I’ve been thinking about mom friends a lot lately.
I’ve been thinking that it would be nice to have friends here who also have children. But I’ve had trouble finding those people – or maybe I’ve found people who have children, but have had a hard time making them my friends.
Why is that? I’m a nice person. I’m reasonably friendly, I’m pleasant, can make decent small talk, and I’m pretty good about showing up when I say I’m going to show up. Seems to me I should be able to find one or two people to hang out with.
I’ve decided that the problem I’ve had with making mom friends comes down to the idea of the shared experience. The idea that just because we both have children we should be, or can be, friends. Because, really? I don’t think that’s enough of a reason to be friends with someone. It feels sort of like saying I should be friends with anyone who went to my college. It might be enough to talk about for a few minutes, but it’s not enough to lay the foundation of lasting friendship on. At least I don’t think so.
I’m not friends with everyone I went to college with (in fact, I’m not friends with anyone I went to college with…pattern much?). It would be ridiculous to assume that I would be friends with everyone I went to college with. I mean, there were so many different types of people – I couldn’t possibly be expected to get along with all of them. (I might have been expected to get along with some of them…)
So, back to mom friends. Within the scope of parenthood, like a college campus, there are dozens of different types of people. It’s not surprising at all that it’s hard to make friends. Especially when it seems like parents fall into a pattern of talking about their children – a lot. How will I ever know that we like the same movies? And read the same books? And listen to the same music if all we ever talk about are diapers and sleeping? I’m guilty of it – I talk about my kid when faced with other parents because it’s our shared experience. Put any two parents in a room together and they’ll find something to talk about. And that’s nice. But it’s also hard to move past sometimes.
Because eventually you’ll run out of the patience to talk about teething, and eating, and sleeping, and pre-schools, and pediatricians. And you’ll want to talk about something non-parent related and you’ll find out that you and this other person have very little in common. And you’ll both stand there and politely smile at one another, hoping desperately that a little body will require assistance so you can wander off without being perceived as rude.
So, here I am. Kind of sick of talking about my kid all the time. But finding it hard to get from chatting about my kid, to connecting with someone.