Since the co-op incident, I have had a lot of time to consider what it was that went so horribly awry and in that time I have come to the following conclusion: I really do not like a lot of fellow mothers.
I have never been the type of person who has groups of friends. Even in high school, I was an ala carte type of girl, choosing people from different social groups based on how I felt about them individually. I have been told many times in my life by many women that I am "intimidating." I assume that means extremely self-assured, honest and blunt. All of which I am.
My friends have always been a mix of cool, fun, honest, funny and (perhaps most importantly) not too sensitive. This is important because I have a dirty sense of humor and like the dark side of life. It doesn't mean they have to be equally obscene, but I cannot be close friends with people who are too squeamish and can't hang when the talk gets dirty. I have learned this lesson many times the hard way. Perhaps this is another hindrance.
When I had children, I vowed to myself that I would not change my fundamental self. I still curse. I still (mostly) listen to my own music. I still workout constantly, get manis/pedis/massage, shop for myself, read books, have plenty of sex, watch horror movies and even party if the occasion arises. I am still me. I would say that 90 percent of the mothers I meet were either never my kind of fun or they have completely squelched that part of themselves. Case in point: I mentioned smoking in high school the other day to a few moms and they all stared at me as though I had told them I'd been to prison and had the tats to prove it.
This is not to say I am some kind of example of how people should be when they become mothers. Quite the contrary. I think I, in fact, am the opposite of what many women think they need to be in order to be good mothers. I love my children fiercely, passionately and above all else, but I also need conversations about politics, celebrity gossip and the news to keep me happy and sane. This is why recently it seems my only friends are the ones who do not have children. Like wedding planning (which I also find cloying), child rearing can often be a conversation usurper. I can't tell you how bored I get of discussing potty training and whose child learned to jump first.
Maybe that is it, too. I love my babies, but I know they are not perfect. Far from it. Sam (especially) is ridiculously precocious and intelligent, but she is also a storm in the body of a toddler. She gets into trouble constantly, can't handle big crowds, throws huge fits and generally is not the most well-behaved little lady. I recognize this. I cannot tell you the number of women who do not recognize their own child's foibles (case in point: co-op mom). It is very hard to have playdates with moms who think their children are always in the right.
Mostly I am ok with not having too many mom friends. I have one who happens to live in Upstate NY and more who live in other states. And there are a few women I have met (or knew before) in Boston who I think are so cool and I would love to hang out with more, but life always gets in the way. Actually, that is probably the biggest hindrance of all. Time. There is no time to get close with people. I'd like to think that is because I just have not met the moms I want to get close with, but I am not sure. Maybe the days of long lunches with the girlfriends and "just hanging" have passed me by despite my best efforts. Having two kids under three does tend to limit one's free time.
I have always believed that it is a waste of time to hang out with someone I do not really jive with. But I am in need of mommy friends. I have decided this summer especially to really start focusing on "the making of the mom friendships." Maybe it is a mythic quest, but I would like to believe that I can still have close female friendships with women who have also had babies. After all, a girl can't spend ALL her time in the gym. Although, some of the coolest moms I know I met while running or in mommy yoga.....
At least it is a starting point. But if you are a mom and I ask you to coffee or out for a drink, please say yes. I am kind of new to this whole mommy dating thing and I don't care much for rejection. Thank you.