Those first glances, the twiddling of the thumbs and hot sweats that come with first dates usually determine if there will be a second date. Within seconds we can tell if we are compatible with the opposite sex sitting across from us. Every word is taken in, and processed in this tiny database in our brains.
There is a commity in there full of overly opinionated single women in their 50’s that tells your brain whether you like this person or not. They are harsh and they are feisty, but they are usually right. I tell ya, provide them with plenty of Zinfandel ( the old lady wine of choice ) , and they will help you out.
The saying goes like this: ” You have to kiss a few frogs to find your Prince.”
But I like to say it this way: ” You have to have a few bad playdates to find you Mommy friends.”
This is true, I’ve kissed a lot of frogs, and walked out of playdates feeling like a moron. I’m parenting all wrong. OMG WHY have I already cut my two year olds hair , and WHY did I bring NON organic yogurt for snack.
Let’s face it, it’s hard putting ourselves out there as parents to find “parent” friends. You feel so vulnerable, so exposed. Mostly because you are. When you bring along your children with you to meet someone for the first time, the real you comes out. Because when your toddler is trying to pick up gum off the playground mulch you snap into real Mommy, the Mommy that sometimes loses her junk. Then they meet the real you, and it’s either over , or its ON.
Finding parent friends is so much like dating around before you get married it’s not even funny. Actually yes, yes it’s funny.
Finding the right balance of people that care about their children, but can sit at a table and have a conversation with you while your son practices a bow and arrow in their living room is a magical thing. You don’t have to have the same parenting mind sets, you don’t even have to have the same amount of children, or the same sex of children.
So what is it that makes us as parents compatible with one another?
It’s simply this:
Find people that make you feel at home in THEIR HOME. Find people that are relaxed when your child totally loses all control of their emotions after someone takes her toy. Find people that don’t always agree with your view points, but are respectful of your opinions.
You guys, this is how adults should act.
Often couples just don’t mesh like we want them too. This is ok, keep dating around. You’ll find your key couples with kids to hang with, clean up massive amounts of barbies with, and laugh with.
These will become your people. Your safe place to confide in, and ask for parenting advice.
But trust me on this, ask yourself after a playdate these questions:
– Did I feel heard?
– Did I feel respected?
– Did I feel like my parenting style was accepted?
These are key things in the relationship you will begin to develop with these parents. If you feel uncomfortable when you parent your child who just jumped from the monkey bars to the slide, you may need to reconsider who you are at the park with.
Parenting is very , very hard work. We all do it differently according to our viewpoints, and according to each child we raise.
Having parenting friends is all about a support system, and a breath of fresh air.
It’s not about condemnation, or judgement for ones actions.
Tonight we went over to a new friends house. We met on THE INTERNET ( see like a dating site ). There was no weird moments, no judgement, and definitely no holding back our feelings or opinions. Are we clones of each other? No.
Did I walk out of that home feeling loved and accepted?
This is what it is all about. Doing this parenting thing together. Lifting each other up when we are bruised a bit from a days work as a Momma. Lending a hand when it is needed, and having families into your home. Hosting has gotten so far from gone that I feel myself clinging to the idea of cooking for families so the mothers don’t have to.
Host a family this week, it will be fun. I promise. Have ice cream.