Making Mom Friends

Grady started kindergarten last week (and has yet to attend a full day of school thanks to gradual entry!) which has provided ample time to scope out my potential mom friends. Every morning we head to the playground to get some beans out before heading to class. I've struck up conversation with a few of the other kids' moms and some of them seem really nice. One in particular seems like she's my kind of mom friend.

I want to make her my friend and I want Grady to be friends with her son.

But I don't want to be creepy about it.

So my question is this: how do you make the first move when you encounter someone you want to be friends with? Making friends when you're a kid is easy. Grady already has a handful of new friends based solely on their shared love of superheroes. But I can't really walk up to another mom on the playground and be all "DO YOU LIKE GIN? I LIKE GIN. WANNA PLAY?" (Though to be completely honest, if one of the other moms said this to me I would not think it's weird at all and I would want to be her friend.)

How do you make friends as an adult?


We'd had very little sleep the night before, and a few hours on the road in front of us, so after lunch I ducked into a coffee shop for the necessary caffeine while Shawn strapped the kids into their car seats.  It was the type of coffee shop with a twee name and mixed-medium art by a local artist hanging on the pristine white walls. The woman who made my drinks was (I guessed) in her early twenties and (I knew) impossibly beautiful.

I ordered our drinks and rolled my eyes at the $11 total ($11! For coffee! Get off my lawn!) and stood at the counter to wait. The guy behind me placed his order and stood chatting up the coffee goddess while she steamed milk and pulled shots. He was young and scruffy in that way that is supposed to look nonchalant but is actually very intentional. 

I stood waiting, invisible, as the young scruffy one told the young beautiful one about house parties and his band and something about a mutual friend and a hammock. She giggled at the appropriate places and coolly accepted an eager invitation to the next house party and managed to royally fuck up our drinks. 

We pulled away from the coffee shop and tried to agree on who would drink which drink. (They both tasted like melted ice cream.) I'll happily forfeit the killer eyeliner and the drunken ragers and the taut skin for my station wagon and babies but I'll be DAMNED if they try to take my coffee. 

It's an interesting thing to be invisible. It's not a bad thing, just a thing. I'm not a young one or a beautiful one or even an intentionally-scruffy one. I'm just me. And I love me. I love my wide hips that have birthed two babies. I love my stretch-marked breasts that make milk like it's their damn job (because it is their damn job!) to feed those babies. I love the scars that tell the story of beating cancer and the dark circles under my eyes that tell the story of my sleep-hating baby. 

My life is full and beautiful and enough. I don't mind being invisible. 


What Not to Say to a Pregnant Person

In the past week, the following things have been said to me in reference to my pregnant state:

"You've really ballooned since Christmas."

"You're doing a really good job at not getting a big pregnant belly."

"We can really see you're having a baby now."

"Any day now, huh?"

Two things are important:

  1. None of these things were said to me maliciously. No one was trying to hurt me or intentionally be a jerk.
  2. None of these things were said to me by people in my inner circle. They were said to me by people with whom I would normally make small talk about the weekend or the weather.

I remember this from being pregnant with Grady. As soon as I hit the 5-month mark and my belly went from "burrito?" to "BABY!" my body somehow became public property. Does that sound dramatic? Let me ask you this: when was the last time a stranger approached you and without even greeting you or making eye contract, rubbed your belly? Because it happened to me on Thursday. It's like my pregnant belly negates my right to exist without comment. And it's bullshit. I'm a 33-year old woman. I have enough body issues and insecurities without the peanut gallery weighing in on what my body looks like, thanks.

Pregnancy is exciting for some people and I know part of the problem stems from that awkward scenario of wanting to acknowledge something without actually knowing what to say. I'm not suggesting that no one should say anything to a pregnant woman ever. I'm just saying that pregnancy is hard enough - and emotionally fraught enough - without adding the (let's be honest, completely meaningless) opinions of other people, so why not add some sunshine to a pregnant person's life? Instead of commenting on her size, why not comment on her beauty? This week someone told me that pregnant women are the most beautiful people in the world and I know he was blowing smoke up my arse but I didn't care. My ankles are swollen. My calves are crisscrossed with varicose veins. My under-eye bags have their own under-eye bags. And for a second I felt like the most beautiful person in the world. If you're going to comment on how a pregnant woman looks, you should strive to make her feel like that instead of the feeling like the unwieldy blob she most likely feels like 24/7.

And if you can't manage that, you could always just say nothing at all (a novel concept, I know).

Should We Find Out The Sex Of The Baby?

Right. So this is not a "tell us what to do!" post because I'm 99% sure we've made our decision but I'm really interested to hear what you did and if you'd do it differently if given a do-over.  

Here in BC, in a typical, uncomplicated pregnancy, a woman has a dating ultrasound around eight weeks and another ultrasound at 20 weeks. After the 20-week ultrasound, the parents are given the option of finding out the sex of the baby. (Side note: I haven't reached the "advanced maternal age" milestone so my knowledge is of pregnancy in women under the age of 35.) 

Shawn and I were on the same page while pregnant with Grady. As soon as we found out we were pregnant we decided to find out the sex. And we didn't regret our decision. 

This time around, my initial instinct was to wait for a delivery room surprise. This pregnancy (which we are 99.5% sure is our last) has been so closely monitored and we know so much about it, not finding out the sex held a certain appeal. Meanwhile Shawn 100% wanted to find out the sex. We were at an impasse. 

Now, if I had Very Strong Feelings about not finding out the sex, I wouldn't find out the sex. And if Shawn had Very Strong Feelings about finding out the sex, he would find out the sex. And we would make it work somehow. But neither of us felt particularly adamant about our preference.  

So we used Grady as our tiebreaker. Before we even found out we were expecting, Grady told us his sister was coming. When we were far enough along in the pregnancy to feel comfortable sharing the news with Grady, he was adamant that he was getting a baby sister. He refuses to entertain the thought of potentially getting a baby brother. Which is a bit odd, to be honest, but we think it's because his newest cousin is a girl so in his mind, baby siblings are girl babies. I don't know. All I know is that if I'm pregnant with Grady's little brother, we need to start easing him into it now. (And I'm not going to lie, finding out the sex and being able to reduce the baby name fights-I-mean-discussions by 50% is massively appealing to me. Let's just say that Shawn and my baby name preferences are on opposite sides of the spectrum.)

Did you find out the sex of your baby in advance or was it a delivery room surprise? Would you do it differently next time?