Mom dates are hard.
You may call them "play dates," but I like the term "mom dates," especially since my kids are still too young to really care that there's another small person to squabble over toys with. Of course I want my kids to meet new people and have different experiences, but realistically, for now, this kind of thing is mostly for my benefit. Scary as it is.
It's been a long time since I was on the dating scene, but at least back then, I only had to worry about the kind of impression one person was making. Now, I have to worry about three of us.
What should we wear? Is my usual yoga-pants-and-t-shirt get-up too momcore, or will I look like I'm trying too hard if I put on a nice sweater and wear makeup? Are the other parents going to judge me if my kid shows up with lunch smeared all over his clothes? Am I going to be allergic to someone else's house? Or what if it smells funny? Or what if my house is the one that smells funny? What if the twins shove someone else's child? What if the twins shove each other? What if I don't have enough interesting things to say? Or what if the other parents just want to spend the whole time talking about diaper rashes and developmental milestones?!
At least I'm not the only one who finds the prospect of mom dates challenging. It's enough of a thing these days to warrant the existence of OkCupid-style sites like MomMeetMom for moms to locate and evaluate potential mom-friend matches. I guess it beats going to the park and looking around for other parents with kids about your age.
At least at singles bars, you know everyone's after more or less the same thing, but it's a whole different ballgame on Saturday mornings by the swingset. "Why hello there, I see you happen to have reproduced in approximately the same time frame that I did. Do you by any chance have any vacancies in the mom-friend department?"
So yes, you'd better believe I made a mom profile, and then agonized over it, but even this is laced with pitfalls that I bet people in the regular online dating scene never have to deal with. I'm 100% sure that no one has ever met up with a Craiglist Missed Connection and found themselves subjected to a doTerra or Jamberry pitch, for one thing. If I want an onslaught of multi-level marking offers, I'll just stick to Facebook, thanks very much.
The questions you're subjected to in order for the sites to make your matches made me sweat more than the SATs ever did, too. If I wanted an OkCupid profile, I could probably come up with a favorite movie, book, and inspirational quote without too much trouble. But how do I describe my parenting style on a sliding scale from "Attachment" to "Hands-Off"? Am I a "Free-Range" mom, or a "Restrictive" one?
The only query I was able to answer easily was the one that asked whether or not I was a "high intensity" parent. I don't think you can legally describe yourself as "high intensity" if you haven't worn real pants in three days.
We'll see if I get bites on my moms-seeking-moms dating profile. We'll see if I can suck up all my worries enough to do anything about it if I get a match, too. In the meantime, if anyone knows of a parenting style compatible with extended breastfeeding, healthy eating, but also turning on cartoons for the kids long enough for you to take a shower and drink a cup of coffee, do let me know.