I took my baby to a blind date. Not ON a date; this isn’t a heartwarming post about showing a child what dating should look like, or trying to connect with your kid. I took my infant TO a blind date.
I was a married woman, a new mother. And while I was happily married, I was lonely. Lonely for another woman going through the same ups and downs of figuring out life with a newborn.
So, I went on a blind date. And it was fabulous.
It started on Twitter. That was the place I went in the middle of the night, when I was trying to stay awake while feeding the baby. That was where I found the 3am Breastfeeding Club, a hip joint full of snarky women struggling with the same conflicting feelings of love and loathing. Sometimes I’d bar hop over to #zombiemoms and check out the action there. And eventually I made a few good online friends, women who seemed to share my sense of sarcasm, who had babies under one year old, who during the day also shared links to news stories and parenting columns that resonated with me. But online friends only get you so far. The need to get out of the house and see another adult was intense. So one day, a Twitter friend and I agreed to go on a blind date.
I don’t remember who asked who. But we picked a nice, public place: a coffee spot at the mall. Lots of room to walk with strollers if the babies were antsy. Easy conversation starters all around. Caffeine. And we hit it off, spending a couple of hours talking about books, babies, and being in a city where we didn’t really have anyone else to have these conversations with. So we met again. And again. And just like real dating, we moved from the safe, public spaces to visiting each other at home. Our kids started to play together. We became friends.
Making new friends as an adult is hard. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, that’s for sure. But it’s important to try. Not every blind date will work out well. But it will get you out of the house for an afternoon. And it might just turn into a friendship that continues past the baby phase.