I managed to meet a few really cool ladies from the Mothers of Multiples Club. While I don't attend all the meetings or events, it's been a great way to get information, sell used toys and clothes (and vice versa), and to meet new people. While all moms have something in common -- children -- there are still a lot of things to factor into a good friendship.
Today I was in Ole Mole Southport picking up some take-out. There was a woman there also picking up an order and she had her toddler in the stroller with her, who was passed out. I was envious of her daughter's ability to sleep on the go and engaged in a discussion.
My usual pick-up line is something like "how old is your daughter/son?" When I told her I had twin daughters around the same age, the flood gates opened up and she asked me on a play date. A little too soon I thought to myself. Turns out she recently adopted this little girl, which is totally awesome, and was looking for other mommies in the area. At the end of the conversation I wasn't left wanting more. It just wasn't clicking; there was no chemistry. I think she was too old for me too. But she asked for my phone number. What was I supposed to do? I ended up giving my email and phone number. She seemed like a nice woman, but I just don't think it will work out.
Here are my criteria:
1) Location, location, location -- Getting out the door with one or two toddlers under toe is challenging even for the most organized person. If you live more than 20 minutes away from each other, the chances significantly decrease that you will actually be able to keep up a face-to-face relationship.
My one close friend lives in Wilton and I would say that is about the cut off. I am dying for her to move closer, like across the street, so I can come over in my PJ's at 8am with the girls. My other close friend lives in Norwalk, which is closer since it's right on and off I95, but she works full-time so we have to arrange weekend play dates and get togethers. I wish she was around all the time so we could see each other more. But she is bright and talented so I am sure she will be in business for herself someday soon.
It's hard because sometimes you meet someone really cool, or have a friend with a child the same age, but location and toddler schedules keep you apart. One woman I met with twins lives in Seymour. We met at a Target in Milford once, but the distance makes things hard. My other friend lives in Hamden and while we have gotten together several times since our children were born, it's not like living in the same town or two towns over. She has made her own group of local friends and even started a really cool mommy group on MeetUp.com. I wish I could attend more of her activities.
2) Age -- I never thought age would make a big difference, but it does. I have found that I tend to click more with mommies who are within five years of my age. Same goes for the kids ... you want the children to be able to interact on some level.
3) Parenting Style -- I walked into a new Moms group that was organized through my former pediatrician's office hoping to make a connection. When everyone had arrived, there was a nice group of about 12 mommies. As I made conversation and listened to what other mommies were saying, I quickly realized that I wasn't going to make any lasting relationships. They were talking about their natural births, herbal medicines and how they did yoga the entire pregnancy. While I completely respect other people's choices, they do not reflect my own beliefs. So I grabbed a bunch of cookies and left politely after about an hour. I never spoke with any of them again.
My mom once told me to treasure this time because you have the opportunity to pick your mommy friends. Soon enough the girls will be in school and the dating pool will open up again. Only this time, your kids will be picking their own friends and you will be blindly matched up with mommies you may never have ever asked on a first date.