My son is two years old. I have been blaming my lack of friends who are moms on various things along the different stages of his life. He was born in November, during one of the worst winters we’ve had in New York in years. Maybe you remember the term “snowpocalypse?” Yeah. As a new mom, I was terrified of strapping him on to my chest – certain that I would slip on a patch of black ice and crush him to death. The few outings we took with the stroller were reminiscent of watching an economy sized car without snow chains in a blizzard. Stuck every few feet – it was frustrating at best. We inadvertently became shut-ins. Not a whole lot of socializing going on during those months.
As he started to get a little older, the few moms I did know were beginning to put their kids in playgroups that I couldn’t afford. And frankly, paying to go somewhere to play with my kids with other moms always seemed a little ridiculous anyway. I vowed to make mom friends the old-fashioned way – by striking up a conversation at the park.
Not so easy in Brooklyn. I would say that about 70% of the adults at the park with children during the day are nannies. I don’t have anything against hanging out with nannies, but they never really warmed up to me. Whenever I tried to strike up a conversation they would inevitably look at me as if I were some playground spy who was planted to make sure they were doing their job right. Like a live nanny-cam. I started realizing that those pay-to-play dates may not be so “ridiculous” after all.
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