Before I had kids, I’d listen to dating stories with a certain amount of horror.
She did what?
And then you said WHAT?
After those conversations, I’d go to wherever my husband was and hug him tightly so as not to let him escape my clutches. His mere presence ensured that I would never have to explore this awkward and chaotic world of “dating.”
And, then, I had kids. Somewhere in all that mess of preparation, nobody enumerated with even the least bit of specificity all of the awkward social crap that I was going to have to endure simply by virtue of being a parent.
Like “mommy dating.”
As someone who did not have kids, I’d seen women at the mall walking around with strollers, and if I gave them any thought at all, I assumed that this was the kind of mom I was going to be.
In my fantasy, I’d walk around with my mommy BFF with our hair looking all perfect, our children sitting quietly in their strollers, and our California smoothie carrot drinks in our hands. Me and this imaginary BFF mommy would, after trying on hundreds of pairs of shoes while our children patiently waited, saunter over to the cute little mall playground and catch up on gossip while our children played nicely with each other.
It was going to be awesome.
If you have children, I’ll wait for the hysterical laughter to subside before I continue.
Those two women that childless me saw sauntering through the mall? They are most certainly not Mommy BFFs.
They, dear readers, are mommy dating. They’ve done their hair, dressed up and given their children Nyquil in order to make the best mommy impressions on each other. I know this because I have done this. Kidding about the Nyquil.
::Eyebrow raise: Am I?::
Some mommies and I never got past the mommy dating phase. There were times where I’d hang on because my child enjoyed the company of the other mommy’s child, but I would quickly come to my senses on the lunacy of that.
I mean, come on, I’ve given up my figure and my freedom to sleep until noon on the weekends to have these kids… you can call me a bad mom if you want, but I will be damned if I’m going to hang out with people I don’t even like two to three times a week just for them.
Child number two pretty much caused me to disavow mommy dating altogether. When I’m checking another mommy out, I’m not wondering about whether I should take her out on a mommy date to the mall, anymore. I’m not looking at how well she dresses or who she knows. I’m asking myself two things.
Can I show up at this woman’s house with unwaxed eyebrows and the first hints of facial hair on my lip and under my chin?
Can I invite her over when there’s a weird film covering the inside of my guest bathroom’s toilet bowl?
If the answer is yes, those are my kind of mommies.
Additionally, if proposing marriage is considered inviting them over when all I have in the house is stale bread and coffee and I haven’t vacuumed in three days, I’m doing that on the second date.
Don’t think I’m lonely as a result of what seem like low standards, either. I’m not. I have a small harem of the most awesome mommy BFFs EVER.
We rarely go to the mall. If we do, it’s because there are benches and the kids are fenced in so we can ignore them while we talk without worrying about our conversation being rudely interrupted by an annoying emergency room visit.
We generally hang out at each other’s houses. We don’t go to the park because we don’t get to talk there, so what’s the point of that?
We admit that we yell at, threaten, and bribe our kids.
We also admit our children are annoying, bossy and entitled without feeling the need to clarify that we love them.
We squirt canned whip cream right into our kids mouth while handing them an entire bag of Sun Chips and absolutely do not feel the need to excuse our choice to do that.
We act like teenagers as we ridicule and giggle at one of our group’s time as a “Special Ops Girl Scout”.
She, in turn, has no qualms about calling us a-holes.
Sometimes our kids play together. Sometimes they don’t. We don’t care.
This is because we’re married, not “dating.”
As for my own harem of mommies, I’m hoping that we’re married not only happily but hopefully forever. Because, seriously, I would rather die ALONE than ever have to make a “leisure trip” to the mall with my kids again.