No, Gez and I haven't decided to become swingers. I'm talking about mothers making friends with other mothers. While I'm certainly not the first person to liken this process to dating, I'm going to go one step further and say it's harder than dating. (::cue single friends rolling their eyes::).
Seriously though, when you're a new mama, you instantly become thrust into this new, unfamiliar, social group. Maybe you're lucky enough to already have a large group of friends with a passel of kiddos just waiting for you to sashay into playgroup- I wasn't. If you're the first of your friends to have a baby, or, like me, you live far away from any friends with children, you're left to fend for yourself. And it's a scary place, my friends. The bars and clubs of yesterday become the parks and playgroups of right now. Flattering mood lighting becomes harsh daylight, and your group of socially savvy girlfriends is replaced by a crying, squishy little thing that you only hope doesn't erupt in an explosion of poo just as you're making you're move on that nice group of girls over there. There's no social lubricant of cosmos or manhattans, no loud music to drown out awkward silences. It's hard.
But the thing is, you don't really have a choice. Both your kid and your sanity are depending on you to put yourself out there, so you do. When we first moved to North Wales, I must have tried eleventy billion (yes, that number is a FACT) different playgroups, trying to find friends for me and Iwan. We had a good time at each of these playgroups, but it took awhile before we found the right one. And just like with real dating, when you find the right one, you just know. These girls were smart, fun, and people I felt like I could be friends with outside of kid stuff, you know? So imagine my dismay when, a couple weeks into this new playgroup the leader announced that it was ending. Panic! My hard earned attempts at friendship were going to be lost. It was last call, the lights were coming on and I didn't have any numbers. Should I give out my number? Would that be weird? Thankfully, before I could devolve into socially-inept hysteria, it was coolly suggested that we all exchange numbers and try to get together outside of playgroup. Yay!
So, I've managed to make a few friends with kids. Iwan and I have things to do during the week, and the world isn't such a scary place. I don't have to walk into the club alone anymore.