for a play date (ostensibly for the children to make better friends, in reality for you to hopefully make a fun mum amigo). The children are playing nicely, you’re on your first cup of tea and all is going well. You’ve made the small talk [insert weather/house/journey discussion here], and now it’s time. You’re about to get to know each other a little better, when…
“mummy, I’ve done a poo”
“mummy, can I have a drink”
“mummy, I’m hungry”
“mummy, I don’t like her”
“mummy, can we go now”
Once resettled, bums wiped and possibly a second cuppa brewed for you, you settle down again. There may even be a brief five minutes where you, blissfully, get to talk to this mum friend. She’s funny, you have things in common and you think how nice it is to be getting to know this woman you’ve been hoping to chat to for some while. And then…
“mummy, she pulled my hair”
“mummy, I’m tired”
“mummy, I’m bored”
“mummy, she won’t share”
Any of that familiar?
I thought so.
But, don’t worry. I have decided I have a solution, #mumdates. Because, after all the time you’ve put in wooing (yes wooing) this woman you’ve identified as being a potential friend (hell, you may even be ‘friends’ on Facebook), you NEED this woman in your life. And you NEED this time to get to know each other. But having the kids there is not the answer.
So, I suggest we man up a little, we aim a little higher with our new friends. We ask them out on a proper date, sorry, night. Make a plan to meet for cocktails… get dressed up, and get to know each other.
Even better, invite a few potential friends and that way there’ll be no awkward quiet moments (you know, the point when you’re waiting for someone to interrupt to tell you they need a wee).
I plan on inviting some new mum friends out soon, but feel free to share your pictures and stories about how your #mumdate goes!