Trying to make friends as an adult is one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done. It’s also one of the most awkward things I’ve ever done.
Picture this: I’m at a playground with my five year old. She’s happily playing with some kid she just met and I see what appears to be the mother of this newfound playmate about twenty steps to my right. I try to look her way without being too obvious. The things I take note of are that she appears to be in her late 30’s or early 40’s (yes!!!), her hair is up in a messy bun, but it doesn’t look like one of those way too perfect chicks on YouTube tutorials (yes, I have looked up Messy Hair Bun tutorials on YouTube, hasn’t everyone??). She occasionally looks at her mobile phone.
I think to myself, “Good! Maybe she won’t judge me for occasionally checking my phone for my work e-mail”.
She carries a cross body bag and pulls out some snacks which turn out to be vegetables-carrots and cucumbers. I catch myself secretly hoping that maybe they are conventional and not organic just so that they won’t clash too badly with the bag of cheese puffs covered in bright orange “cheese powder” that I’ve brought for my child.
I can see that she’s wearing a rather expensive pair of shoes, so then I start wondering if maybe we live in two different worlds, financially speaking. Or maybe she got them on a sale at a huge discount. This kind of thought process can not be normal, can it? Expensive shoes or not, I know that I desperately need mom friends.
Should I approach her? What should I say? “Hey, there, I see you have a kid around the same age as mine, want to be friends?” I talk myself out of approaching her, afraid of rejection, thinking that maybe she’s a stay at home mom that would have nothing in common with me, a busy working mom who is constantly reassessing the best way to juggle family and career.
A few more minutes pass and as our children continue to play, I decide to take a cue from my fearless five year old who never meets a stranger.
I walk up to the mom and introduce myself, we exchange phone numbers. A few months and play dates go by and what do you know? I’ve now added to my mom-tribe and have a friend I can count on for a Mom’s Night Out or a lengthy text convo consisting mostly of GIF’s and venting about the things our kids do that drive us crazy, socially awkward or not, take the risk and speak to that mom you see at the park, the school, or the gym. You never know what could happen!