As a parent, you are expected to associate with other parents who have children the same age as yours. I’m not sure exactly why but I suspect it’s because bears are less likely to attack large groups of people. I’ve been told that it’s because motherhood can be isolating and that mommy-and-me playdates are a great way for moms to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
I don’t know who started that rumor but it’s extremely misleading, as most mothers leave those groups feeling exhausted, judged, and even more lonely than before. This is why you should choose friends based on whether you like them or not, rather than solely because they had unprotected sex in the same month that your IUD failed.
I mean, that would be like choosing a husband based on the coincidence that you both know how to groom cats, or have the exact same genitals. It might give you something to talk about for a few days but pretty soon you realize that one of you is 85 and Icelandic and the other is a heroin addict who only speaks Spanish.
Still, many new mothers feel that joining playgroups is an essential part of being a parent and some even enjoy the experience. These women are usually drunk. Or they’re super competimoms who need someone to compare themselves to so they feel good about the fact that they’ve terrified their child into potty-training at 3 months. You can usually tell them apart because the drunk moms are having a much better time and are more likely to get arrested. The competimoms are the ones handing out mommy business cards and who are much less topless.
The first time someone handed me a mommy business card, I thought it was a joke. It said, “I’m Jayden’s mommy. Here is our number and address. Please come rob us.” That last line was just implied. I handed her a copy of my business card (“The Bloggess: Only offensive to assholes”) and then she told me that she didn’t actually have enough mommy cards and she took hers back. I told her it was fine because I have a photographic memory and asked if she had any dogs or security cameras. She left. Quickly. But that’s probably for the best because most “mommy business cards” are a sign that you should run like hell because that chick is probably insane. Still, the concept is a good one so I’ve decided to make some mommy cards for the rest of us.
(Note: I made that one primarily to give out to people you want to get rid of. It totally works.)
This last card is more of a test. If the mom laughs, then it’s probably a good match. If the mom is appalled and starts backing away slowly, then just clarify that it’s only because she seems like a conscientious parent who would totally feed her child all-organic and you’re trying to cut back on preservatives.
If anything, it’s a compliment.