She Says… Can I Buy You a Drink?

Come here often?

Mind if I sit down?

Can I buy you a drink?

Though I am past the days of pickup lines like this, I have recently found myself figuring out how to navigate pickup lines of a different sort.

Oh, your son is so cute! How old is he?

What’s his name?

Do you guys live around here?

Oh, they may not sound like much. Just smalltalk. But they are also often the awkward-but-necessary beginnings to a new mom friendship. The end result may be different (a playdate instead of a hot date), but the aim is the same. Get a name and phone number and hopefully see them again.

Making new mom friends is HARD. Kids (and dogs) are a gateway to conversation, sure, but no matter how you slice it, it’s still a challenge to a) find someone you connect with, b) get a read on if they feel the same way, c) exchange digits without seeming freakishly over-eager or like you are actually hitting on them and d) make an actual date to get together again.

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m not big on smalltalk. I smile and nod and know how to go through basic introductions, but I am much, much better at conversations with substance. When I meet someone new, I often forget to ask those seemingly normal questions that help you learn the basics. For whatever reason, I tend to skip over those things and launch right into a real conversation. Benjamin, however, is awesome at this. He asks question after question and all of a sudden an hour has passed and we know tons of little facts about each other. Maybe I’ve gotten even worse at this since we got married, since I haven’t had to do it much. I don’t know. All I know is that I wish I was better at turning chitchat into friendships.

Last summer when I was walking around our new neighborhood, wrestling the dog and the baby stroller, another mom, also being pulled in 2 directions with her dog and her baby stroller, approached me. Our dogs immediately hit it off and were galloping around together and wrestling each other to the ground. She and I chatted for a bit and immediately we knew that we would be fast friends. Real friends. She suggested we meet in the same time, same place the following week. We did, and the rest is history. We’ve gotten together at least once a week since then and have become great friends! While that seemed so easy and natural, that is the only time that’s ever happened for me.

Yesterday at Music Together class, a mom who I have smiled at and sat next to for a few weeks started up some of those mom pickup lines. Owen is SO cute. How old is he? Do you guys live nearby? We chatted a little and then Owen ran out the door and I had to chase him down. Then it was time for the next class to start and in a hurricane of coats and hats and mittens and shoes, we were headed home.

I didn’t realize it until I got in the car, but I think she was hitting on me!

Goal for next class: More chatting. And turn that chatting into a phone number. And then turn that phone number into a playdate. Ok, ok, maybe not all at once. I’m still new at this.

What are your strategies for making other mom friends? Do you actively chat people up who you think you will connect with, in an effort to make a relationship? How do you turn smalltalk into playdates?


9 responses to “She Says… Can I Buy You a Drink?

  1. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of mom friends my sons age. I’m pretty bad at talking to people. I can blame the internet for that. When I go to pick my daughter up from school, everyone else is engaged in conversation and I’m locking eyes with my iphone. It’s sad though- I don’t feel like I have anything good to say.. so usually, i stay quiet. Oh when will I learn?

  2. Haha I just posted on this (copycat!). My problem with making mom friends is that I’m a judgmental bitch, that’s what I’ve figured out. 🙂

  3. Great timing — I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. My baby is now at the age where I feel like getting out is a little easier and where I am really interested in meeting and becoming friends with other moms of similarly aged babies. I just joined a Momtourage group through and I’m also hoping that venturing out in the nicer weather this spring/summer will help me cross paths with other potential mom friends. I hear most moms are somewhat uncomfortable in the “meet market” so I’m hoping that knowledge will make me brave hahaha. I actually worry more about fitting in time to maintain any fledgling friendships I manage to start up.

    Too bad we don’t live in the same part of the state — I’m a Massachusetts mom too!

  4. Making mom friends is easier than making couple friends!

    I love mom friends. I find them pretty easy to make because we have such a huge thing in common. I’m also a very outspoken naturalist and so I’m fortunate to be approached a lot by moms who want to learn cloth diapering or have nursing questions, etc. That is just the beginning and once we hit it off we plan coffee dates or play dates or picnics. It’s awesome.

    So glad you have some wonderful mama friends! Hopefully you can get that moms digits next time and start an awesome relationship.

  5. I feel like I’m having similar struggles, but just finding some new friends in general since moving out to Rehoboth. It was so easy when I was in Atlanta and in grad school and surrounded by people doing the same thing I was doing. Now that we’re living in a small town but don’t have a family, it’s hard to meet people! Sometimes I feel like I might come on too strong with some people that could be potential friends, but I think friendship is important!

  6. I struggle with this too! When I take Maya to the park, it seems like there is already a clique of other moms who know each other, and I don’t approach them. I am hoping once we start classes this spring, we will meet other moms with babies close in age.

  7. This just happened to me yesterday! A mom in my new development stopped me for the small talk, but she went all the way into asking me for a playdate! I’m so excited.

  8. I Love this blog post. I have the same difficulty and am trying to work on it. My husband too can turn a simple hello into a life long friendship. I am hoping to just have a few mommy friends in my neighborhood! I guess I am a work in progress =)

  9. It’s easier if you’re already in a group, like through church, we have had many different play date type groups through our church, and there is also MOPs groups here. Do y’all have those? Mother’s of Preschoolers, and it has designated meeting places and times, and everyone is there to meet other moms with kids around the same age…

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