Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I quit my job to be a SAHM last year when my daughter was born. She’s 16-months-old now and I’m still having a hard time meeting other moms and making friends. I’m a introvert and it’s hard for me to make the first move. I’m very shy until I get to know someone.
We moved to our neighborhood 3 years ago and I met two other moms who seemed really nice at first and then they started snubbing me once we put up a fence. I befriended them on Facebook and invited them over but they never invite me. I gave them my number and they never gave me theirs. I still see them getting together outside with their kids and it pains me because I’m so lonely. What the hell did I do to these people to make them hate me?
My husband works full time and takes night classes. He has to study on the weekends so I’m starting to go nutty. I joined a playgroup but all the moms that actually go to the functions are already friends with each other and they seem snooty if you’re not in their circle. I’m thinking about going back to work just to have a social life but I recently found out I’m pregnant again. No one will hire a pregnant woman. Any advice on what I should do?
Dear Shy Shannon,
Being a mom of young children can be one of the loneliest feelings in the word. Because young kids are super adorable but when you turn to a 16-month-old and say, “Damn, I have a headache from that extra glass of Chardonnay last night. I’m worried that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore might be splitting up. And also, I’ve been meaning to ask – are you supposed to still be sucking on that pacifier?” – the toddler rarely answers.
Mothers need wing women. Someone to assure you that it is perfectly normal to bring your kid to the playground and forget his shoes. And your own shoes.
I don’t know what’s going on with those gals next door. It sounds like you have reached out as much as you can and for whatever reason they are not reciprocating. You’ve spent too much energy on those ladies. It’s time to take action elsewhere.
First of all, I would sign your kid up for a couple music or gym classes. Your 16-month-old will love it and it’s a great way to connect with other moms. Next, start your own playgroup. You think you’re the only desperate, lonely mom out there? You aren’t. You just have to find them. Put notices up on community bulletin boards and Craigslist. Just write, “Local mom starting a playgroup for kids 1 to 2 years old. Email me at Shannon@I’mAwesomeAndCool.com if you’re interested.” I’m just guessing that’s your email address.
Once you have a group of moms, just plan a playgroup every week at someone’s house. I promise this works because that is actually how I made all my mom friends when I first had a baby. I’m still friends with these women seven years later.
I would also make sure you connect with other moms online so you don’t feel so alone while you develop IRL friendships. And finally, I would make sure to watch “Gossip Girl” every week because I consider Serena and Blair to be some of my closest friends.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My daughter is 7 and has a few friends at school that she likes to play with after school or on weekends. All of the parents have no problem with my daughter coming over to play and they only have good things to say about her. The problem is that I don’t really like to host kids over at my house. There are a few reasons for this:
First, I have four rambunctious dogs and two cats. The dogs get too excited while the cats aren’t nice (nor do they always use their litter box, much to my dismay.)
Second, I am not an overly tidy person. My house is clean enough for me and my family, but it could use some work for “strangers.”
And finally, I’m just not the hostess type and I’m okay with this fact. I don’t intend to change.
My problem is that one parent keeps pushing for a play date at my house. She has stopped inviting my daughter over and, instead, keeps mentioning the kids playing over here. I need to know how to get her off my back about it while not divulging my issues. I don’t want to offend her because I do like the mom and I don’t want to cause any problems with the children. I even thought about coming up with some phobia, but not sure what would fit.
Martha Stewart Doesn’t Live Here
Dear Martha Stewart Doesn’t Live Here,
In the very pressurized and etiquette laden world of Mommy and Me meetings and scheduled progeny play dates it is, in fact [just looking up the bylaws here, one minute. OK. Got it.] against the law to not reciprocate when it comes to hosting, penalty can be equal to: The Silent Treatment, The Rumor Mill, or Public Shunning. Even Hannibal the Cannibal knew all about quid pro quo. So, perhaps we should discuss a different strategy?
First, let’s address the pets. While I understand it has to be very difficult to have people over when it seems like your home is already a 24-hour animal party, it’s important to be able to put the animals away, perhaps in another room(s). Because unless your animals are descendants of Cerberus (I once had a dog who was) and are all on a career path to guarding the gates of hell, you should sequester them every once in a great while, for a few hours, so that you can reciprocate a play date.
Second, as to your cleanliness standards, a wise…no, wait…a waif-like girl once said: “I’m horrible to live with. I don’t clean. My clothes end up wherever I take them off. I forget to flush the toilet.” And she was in Transformers 1 and 2 and on the Maxim Hot List! While we can’t all be Megan Fox, it does show you that success isn’t predicated upon cleanliness. A lot of other mothers have similar anxieties about how clean their houses should be. But in reality, most parents don’t really care if their kid has a friend whose house isn’t perfect or tidy or uncluttered. As long as Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller aren’t permanent residents on your couch, I believe even the most neurotic of moms would let you slide (and, yes, I am talking about me).
Finally, with regard to the hostess duties, I’m not sure what kind of highfalutin’ fancy pants play dates you attend, but the majority that I’m aware of don’t require much except your kid, a glass of water and maybe some cheddar Goldfish. But then it’s always possible that I’m hanging with the wrong crowd, and by wrong crowd, I mean not with Bill Gates’ kids.
Basically, it’s only fair to share the responsibilities and wreckage that comes with kids’ playdates. And while we all certainly want to put our best foot forward, sometimes just putting out an unshaved leg with non-manicured toes is all it takes for everyone to be happy.