This Compatibility Test Can Help New Parents Make (and Keep) the Friends They so Desperately Need.
After you have a baby, you can count on connecting with all the other new parents you meet, park, playgroups, and sing along to, but while these people are certainly easy to meet, it is surprisingly difficult to maintain that relationship.
I’m not talking about when school-age children play on sports teams and you have a ready-made community within which to communicate. I’m talking about babies or toddlers, and their community – it’s you. (Or maybe Daniel Tiger).
There are plenty of opportunities to interact with other awkward parents, including mom-and-me lessons, storytelling in the library, and races to the playgrounds. But while you may have a pleasant instant connection, many other factors must conspire before you can triumphantly add them to your shortlist of people you can send an emergency SOS message to so you don’t have to mail until lunchtime.
It’s not like those light-hearted college days when a mutual love of Alt Country, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Taco Bell could forge a lifelong bond. As young parents, we always have a place to be, something to do, and someone fidgets and complains to dress, change, swim, feed, dry themselves. (Including, sometimes, ourselves.)
After much real-world testing, I finally figured out how to keep these Potential Parent Friends (PPFs). Let me walk you through this simple 8-Piece Compatibility Test to determine if you can form a lasting friendship with that tough parent who was just as disheveled and forgivably not bathed in Gymboree / Swimming / Yogarata or one of 12 other activities. that your child is involved in, so you
can not go to a mental institution to enrich his / her development. Without further ado, let me introduce:
8-factor compatibility test for creating (and keeping) a new parent friend
Number of Kids : You see someone who looks just like your college roommate and is wearing the same 80s pop culture T-shirt from Target! ( This is a very good sign .) You exchange tired smiles, your children eat an egg shaker without screaming. It is clear that this is how it should be. Until you find out that she has two more children at home and you’ve never seen her before because she usually takes one kid to guitar lessons, checking the other’s homework in Mandarin, and she’s only here today because this is a rare, unforeseen event when there can be 1 child. while the mother-in-law is visiting. Dreams: shattered.
Age: Now both of you, watch their offspring from the opposite benches, both just a little scroll TikTok with the corresponding 5-minute intervals in the playground shopping center. But you have a toddler who is about to take a nap, and they have a daycare? It seems to me that your worlds are not destined to collide. On paper, you two could be soul mates. But the child who wants to play elaborate alternative endings “Cold Heart”, will have little patience for the child who can hardly say “Elsa” and becomes upset gremlin when it receives the wrong color cheese.
Compatible Schedules : Do you and your PPF spend the same amount of time with your kids? Are you both back in the office, sitting at home and / or selling herbal energy supplements part time? Because if one of you works harder than the other, or cares about the kids more than the other, or Timmy enrolled in preschool part-time on Monday, Friday, Friday and Spanish singing on Tuesdays alternating, things will look … difficult and fast.
Closeness to each other: Do you live 10 minutes walk or drive from each other? Okay. If you don’t, there will rarely be enough time to get your pint-sized madman ready, tour, and still have time to play before they need a siesta. As soon as my toddler wakes up, sits down in the crib, chooses an outfit, freaks for not being able to wear a skirt and dress (next time, damn it, we’ll fit in), finds hourly reasons why she’s too busy to changing clothes outside of pajamas, eating breakfast, resigning to evil teeth and brushing hair, dodging diaper changes, putting shoes on the right feet , collecting the necessary VIP plush toys for travel, and taking at least one “delay” from a manic screaming that she had been given a napkin from the wrong box, it was almost time for a nap. In these harsh conditions, unless your PPF lives nearby, you will almost never see them.
Parenting Style: If you are old school / free-range and they are one propeller away from the Black Hawk helicopter, the stars are not the same for your parent-friend union. The same goes if you sometimes (okay, often), allow your child to have its inorganic chicken nuggets without washing the pre-hand (because, my God, the battle wasted gallons of water soaked towels unnecessarily and 10 other insanely slow things who he wants to do it in the sink) and your target follows his non-GMO, farm to table, probiotic kid with a can of non-toxic hand sanitizer, it will be difficult to have fun with all this mutual judgment.
Need Level: If their calendar already has a given group of parenting friends, dates, and family barbecues, and you’ve just arrived from a minivan from Kansas, the magic ball 8 says, “Don’t count on it.” Even if you get along, your PPF just might not have enough time or space on an already loaded social schedule to start from scratch with a newbie. Your best bet is to find other impatient beavers who need you as much as you do.
Thirst level: don’t you see anything wrong with drinking at 4:00 pm after a long day of screaming and crying (some of it yours) while your little ones crash cars? You need a parent friend who is just as dry. If your new friend never drinks responsibly while the kids are around, you can keep moving. To my house.
The Spouse Factor : After you check at least four of these boxes (remember, this is almost a scientific formula), you are ready to take your newfound friendship to the next level: one that includes more than just the temporary mid-week. meetings, but planned weekend activities with people who didn’t pick each other out of the crowd in despair and said, “Here they are. The PPF I Need. ” You may adore each other, but that does not mean that your spouses will love each other. If you fancy a Saturday during which all three or four of you (and your little ones) can kindly hang themselves, let’s hope one of them didn’t follow Fish on the tour, while the other voted for Trump (twice).
Now, just bring this quick checklist to your next parent function and find out if your new PPF is a custodian. May the pull-ups be with you.