The Mommy (Play) Dating Scene :: The “Pick-up Game” for New Mom Friends

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The mommy (play) dating scene can be cutthroat. Sometimes it can feel like you’re a twentysomething navigating the singles scene all over again, except now your wing gal has been replaced by a toddler with Capri Suns instead of a round of Cosmos. Long gone are the fraternity parties, Thursday drink nights, and blind dates that your roommate insisted on setting up for you. You are completely on your own to play the “pick-up game” for mommy friends. Seriously, why is there not a Tinder app or Match.com for moms? You could weed out the non-compatible gals with a swipe of the finger while sitting on the couch in your stained pajamas.

The Pick-up Game for New Mom FriendsI’ll tell a little story about me. I have always considered myself to be someone that meets friends easily. When my son was a toddler, I could pick up a new friend as easily as spending a few minutes chasing him around the neighborhood park. I met one of my very best mommy friends in a public restroom on Friday night, and by the following Saturday, we were attending her son’s third birthday party. True story! Play dates were frequent and easy to come by.

Fast forward a few years, and I have now moved to a new town and no longer have my tribe of mommas. I recently found myself sitting amongst a group of 100 kindergarten moms and not a single soul spoke to me. What was I doing differently??

Mistake #1: When I got lonely and uncomfortable, I pulled out my cell phone. This immediately made me appear aloof and disinterested. I took away the opportunity to start up a conversation with those around me.

Mistake #2: I chose the wrong spot. Instead of aiming for the gaggle of girls already deep in conversation, I should have headed towards a spot with ladies that were not yet part of an established crew. Those few moms that also had that slightly overwhelmed, out-of-place look in their eyes would be so much easier to strike up a chat with.

Mistake #3: The time just wasn’t right. I was not in the proper headspace to put myself out there. I had a bazillion things on my to-do list and an important work meeting coming up in a few short hours. This was not the right opportunity for me to make friends.

Unlike my story earlier about meeting my mommy best friend by pure happenstance, most of the time this isn’t the case. It’s going to take concerted effort and time to meet that person you can connect with. Just like dating in the real world, meeting that friend you click with and with whom you maintain a lasting relationship is going to take plenty of trial and error. However, there are a few “dating” tips that can help point you in the right direction. 

Kids make it look easy, but it is hard to make mom friends. Don't give up!

The Scene 

The park is so 2017. It’s time to think outside the box!

  • Classes/Lessons: Enroll your child in a local dance, art, music, or theater class. Not only will your child be getting a dose of culture, but the waiting room is a prime real estate spot for picking up your new bestie while waiting for your little Mozart.
  • Sports: What can pull fellow moms together more than rooting on their little tykes?
  • Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts: These ladies can be hardcore, hearty moms that camp, hustle hundreds of boxes of Do-Si-Dos, and cook up a mean fireside breakfast with the best of them. Divas beware! (Disclaimer: I am a “Boy Scout Mom” without any of the above attributes.)
  • YMCA/Gym: Many facilities in the area offer family fitness nights. There is nothing like bonding over jump ropes, burpees, and bad backs.

The Pick-Up Lines

Hook ‘em in a few words, How? Compliments!! Everybody likes them, and let’s be honest — moms sometimes need them more than anybody. This is especially true when we are running around town on our last spray of dry shampoo and the elastic band of our favorite yoga pants has just busted. These conversation starters don’t have to be complicated. Just a quick, “I love you daughter’s romper. Where did you get it?” will be a perfect lead into a conversation about favorite boutiques.

“The monogram on those bloomers is perfect. Who do you use?”

“I have just been admiring your hair. Such a cute cut. I’m new to town and looking for a stylist.”

The important thing to remember is to lead with open-ended questions that can create a dialogue, potentially leading to a meaningful conversation, plans for future play dates, and perhaps even a lifelong bestie.

Don’t feel discouraged if you remain the (play) dateless gal for a while. Just remember, making mommy friends isn’t easy. It can be brutal sometimes. Just don’t give up. You must continue to put yourself out there. You are bound to find your mommy “soulmate” sooner or later.

Comment and tell us how you have met your best mom friends!

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Virginia was raised in Anniston, AL, a small town about an hour drive from Birmingham. After graduating from Jacksonville State University with a degree in human sciences, she married her college sweetheart and spent the next decade living throughout the southeast from Charleston, SC to Atlanta, GA. Fast forward a few years, and Virginia found herself back in her hometown working full-time, single, and raising her young son. At the most unexpected time in the most unlikely of places, she met the love of her life and soul mate, and they were married in a garden wedding in Savannah, GA in 2016. Virginia now calls Trussville home with her husband, Mark, and their two boys, Britton (7) and stepson, Gavin (10). Virginia works as a Employment Resource Specialist for the Alabama Department of Mental Health. She loves Hello Fresh, Starbuck's Green Tea Frappucinos, exercising, camping (more to the point, glamping), renovating their new home, and any occasion that lets her play dress up!!