It doesn’t much matter how it starts: a Facebook message, a text, or, a shy smile across the playground; the contact has been established and the plans made. I’m talking about the first date. And by date I obviously mean a play date.
A play date that we know is just as much about the kids as it is about the Moms.
Don’t you just love the first date jitters? It’s so exciting, ANYTHING could happen. Will she ‘get’ me? Will she like me as much as I like her? Will she want a second date?! It’s all very exhilarating.
I’ve been in the market (for a few more Mom friends) for awhile now, and this time, I know what I want. I’m not on my first kid anymore, I’ve been around the block. I will not make lunch for just any mom and kids; I want the whole package. I deserve it. There a lot of amazing Mom’s out there and I’m not wasting my time pursuing mediocre Moms, or force fitting personalities because she lives down the street and our kids go to school together and its just ‘convenient’. No way, I’m out there, looking for THE ONE. (Or two… I may have room for 3, max)
I have had three first dates this year so far, I think. Three worth remembering apparently. With all that experience I feel compelled to share with you the perfect first date. (MY perfect date, anyway)
I arrive on-time, and take note of the living area of the home. Now, for me, I really like a nice lived-in home. I prefer the environment cleanish, no more. I’m very forgiving on mess, and have a high tolerance for clutter.
I have a low tolerance for fancy furniture, ultra clean kitchen appliances, and recently washed windows, (unless my date recently had a cleaning person come in, which I immediately admire and envy, good start.)
Watching our kids interact is helpful in determining whether or not this thing has the legs to make it. You clearly don’t want to deal with bullies and criers, but again, I’m fairly flexible on this point: does my date discipline the aggressive behavior, is the crying coming from a hungry newborn? You get the idea.
More important than the kids interacting is how my date interacts with them. Does she sit in the middle of the floor and lead all the children through a round of intricate imaginative play? Or does she offer me coffee, ask if I’d like to sit down in the next room, and let the kids play independently? (If you don’t know the right answer here, you may not be my type)
Next, how does she handle discipline? This is tricky, there are a million styles of parenting and discipline out there, and while I claim not to be picky, there a few red flags for me. Helicopter mom-ing is a red flag, so is completely ignoring rude or aggressive behavior. A big turn off for me? Feeling embarrassed or awkward about disciplining. Do what you need to do, girl. Confidence is beautiful.
During our windows of uninterrupted conversation I explore topics ranging from ‘what do you do for fun?’ and ‘where did you get this montessori-inspired math game?’ And if I’m feeling especially bold I’ll share where I go to church – I usually won’t get that deep on a first date; it can come across a little too intense. Sometimes though, its so well-received I will feel a strong connection, and then I intentionally leave something behind to ensure a call back.
For snack time I shamelessly sneak peaks at her fridge: you can tell a lot about a woman by the produce she keeps. I’ll also note the snacks offered – equally impressed by homemade healthy snacks as I am by freeze pops (the girl’s got guts busting out a dessert for snack; you have to admire that). I’ll also note the strictness of table manners, but again, everything but the extremes will fly with me. (see? I’m a catch!)
And its time to go – handshake? hug? high-five? Well, it depends on how the date went. How deep we got, how many laughs we had, was there any chemistry? My best dates ended in hugs, of course, and promises to call again. And you know what? she usually doesn’t. But she texts me, and that’s even better.
And that’s my perfect [mom] date. What’s yours?