Are you reading thinking yes, yes, does it? I don’t have the answer for you. Since becoming a SAHM and venturing out much more often to playgrounds, parks and playdates I have picked up some tips (and ahem – what not to do advice) on how to win at the mom dating game. Or maybe at least get your feet wet with making mom friends in the world of MLM’s.
Before I get into my list, I would like to make it known I am NOT against MLM companies. I actually think when done properly they can be great! The problem is that
sometimes most of the time, the eagerness to share comes across in a completely not genuine manner in my experience. It can be hard enough to create your village in today’s mom world. Add to that the fact that everyone is selling something and it can be difficult to tell when a connection is truly genuine or just an attempt to get you in their “downline” to sell the product. To note, I am actually a member of a MLM company that I genuinely love; however, at this point in my life I’m not actively pursuing that as a career. I just love and use the products.
Let me give you an example that has happened to me more times than I can count on my fingers and toes:
My son and I arrive at said park and put our stuff down, begin playing. More often than not, at some point, more moms and children show up. My son begins interacting and playing with another child. I strike up a conversation with the mom to pass some time and in an attempt to ease any awkwardness.
Me: How old is he?
Other Mom: Oh he’s 2.5. Getting into everything now!
Me: Ohmygosh, I know, tell me about it. Nonstop. Why do you think we come here? So he passes out asap on the way home for nap and I can catch a break!
Other Mom: Oh yeah, definitely. Thankfully our oils help us with that. Just the right amount and he goes right down for a nap. We could not live without our oils.
Insert eye roll here.
Or the scenario plays out like this:
Me: Yes, I used to work full time but I got laid off so now I stay at home. We decided to just roll with it and so far it’s been great.
Other Mom: Yes, I’ve been a SAHM for a while now. I finally started my own business where I can work my own hours, it’s been so great. It would probably be a good fit for you too!
Insert eye roll here.
It’s happened more times than I can count. Since I’m clearly not connected to these new potential friends on social media, they always weasel into the conversation something about their skincare business, wraps, essential oils, lipstick, shake, workout program, meal replacement bar etc. (Did I forget any?) I don’t mean to sound rude here, but it’s just exhausting when I’m constantly longing and searching for a true, die hard mom best friend and then they start talking about their side hustle. Listen, I RESPECT A SIDE HUSTLE. If it’s what you love and cherish and it’s your calling, I truly do. I just don’t respect when I feel like I’m being baited into asking about it or joining a team. I guarantee there’s no MLM product out there I haven’t heard of. I would much rather prefer the friendship to blossom naturally and find out over dinner/coffee/drinks about your hobbies and businesses instead of in the first five minutes of conversation.
Again, none of these businesses are bad if it’s what works for you; however, it can be very frustrating to make genuine friends when everyone seems to be in the rat race of MLM’s.
Here are my top 5 tips to mom dating in the sticky world of MLMs:
- Ditch the phone Now, I’m not saying you can’t ever look at it. Of course you can and I am totally guilty of looking at mine too. But you can’t expect to meet other moms and make genuine friendships if you’re more engaged in your phone than your kid playing. Facebook groups and friends are great but the real bread and butter is in the real life connection. Also, the MLM networks are rampant in all those online groups. Walk around with your kid, follow them, see who they start playing with. Encourage them to play with the other kids.
- Make the first move Once you see another mom standing around just strike up a conversation. I mean, I don’t need to feed these to you, you’ve heard them all a million times: How old is he/she? What is his/her name? How many are yours? There is usually more kids here by this time, at least there’s a few of us here! You get the drift. Just go on already and make the first move. You’ll get some type of response. I think it’s important to remember here that you’re not going to click with every mom you meet and that’s ok. It says nothing bad about you or her, it’s just life. Maybe your kid is being a butthole that day and the mom is standoffish or maybe she gives very curt, short answers. That’s fine! At least you’re putting yourself out there!
- Ask Questions Once the conversation is established and the kids are clearly playing together, keep it going. Ask more questions about the kids or her. Here’s where the dating part comes in. Do you have anything in common besides the kids? Sure it can be hard to tell at first but if you spend 30 or so minutes chatting, you’ll start to learn more about each other.
- Ignore, divert, steer clear! What do I mean by this? I mean that if the other mom begins talking about her skincare, essential oils, shake, lipstick, workout just politely guide the conversation another way. This isn’t rude and doesn’t have to be at all. If you’re not interested then don’t take the bait. Change the subject, keep the conversation going away from the business. I’ve point blank just stated I’m not into those companies and moved on. They get the drift.
- Plant a seed for a playdate right off the bat Mention the next time you come here you’d like to text her so you can possibly meet up and let the kids play! Or maybe you can both try that new park you’ve heard about. You’ll need some more mom dates before you can see if you truly click, but hey, being out and about with someone is better than going at it alone!
As an aside, it’s happened more than once to me that I’ve exchanged numbers with a mom and then later received a text to invite me to a meet up, class or party about their skincare, lipstick, shake etc. I just politely respond I’m not interested in that but if they’d like to get together without any of that I’m interested. Some of these friendships I’ve continued because the connection was there and they eventually realized I’m truly not interested in the MLM. Others have fallen completely by the wayside and I’ve never heard from the mom again. Another one bites the dust.
Making friends is hard. It’s not something we all have to start over and do at a later stage in life. It’s not as easy as it was in high school or college, but you’ll never find that tribe if you don’t put yourself out there!