Sweaty palms, a racing heart and a tongue that hasn’t been so tied since Noel Farris asked me to frenchie him whilst slow dancing to “Crazy for you” circa Madonna 1990. Welcome to the anxiety riddled world of “Mummy Dating”.
If, like me, you are flying mummy-friend solo in the world of motherhood and are not blessed with a BMFF (Bestest Mummy Friend Forever) then you too will know the mix of sheer panic, anxiety and dare I say loneliness that stirs in the pit of your stomach as you enter your local mother and baby group armed just with your Tiny Human and breastfeeding app for company.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a recluse and on a good day (when I can be arsed and when not too annihilated from sleep deprivation) I can be quite sociable. However, when it comes to making new mummy friends and “fixing” play dates I am quite literally a terrified, knee wobbling, nervous wreck (Oh yes, Noel, your heart throb prowess has nowt, nada, zilch on the knee knocking powers of a bunch of unknown mums!).
Until lately that is….
You see, as me and my Tiny Human sat in the ball pit of our local soft play for the zillionth time, surrounded only by chewed-on balls, whilst other mums were surrounded by their clan of BMFFs, I had a mummy dating epiphany. I realised that If I was ever going to get in on the BMFF action, I was going to have to up my game.
I realised right there and then that I was going to have to make the first move. I was going to have to be brazen and I was going to have to make myself available to as many mums as possible. In short I was going to have to engage the skirt chasing tactics of the aforementioned Noel and become the slut of soft play! No Mum friend too unobtainable, no conversation too hard to start and no play date too difficult to fix, for this mummy slut and her irresistible Tiny Human sidekick!
And you know what? It only bloody worked! Just one week of putting myself around my local soft play and mother-and-baby groups and I was armed with my very own little black book of numbers (aka a pile of random pieces of napkins, dried out baby wipes and old receipts from the depths of my nappy bag all proudly marking the notches of the numbers of some lovely local mums).
Yes, I was that mum who struck up a conversation with the mum next to her on the swings, in the queue at the supermarket and squatting at the bottom of the slide in the local park. I chatted to every mum that I came across and it paid off. In the world of mummy dating I had “pulled” and I now had a string of play dates fixed in mine and my Tiny Human’s diary and it felt great!
So why did applying the age-old tricks of the dating trade actually work?
It worked because I soon realised that I am not alone in wanting fellow females to chew the Motherhood cud with. I am not the only one who would like to share a rant and a glass of wine with a woman going through the same experiences as me. I am not the only mum who would like a friend who I can call on for support, advice and/or a good laugh. You see no mum is a bloody island, but at times we can all feel like we are floating aimlessly in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. All it takes is for someone to put themselves out there and offer us a lift back to civilisation to make this thing called Motherhood that little less isolating!
So come on ladies, let’s be braver, let’s all get our “soft play slut” on and engage in some mummy flirting. You never know, you may just meet your very own BMFF!
- Olivia writes The Baby Bible blog, and is leading The No Bullsh*t Mum Revolution – a ‘new movement in Motherhood’ supporting all mums with no judgement