TALES OF MAKING MOM FRIENDS

Let me be completely honest here. Before I even had a kid it was awkward making friends. Pretty much once you leave school, your only options are 'people at work' or 'friends of friends'. And guess what? Sharon from HR and Monica’s friend Karen…aren’t always the coolest. So yes…In the past, I’ve found myself googling things like “adult kickball league”, “small dog play groups” and “where do cool adults hangout”. (Full disclosure…i did join a kickball league for one season. We lost.) Making friends as an adult is as weird as it is awkward. 

And then I had a kid. As if I was creating a challenge for myself to making friends even more difficult. Between the sleep deprivation and sheer exhaustion, I’m not proud to admit I rarely left the house. And when your only source of communication is with 3 dogs and a baby, who’s vocabularies are severely lacking...you forget how to adult. You almost forget how to be human.

First, you start oversharing with the grocery store checkout guy. Like really oversharing. You have those “I carried a watermelon?” moments.... but instead its, “Yaaaa they cut me like all the way?" OMG stop telling people about your episiotomy, Kristen! I can’t tell you how many Targets, Babies R Us’s and Trader Joe’s I walked out of, mortified at the verbal diarrhea that I’d just spewed. What I meant to say was Hi, but what came out for some reason was, “Ya they had to vacuum extract him”. What was wrong with me? When did I forget how to speak? I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to be my friend. I was a total creeper! And slowly the Sharon’s and Karen’s even stopped returning my phone calls. It appears they don't have a huge affliction for poo and nipple talk. 

Well shit. What now? How do you make mom friends? Can there just be a Tinder... but for moms to make friends? Can one of you gals in Silicon Valley make that happen? Just let me swipe left or right based on a photo and your parenting style already! 

Well I started taking K to Gymboree classes. A bunch of mom’s who are available during the day with a baby within the same age range? Perfect. Only everyone was tired, seemed to have mom friends already, or…were “that” mom. The super crunchy mom who you know would have a field day if she saw the state of your house right now. No thanks. Until one day...

Took me weeks to build up the courage to ask her on a mom date, but I was finally ready. I was so nervous as I drove to class. I had several responses prepared, should she say no, be busy or wanted to reschedule. I did my hair that morning to make myself more alluring. I arrived early, waiting anxiously to strike up a conversation and then very organically throw in an invite when... Some other woman walked in with her. “A relative? A friend?” She didn't introduce her so I waited. 

Roughly 15 minutes into class, this other woman picks up X and starts breastfeeding him. Now I’m all kinds of confused, but also this is the biggest adult drama I’ve had in my life in a year, so I’m highly intrigued. Are they a lesbian couple? Is she the wet nurse? WHO IS THIS WOMAN? Needlesstosay, I didn't ask her out, but instead spent the next week thinking about who this mystery woman could be. The obvious, for some reason, wasn’t obvious to me.

It’s now the next week. She’s arrived solo. I casually say, “So who was the woman in class last week?”
“Oh that’s X’s mom”
“I thought you were X's mom?”
“Nope I’m just the nanny."

…doh.

I mean, of course she is. We live in Los Angeles, where everyone has a nanny. (In my defense, X called her mama) But there it was…my hope for a friend slipped right through my fingers. She’s not gonna wanna hang out with me after work and talk about…work lol She wasn’t a mom yearning for adult mom friends. She was a super cool chick who was a nanny by day and whatever the fuck she wanted by night. So now what? Do I give up? Well I did...for a while. But now?

Well I’ve finally reached a point...as Killian is broaching 1 year old... where I’ve arrived at “fuck it”. I'm cool. I'm fun to be around. I'm putting myself on the market and seeing what happens. For the past week Ive been going to malls and hanging out in the germ infested playground areas with K. I talk to any parents who aren't staring at their phone. I’m the playground mall mom…the creeper who’s eyes say, “Wanna be friends?” I go to Mommy and Me movies and show up 30 minutes early so I can talk to mom’s as they trickle in. I do whatever. Desperate times call for desperate measure. When you find yourself explaining to your friend, the UPS guy, why you prefer Prep H to Tucks…something changes in you.

I think that’s kind of what this whole journey to motherhood as been for me. Learning to give zero fucks about what anyone thinks of you. Motherhood has a way of breaking you like that. I have laundry piled up, dishes galore, and my kid’s socks don’t match, but I’m surviving. You wanna be friends? cool. You don’t? you probably suck anyways

So this is my new thing. I’m not afraid to ask you out. In fact, there’s 3 unsuspecting mom’s in K’s new class that I plan on asking out next week. Yup. The Russian, the one with the big baby like K and the possibly French woman who has the same eyes as me…the ones that say, “please talk to me.” I’m gonna ask them on a big ol’ mom date next week. I have no fear of rejection any more. My only fear is that I just might have to switch Trader Joe’s if I don’t try. 

I’m assuming I’m not alone. I’m assuming there are other women out there like me. Who have no family near by…who’s friends have moved away…and you need a mom friend more than life itself. I say, just go for it. 

(UPDATE: I think I've made my first official mom friend. We've gone out on several mom dates. Her name is Snapshot Mama.) Here's my other friend...my son...trying to hand me a rotten pomegranate. 

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ME AND MY BODY:
Listen, I didn’t choose the mom hair do…the mom hair do chose me. K was pulling my hair so much I’m 67% certain I was forming a bald spot. So I lobbed it off to the shortest its ever been in my entire life…and then added some lavender b/c…why the hell not? Now I’m on this whole new adventure called “learning how to style short hair”. So far I’ve mastered…"letting it air dry and doing nothing” just like my medium hair and long hairstyle. Man, I’m so good at hair.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: 
A couple months ago I wrote 2 blogs that I submitted to Scary Mommy. Neither was accepted and I kinda gave up. I was all “psssst whatever internet, screw you.” But then last week I wrote a very personal blog about my brother…and felt inclined to submit it. Third times a charm right?  Never in a million years did I think mine would get selected. You just figure thousands of people submit every day... and surely every blog has probably already been written. Well I was wrong. They loved it and are gonna run in August 23rd! I cried, called my mom…did a jig in my living room…all the usual. This was hands down the highlight of my week.

I started this whole blog a couple years ago for myself…as a journal to remember it all…but as time has passed and I’ve heard from so many people on how certain things I wrote helped them feel more normal? Well, all I want to do now is keep writing in hopes that I can keep helping other parents feel normal. Maybe August 23rd I’ll be able to reach more people….we can all feel normal together. whatever the hell that means.

LOWLIGHT OF THE WEEK: 

That time I wanted to punch a child in the face…

So I went to the playground mall, which is my new thing now. Gets me out of the house and opens up doors to have adult interactions. Oh...and K gets to play with new toys or whatever. Well K walked up to some girl, roughly 4 years old…and gave her a hug. Not sure why. He’s not a hugger, but he did. 4 year old girl starts screaming. Startled, K releases immediately. She then runs off. Right at this moment…this other girl who was WAY over the 42 inch height maximum to be in there...enters my world. This very rotund 9-10 year old girl, with white hair, dark rimmed glasses, holding a wolf teddy bear as she did summersaults in a dress revealing her underwear with ever spin. This beast of girl points right at Killian and shouts, “He’s a monster. No one go near him. Everyone run away from the monster!” All the kids scattered as she continued to make a game out of my baby. Anywhere he’d walk, everyone ran from him like he had leprasy.

He was too young to have his feelings hurt. I was not. Gonna be frank here…I wanted to knock her on her ass right there and then. The thoughts that ran through my head...well I'm not proud of. I got a glimpse into the kind of person I can turn into if you mess with my child….and it scared me a little. #MamaBear

How could you call this kid a monster? 

Popped his mall playground cherry 🍒

A photo posted by Kristen Quintrall (@kristenquintrall) on

KILLIAN: 

We’re moms…so we multitask. So I bring K into the bathroom with me while I shower. I sprawl some toys on the ground and let him have at it. Well his pesky obsession with opening and closing doors, turned into him opening the shower door and walking right in…fully clothed…with diaper…and scaring the actual shit out of me. Anyways, he now showers with me. I de-robe him and he sits on the pebble floor and splashes around, which is great b/c now I can take longer showers…but sucks b/c now I can’t exactly pee in the shower. Meh

Praise baby Jesus he finally learned to clap. Wasn’t quite sure that was gonna ever happen.

I finally got him to clap...on camera. I honestly didn't think he ever would 👏👏👏

A video posted by Kristen Quintrall (@kristenquintrall) on

He started saying “All Done”, which I’ve bene saying and signing to him since birth with regards to changing his diaper, bath time and feeding time. He has taken that phrase and applied to to every situation he’s done with. lol

He’s stepped up his 'peek a boo' game. He’ll grab anything and hide behind it and then pop out at you. He has grabbed dish towels, dad’s dirty underwear and the blinds. Crafty, this one.

🐠🐠🐠

A photo posted by Kristen Quintrall (@kristenquintrall) on