Nnnnnope. Not talking about dating. Sorry, nothing quite that juicy here today folks. I’m talking about matches with other parents. People to hang out with, trade tips and tricks with, to have each other’s backs in emergencies. Now that is pretty dang romantic if you ask me.
Too bad it’s not easy and instant friendship on the playground all the time. I’ve found it’s kind of like dating, you really have to feel compatible. The stakes feel high to many parents and many of us can be so strict in our parenting philosophies so one false move can seem disastrous. It’s been a bummer at times. Add into that all the hormones involved in pregnancy and the postpartum period and it’s really a miracle if you can spend ten minutes with each other without someone getting rubbed wrong. Nonetheless, it does work out sometimes! After two and a half years we have a few great family friendships to show for it. But it has been constant, conscious work to build this tiny village.
Take just the other day, I was on a mom blind-date. A mutual friend suggested that the two of us and our kids meet. Why? Because we are both single parents. Because both of our kids have a white mom and a black dad. Because we both have Jewish heritage. To our friend this meant love at first sight. Um? No. We met. We sat down. Disaster ensued. Have you ever had a stranger jump in and parent your child? Like sort of parent over you? Well. That happened. Super awkward. I had to tell at one point that thanks but I’m comfortable parenting my own child. And then there was the nosiness that appeared within the first 5 minutes. And hey, I get it. We are both single parents. There is a story there for sure. But if I don’t know you, please don’t pry. ESPECIALLY in front of my child.
Biggest tantrum of my son’s life. Wow. It was truly nuts. So, in all, it was a reallllly bad start to a day. I wish I had listened to my instincts and not met in a coffeeshop. I wish I left within the first 15 minutes when I could see it was just not a good situation. I think my lesson was to feel free and right to use an exit strategy if I or we need it. And to not feel bad about that. And to keep meeting other parents!