I never had to do the grown-up dating thing. I met my husband in college when it was easy to meet people and dates were low-key. I have never had to go out on a blind date or scan the crowds looking for someone who looks like a good match for me. Until now.
I am just going to throw this out there - finding other mom friends is just as hard as dating. I know that a friend is not on the same level as a life partner, but they are almost as important. Life sets you up to get married when your friends get married and have babies when your friends have babies, but it doesn't always happen that way. So, what happens now?
For the first time in my life, I am being set up on a blind date. Kind of. My brother is "setting me up" with a new friend from work who, like me, has young kids (almost the same ages as mine), a husband from another country, has a job in addition to raising a family and happens to live nearby. I may just start calling my brother Match.com. On paper, she and I are the perfect match. No doubt we will have a ton to talk about. But, what if we just don't click?
When you are looking for a partner, there are a lot of things that have to fall into place and the list of criteria is different for everyone. When you are looking for a mom friend, the list can get more complex. It starts with the things that you look for in a friend, but then you have to add in other factors because there are other people involved. Do your kids get along? Do your spouses get along?
You and Other Mom may get along great, but if your kids don't like each other, you limit your interaction to girls-only outings and double-dates. If your spouses don't have anything in common, you cut it down to coffee outings to blow off steam pent-up from days spent with the kids.
Now, having friends who you only see over coffee or dinner are great. I am not knocking those friends (especially since this constitutes most of my friends); however, I hope that, someday, I can find a few friends to get together with as families. The kids will be happy. The spouses will be happy. The mothers will be happy - and that is really all that matters anyway.