Since becoming a parent I’ve tried to focus on building my network of new-parent friends, but truth be told, it’s been difficult. Being a busy, working mom, I barely have any energy at the end of the day. When I pick up my kids from daycare the last thing I want to do is socialize and scout out new play-date potentials. Because let’s be honest here, I’m really just scouting out the other moms to see if they are as cool as me – who cares if the kids get along, right? Most toddlers don’t get along anyway. They spend all their playtime fighting and tattling on who’s not sharing. I’m the one who needs the friend – and a drinking buddy.
Through this awkward scouting process I’ve realized that rules apply when setting up play-dates, just as they did when you were a participant on the dating scene.
To help you in your quest for the perfect partner, here are five rules you need to know when jumping into the play-dating pool.
- Always approach the other parent as a better version of yourself. You know… like you’re the perfect mom who does it all and has it all. Why wouldn’t she want to hang around you and be just as fabulous?
- Make the initial interaction seem spontaneous. Meaning – you’ve actually been scouting them for a while, however you don’t want them to think you’re some kind of creep-ster. Randomly approach them and start the conversation with, “I don’t normally do this, but…”. They know you’re a liar – but at least it breaks the ice.
- Ask for their E-mail address not their phone number. No one likes phone calls these days.Who has time for that? If you do get a number, only text. Just like with dating you want to abide by the three-day rule. If you reach out the same night you met, you’ll seem like a stalker who doesn’t have any other friends. Also, when emailing make sure to stress how busy you are, but may be able to squeeze them in. This always makes you sound important.
- Ease into the ‘Friend Request’. Wait until after a few play-dates to build a Facebook, or any other social media, relationship. Again, you’ll seem way to eager. Plus, I would rather have a few conversations before you see pictures of me from college dancing on bars that my friends so graciously posted for Throw-Back-Thursday.
- On the play-date make sure your kid doesn’t do the first ‘asshole’ thing. You don’t want to be the first one to say, “He normally doesn’t act like this, he’s just tired.” Truth is – your kid does act like this most of the time, but you can’t blow his cover until after the honeymoon phase. Once the honeymoon phase is over, you can settle into a nice, real, relationship and start fighting over which kid left the toilet seat up.
It would be nice, like when dating, if moms could just cut to the chase. Aren’t we a little too old for games? Weren’t we tortured enough just trying to land our husbands? Either way, if you follow these simple rules above you’re sure to build your network of mom-friends. Off to scout more play-dates!