I used to think how lucky I was that I met my husband in college.  I never really had to go on dates in the “real world.”  I got to date in the comfort of a college town bubble, where everyone is basically there for the same reasons, and there’s always a friend of a friend who knows the person you’re on a date with.  I never had to sit through blind dates or even worry about where I would meet someone, a dream come true for this introvert!

Well, turns out I do still have to go on blind dates now that I’m a mom.

Meeting new mom friends is incredibly hard.  I don’t care if you are the most outgoing person ever, which I am far from, it still is intimidating.  Making mom friends seems to be an art all itself.

First you have to scout out other moms without being creepy.

It’s kinda like stalking.  You don’t want to get caught staring at other women, but you still want to do your research.  There’s no Match.com for this.  There’s only our observations, and those are even skewed.  A mom in the preschool lobby acts much differently than when she is at home.  Let me tell you first hand, you don’t always get what you expect when you take a mom out of a public setting.

Secondly, you need to somehow make an awkward introduction if you feel you’ve found a good specimen.

Usually my introductions are performed because my son literally runs into someone or starts throwing toys in another child’s direction.  I have a fear of just straight walking up to someone and saying, “Hi, I’m Emily.  Will you be my friend?”  That’s just not natural for me.  If you have this gift, please write a manual and send it to me asap!

Lastly, if the scouting and introductions go well, you have to go on a form of a date to see how well you mesh.

This is rough!  Talk about intimidating, what do you wear?  Are my usual yoga pants appropriate or would skinny jeans be too much?!  What if I show up all dressed up and she shows up comfy?  Sounds dumb, but it all seems to matter on the first date.

I always make sure to bring an “out” with me.  You know, like, “Oh my goodness, I forgot I needed to pick up x,y, or z from the store for this afternoon.”  Sometimes I even purposely forget to bring the children’s water bottles out of the car for a park date just in case we need to leave because things aren’t going well.  “Oh shoot, my kids are dying by of thirst and I forgot their waters.  Five more minutes guys, then we need to go.”  Sounds terrible, but being prepared is something I learned years ago in Girl Scouts.

I’ll admit it, I try to steer clear of several types of new friends, because I know finding a good friend is a dime a dozen.  I need to be picky, why wouldn’t I be?  I am not in the market for just any kind of friends, I’m only looking for friends I can be my true self with; messy hair and honest opinions and all.

The good news is my vetting process has paid off, and I’ve met a handful of wonderful ladies who I am excited to call my friends.  I’ll take a handful of gems any day over a bucket full of lemons!

Good luck on the dating moms, it’s a jungle out there!  In all seriousness, stay strong and stick to your gut.  Sometimes we aren’t meant to all be best friends and that’s okay.  There’s someone for everyone right?!