Okay, I’ll admit it. Being a stay at home parent is terribly lonely.
When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I agreed we did not want daycare and that me staying at home would be an eventual goal once finances allowed. So, for the first year of my son’s life, I worked three days a week with my husband and mother watching our son while I was away. I had my friends at the law firm I worked at for over five years and my friends I had acquired over the eight years I had lived in town. During this time, my husband took on searching for a job that would be enough of a pay increase to make living on one income doable.
However, an interview with a local restaurant gave way to a position at another location two hours away. It would put us closer to family, but we would leave all our friends behind. Most importantly, I could stay at home with our toddler. So we packed up our little yellow Cape Cod into one big rental truck and hit the road to a larger city that had plenty to offer in the likes of museums, parks, and other kid-friendly activities.
Becoming a SAHM is a transition in itself, but I found the drawbacks compounded 10-fold by making the transition in a new city. My husband would often work entire days, getting home just as I was putting our son to bed. All those activities I found in anticipation of moving seemed a chore to get to working around errands, meals, and nap times. Throw in feeling like a dumpster fire after I found out I was pregnant less than a month after the move and you have a recipe for a hermit.
It took me a few months to get my bearings in a new city. I pushed myself to reach out to friends of friends who had kids similar in age, but it became difficult to coordinate and make play dates come to fruition. I got an annual pass to a local kid’s museum but stopped going with flu season and a young, not yet vaccinated newborn at home. One day when we were at the park as a family, I anxiously asked my husband if I should ask for the phone number of the woman who I had been making small talk with at the seesaw moments earlier, and he pointed out she reeked of pot. After feeling like I’ve been in a bunker since having my second child in January, I am now, quite literally, on a Tinder style app to meet other moms. Can you sense the desperation?
So here I am, eagerly waiting for a match feeling like I’m dating all over again. But instead of dodging dick pics, I’m dodging anti-vaxxers and Lularoe consultants. Instead of lying about enjoying hiking over beers in a dimly lit bar with suspiciously sticky floors, I’m exaggerating the amount of organic foods in my child’s diet over lattes in a Starbucks (Just kidding. Don’t lie or else you’ll find yourself doing 2 trails in one day with your now husband). Instead of anxieties over being roofied, I get to worry about someone looking to sell my kids on the black market. And after that first play date, I’ll get to dwell on the appropriate amount of time to text my new mom friend about meeting again, or in the alternative, let her down easy after listening to her talk about chem trails for thirty minutes straight.
I am a 28 year old, married, mother of 2 and I’m back in the dating game. Bring it on.