I had a conversation the other day with my older sister that blew my mind. She isn’t married and she doesn’t have kids so she has a pretty good perspective on how crazy I can sometimes act. Fortunately, she said this crazy wasn’t specific to me. She pointed out something that moms, especially those of us with small kids, do that is really weird. And I had never noticed it until she brought it up but she is absolutely right. We ALL do it, ALL the time!
She observed that when we as moms want to hang out with another mom, we try to arrange it through our children. “Oh we should get these two together for a play date this week!” or “Let’s take the kids to the park on Saturday.” As if our toddlers really care. In my sister’s words, “They just sit around and poke at each other’s eyes.”
And it’s true. Our kids don’t care. They “play” with anyone, or no one. Doesn’t matter to them! What we really want is someone else to be around. An adult who gets us. A friend. But we hide behind pretending we want our kids to be friends. Why are we so weird?
When you were in high school or college, before you had children, did you try to invite people to do things with you under the guise of something else? “Hey, you could come over after school with your little brother so he can hang out with my little sister!” or “I’m going to go dancing on Friday…for…charity. Do you want to come support charity?” No. At least I hope not. I didn’t. None of my friends did. We just invited people over. We had parties and hangouts and friends without having to trick them into it.
Moms – you are still fun. You are still cool. You are still worthy of friends. And if our kids are all going to sit around poking each other’s eyes anyway, why don’t we stop pretending it is for them that we’re hanging out? Why don’t we get together with the understanding that it is for us to be friends? Moms, you can have friends too.