So, I am really comfortable in my professional world – throw me in a room with a bunch of producers and I can talk and talk and talk…and talk.
But, the mom circle has been one that I don’t find myself as comfortable in, mainly because I work full-time and to be perfectly honest, my nanny is more dialed in to what is going on in my neighborhood for Ellie than I am. Our morning or evening conversations frequently start with sentences like, “Oh, Gaby’s mom said that there is a great activity at the nature center” or “I was texting with Mena’s mom and she said…”.
You get the picture.
Not only does it kill me that I can’t logistically go to all of these activities with Ellie, and that I don’t know who most of these friends are. It makes me fast forward to conversations when Ellie is in her teens that will sound something like, “Who is Gaby? I don’t even know Gaby. You aren’t going to the movies alone with someone that I have never met before.” And it all drives me crazy because I can’t be everywhere all of the time.
And so my solution is to stop trying to find a husband and start trying to find a way to clone myself.
My family would hate that. And Ellie’s love of two mommies would likely be short-lived too.
But the frustration of not being there all the time, is compounded by this weird nanny envy I have because she is networking with all of these neighborhood moms, and I want neighborhood mom friends. (yes, I am whining a little). And this weekend I read an article in Huffington Post Parents by Devon Corneal, With Friends Like These, where she discusses how she was at a party this past weekend and she didn’t find a single person whose connection to her friend wasn’t based on her children.
And my jealousy grew. So much of my social life continues to be founded in my profession, which is important because I am able to maintain my own identity, keep a roof over our heads, and grow my career.
But I still want mom friends.
So in Ellie’s Saturday music class, I was pleased to find a lot of cool parents that seem to be in line with my approach to parenting, and are carefree enough to dance around like fools so that our kids can appreciate the arts.
On the first demo class, Ellie gravitated toward one little girl that was about her age, and I gravitated toward her mom. Our girls sat/stood near each other and shared/stole musical instruments from each other and I got alone well with mom. And I decided she should be my friend. At the end of the class, we were all discussing which Saturday time slot to sign-up for, 930am or 1030am, and the mom that I’d been sitting next to was wavering between time slots.
And all of the sudden I felt like a high school girl with a crush. I started thinking, Please choose the 930am slot, please choose it, the girls can be friends, we can talk about mom stuff…please choose the same time slot as me.
And then I started thinking…I am totally pathetic. This woman would think I am totally crazy if she knew what I was thinking, but I just want to be part of a mom community as well as a professional community.
And that’s what it is. I can work full-time and come home and do everything in my power to be fully present for Ellie. But to exist equally in both of those circles is nearly impossible…but just because it’s nearly impossible, doesn’t mean I am not going to try.
Thankfully the mom friend chose the same time slot, and a couple weeks ago she asked me where I got my hair cut and I thought, she likes me! she really likes me! (or maybe she just likes my hair)
And this past Saturday, after Ellie open-mouth kissed her daughter for the fourth time, I got up the courage to ask if we could exchange information and set up a play date sometime. I still felt like a high school girl with a crush, but thankfully she happily gave me her card and I gave her mine.
Ellie and I went to the park, came home and had a nice lunch and took a nap, and when I woke up I received one of the coolest texts someone has sent me in a while. It read:
Hey Cara. It’s XXX from music class. I went to friend you on Facebook and saw your website and blog posts and they are awesome! The baby went down for a nap and I have loved reading them! See you next week.
I was genuinely excited about the compliment, and I went right back to feeling like a teenager all over again. And it gave me the energy to clean to kitchen. (If you had been able to see my kitchen, you would understand why this is such a big deal).
So I realized in order to make new mom friends, I need to do what I have done for so many other things – just put myself out there, literally and figuratively.
(No, Mom. I will not apply this to dating. No Auntie Donna, there aren’t any single dads in the class.”