If you’re the first of your friends to become a new mom, navigating the tricky waters of teething, potty-training and shopping for preschools can be pretty lonely without a fellow mom friend to commiserate with. And awkwardly attempting to make new friends in the park or on the playground can feel … well, kind of uncomfortable if you’re not the outgoing type.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry—it looks like there’s hope for you yet.
Speed dating—yes, speed dating—appears to be the latest trend for moms across the country who are looking to connect with other moms quickly, sans awkwardness.
“I thought dating was over once you find your life partner, but that’s not the case,” mom Robin Hieatt recently told Today.com. “You go to these playgrounds and play dates looking for moms you can spend your time with—someone who’s going through the same hellish-but-wonderful time as you are—but there’s embarrassment and anxiety about reaching out and trying to connect with other moms.”
So weirded out was Hieatt by the whole walking-up-to-a-stranger prospect that she started thinking of alternative ways to meet moms in her town. And that’s when it hit her: What if moms could speed date for friends?
As a result, Hieatt formed Moms Matched a few months ago, and has been hosting fun local meet-ups with moms in her town ever since. She even teamed up with another local mom, Brandy Griffin, who’s become her new mom friend and helps her pull off the speed dating nights without a hitch.
But Hieatt isn’t the only mom out there championing the speed dating method. Today.com also spoke with Hillary Frank, host and creator of the podcast “Longest Shortest Time.” Frank noted that many of her listeners call in to talk of the loneliness of motherhood, and says that what she finds they’re longing for most is support. Frank’s podcast aims to give moms a place to do that, but recently, she decided to take things one step further. At the end of this month, Frank’s first-ever Mom Speed Dating Event will be held in New York City, where she hopes women can connect with each other over their parenting styles, personal interests, and
And if you’re wondering how exactly this all goes down, Frank has it all planned to a T.
“The moms will be seated at tables and given 4 to 5 minutes to talk to each partner before moving on to the next,” explains Frank. “I will give them suggestions of what to ask each other a couple of times during the event—‘What’s the craziest thing you’ve done due to sleep deprivation?’—for example, but we also want to give them a chance to ask whatever they want,” said Frank.
Hieatt’s speed dating nights are pretty similar, says the mom of two, which allow moms to list the other moms they had a connection with at the end of the night, and send them an email the next day with their matches.
“We tell our moms that if they don’t match with a certain person, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a great person,” says Hieatt. “It just means there wasn’t the right chemistry.”
Hieatt hasn’t had to worry about that yet, though—she says she hasn’t seen a mom leave without a match yet.
Would you ever try speed dating to make new mom friends?