Why I Don’t Want To Make Mom Friends

I have a good number of great acquaintances here in Austin, but the number of people I would call close friends has been dwindling lately. C-Man has no friends here, so he’s no help in broadening our social circle. I could take more initiative in developing some of the local friendships I have into something deeper, I admit that. It’s just that all the people I know in town live so damn far away. I’m still not happy that my house is located such that every trip away from home involves getting in a car, and I’m still not that comfortable driving at night, so the thought of putting energy into seeing people more often who live half an hour away is somewhat tiring no matter how fabulous they are (which they are).

The obvious suggestion for the mother of a two year old is “make some mom friends in your neighborhood.” This is often phrased as “join a Mom group!”

It’s not that I don’t want to HAVE mom friends. I already have some friends who happen to be moms, and they are perfectly nice people. I just don’t want to MAKE mom friends.

Making “mom friends,” you see, always starts with talking about the kids. Of course that makes total sense, it’s a subject you have in common. But often, these conversations are not actually conversations. The people involved are not listening to each other. They’re just waiting for their turn to tell the parallel anecdote or fact about their own child.

“When did he start walking?”

“Nine months.”

“She walked at ten months.”

“When did she start sleeping through the night?”

“Eighteen months.”


Or maybe I’m just a bad conversationalist.

Even when it’s non-competitive, this is a kind of small talk that I can’t STAND. I talk about my kid all day with his grandmother and then again when his dad gets home. Talking to other adults is supposed to be my escape! I don’t mind having Boy Detective come up occasionally in a larger conversation, but the parade of “what the kid is like” and “what my pregnancy was like” is getting old. Yet I do it, even when I don’t want to, because it’s safe and convenient and makes me fit in. At the park, I almost feel like it would be considered bad manners to do anything else. It really seems to be a community norm.

(Honestly, a while back when we ran into our neighbors down the street and spent most of the conversation talking about their foundation repair, EVEN THOUGH WE BOTH HAVE KIDS, I was ecstatic. That’s how much I miss talking to adults about non-kid things.)

So what’s a girl to do? How does one meet new people without boring oneself (and them) to tears if those other people happen to also have children?

8 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want To Make Mom Friends

  1. Kerrie

    I did not play well with others when it came to Mommy Play Dates…AT ALL. I thought the point of those was so the kids could PLAY and the girls could sit around and drink wine and talk about sex…..I was REALLY wrong. Apparently we were supposed to talk about poop.

  2. A Life Less Complicated

    I don’t have any kids. I have some friends with kids, some without. I can tell you that my two close friends WITH children… would kind of prefer not to have a whole evening dedicated to mom talk. In fact, they were both at my bachelorette party last night and I think we talked about kids for about 5 minutes the whole time. It’s not that they don’t love their kids, they just are about much more than being a mom and happen to have a lot to offer, like you :)

    So.. those women ARE out there, as evidenced by your conversation with the neighbor about foundation repair. I’m sorry I can’t be of help as to HOW to find those people… but I know they’re out there!

  3. Jennifer

    It’s easier to meet other moms than it is to meet non-moms once you have children. That doesn’t meen you necessarily have to talk about your children all the time. I certainly don’t!

    Actually, I prefer making freelance friends, but they are hard to meet. I am a freelancer and my closest newly made friends are other freelance professionals. We also have kids because that’s how we meet (playground or at school). Otherwise I’d have to put up an ad and that would just be weird.

    It’s easy to get past the “how old/when did he crawl” questions with a shrug and a “ten months/I don’t remember when he … for the first time.”

  4. 3peasandme.blogspot.com (Queen Pea)

    i agree with all the above. it is easier to meet other moms. and it’s nice to be around them because they understand why the house looks the way it does, why the circles under your eyes keep getting darker, and they actually know what that dried cakey stuff on your left shoulder is. but true, that doesn’t mean that every conversation has to be about the kids. and if you start telling me why your kid is better than mine, don’t expect me to return your calls. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION. sigh. i feel better

  5. LiteralDan

    I feel the same way, but it’s even worse for me in a way because I’m a stay-at-home dad, so if one of “the other parents” (i.e. moms) even gets so far as to talk to me, absolutely 100% the only thing that would ever be discussed is the kids.

    I hear you about being done dissecting everything about the kids after you do it with the people who really need to know. Two minutes is about all I can take in mindless small talk form after that.

  6. Cristy

    I don’t have kids, but I’ve had friends (online and not) and siblings that have this problem, too. Some parents *want* to talk nonstop about their kids, but I think the folks that have other ambitions, interests, hobbies, want to have more in their lives.

    I sometimes worry about those that get caught in that “competing small talk.” Do they really not have anything more to say? Maybe it’s a viscious cycle that no one knows how to stop – you meet other parents, you start out talking about your kids, and from then on, you don’t know *how* to change the subject. I feel for ya’.

  7. Jessica - This is Worthwhile

    I get you on this one, big time. I recently went to my first Mom’s Group and it was pretty cool. We were at a nearby park, and yeah, we just chatted about our kids, but what else were we going to talk about? We’re TOTAL strangers, after all.

    We’ll see how it goes once we get to know each other a little better.

    On the already-established friendships front those moms are the best to hang out with because they don’t get offended when your attention switches mid-sentence to your toddler or that you have to whip out a boob or wipe a butt. Childless friends see those things as disturbances in most cases. And rightly so. But moms get it and let it slide because they know they’re next.

  8. Andrea

    In the defense of the comparative milestone/defecation conversation, I tend to enjoy those because I am SO F-ING IGNORANT about children and childrearing that I honestly don’t know when kids are “supposed to” do any of this stuff. It’s kind of nice to get anecdotal data from other parents… almost like research? That, and having a child under 1 year old while working at an office evidently means that all I really do is work, cook, clean, and care for an infant. (notice sleep is not on the list) So I have nothing else to talk about, unless it’s how much I MISS reading, seeing movies, camping, hiking, working out, going out to cocktails and crafting. Which is much less interesting than how Amelia’s learning to walk, depending on who you are. ;-)

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