I met my husband in the year 2000. It was a simpler time: no texting, no Facebook and certainly no Tinder. I always thought I would skip the whole online dating scene, until some clever people developed an app for finding mom friends. The Peanut app is like a wholesome Tinder, all the swiping, none of the casual sex.
I must admit I never thought it would be come to this. Didn’t moms meet at playgrounds and school events? Well, in my seven years of suburban motherhood, I have met plenty of acquaintances, but very few close friends. We all know it takes a village, but finding the village can be rough, especially when you’re hoping to find friends with more in common than the age of your kids. When my very best mom friend moved across the country, I knew I had to do something. So I dug around for a cute picture and got to work on my mom dating profile.
The first thing Peanut asks you to do is enter the gender and age of your kids which is easy enough. Then they ask you to choose three icons that are designed to sum you up as a mother. It’s meant to be playful, but I saw the potential for some serious mommy war bullshit. There were choices like Hot Mess, Fashion Killer, Mom Boss, Routine Queen, Strictly Organic and Dr. Google. It took me an hour to decide, but I ultimately went with Crafty, Wine Time and Bookworm.
Next up was the bio. I did my best to craft something that sounded fun and casual. Later, I would discover that some women used this space to be really clear on where they stood on the pressing issues of the modern mother, i.e., fed is best and vaccines save lives. My very favorite one was also the most honest. It simply read, “Well, this is awkward.”
Once you upload a few profile pics, you’re finally ready to start playing the field. Let me just say that I totally understand why dating apps are so popular. It was incredibly fun to check out the profiles—although it's really hard to tell from a few icons, pictures and small blurb who you're going to have a deep connection with.
As a mama who tries hard not to judge, my first instinct was to swipe up on everyone, but I did my best to be discerning. And I’ve got to say, whether I thought we would click or not, it was fascinating to have this little window into so many strangers' lives. I got a little thrill each time I found a mama I thought would be cool to meet and in no time, I had seen all the profiles for moms in my area.
I wondered if it was my profile picture or that my kids were older. Maybe I sounded lame in my bio. I’ve gotta say, dating app rejection isn’t fun.
Next came the waiting. It felt like forever before I had a match. I wondered if it was my profile picture or that my kids were older. Maybe I sounded lame in my bio. I’ve gotta say, dating app rejection isn’t fun. The last thing you need when you’ve put yourself out there is to feel like you’re not good enough. But alas, it’s just that we moms are super busy ... at least that's what I told myself.
Eventually, I did make several connections and after some oddly exhilarating chatting and a few canceled plans, I finally went on my first mom date. I was surprised at how nervous I was when the day finally came. It took me far too long to pick out an outfit. I was trying to strike that perfect balance between cute and casual. I packed a few good snacks to share and gave my kids a lecture explaining that I expected them to be on their best behavior.
After a few slightly awkward introductions, we ended up having a lovely time getting to know each other while our kids played at the park. It seemed like we had a few things in common and the kids got along well. Toward the end of our "date," my youngest did something super embarrassing. I was mortified, but ultimately I figured if it was meant to be, she would be able to look past a little emergency nature pee. I sent a post-date text letting her know I had fun and hoped we could connect again soon. She agreed, so fingers crossed I’ll get that second date.
I’ve got a few other ladies I’m trying to find time to meet and it feels good to be putting myself out there. Before I became a mom, I never imagined having to find friends in such a strange way, but I’m happy I tried the app and I’m grateful for the chance to meet some cool mamas.
If you’re in the market for some new mom friends, I recommend giving mom friend apps a try. At the very least, you’ll have fun swiping!