Mum-dating is changing the way women experience motherhood.
Night-feeds can feel like the loneliest time of all. As you sit there in the dead of night it can feel as though you are the only person in the world awake. Now, imagine having a friend that you can casually Facebook message at 3am in the morning? You are talking about baby clothes one minute and that hilarious MTV show the next. Suddenly the night-feed is a social occasion. You feel alive. You have company.
Mum-dating is changing the way women experience motherhood. That stranger in the park can very quickly become the friend that you have play-dates with. The lady beside you in the doctor's office is suddenly your Facebook friend. That friendly girl on Facebook suggests a coffee and you find yourself becoming good friends very quickly.
There are many local support groups and community initiatives to encourage new mothers to interact with each other. You may have passed the sign over and over again but never considered actually going. What is stopping you? You could have a whole new group of friends. Friends who can support each other and offer advice.
The online sphere is another really powerful tool in terms of mum-dating. I have been on Facebook Groups about breastfeeding, gentle-parenting and weaning and found myself interacting with some of the same mums over and over again. Some of them have become real-life friends. Isn't that just amazing?
Just like actual dating it can feel a little bit daunting to “put yourself out there” for fear of rejection. You think that yourself and this person will hit it off but you won't really know until you try. Perhaps your child has a favourite pal at crèche or play-school. Why not reach out to that child's parent and suggest a play-date considering they are already good friends? It is unlikely that the other parent will feel anything other than flattered and delighted. I know I would. It is never too late to meet mum-friends.
One of my favourite things to do is meet my mum friends for midweek play-dates. There is no pressure to have a spotless house or bake cookies. We meet at one of our houses and actual find ourselves reassured by the chaos. It only emphasises that we are all the same. We drink tea, the children interact (and often kill each other) and we feel as though we have a social life. I cannot recommend it enough.