Rebecca Eckler: I'm Dating

From e-mail introductions through mutual friends, I am meeting new mothers MY AGE who have just had children


 

I never seem to have babies at the right time. When I had my first child, at age 29, I was the first one in my group of close friends to have a baby (except for one.) My friends were still out to bars, partying, having one-night stands, or in the process of dating men who would then propose and then get married.

It was a good two or three years before my good friends had their own children, and by that time there really wasn’t any point of setting up play dates with them, because my daughter was already a toddler and their little bundles of joys just slept like lumps. So, basically, until my daughter entered half day preschool, at age two, she didn’t really have any “friends.” Not that the concept of “friends” mattered to her. She just liked digging in sand and taking baths.

Now, this time around, having a baby a decade after my first child, all my friends are long past having babies. They already have two, or three, or four. They aren’t having anymore. The child closest to my son’s age is a friend’s son who is now almost five. I don’t think he would like to hang out with my 9 month old, who finds straws amazing, while my friend’s son is all about Batman. And since my nine-month can’t talk, they wouldn’t be discussing superheroes. So there’s no point in getting them together.

So, the first time I had a baby, I was too early and now this time, I’m too late. I never had good friends who were ever pregnant at the same time as me. I moaned to my fiancé, “Should I worry that Holt doesn’t have any friends?” I ask my friends, “My son has no friends. Where the heck am I going to find him friends?” Of course, I could join mommy and me groups, but, as per history, I’ve dropped out of more mommy and me classes than anyone I know and I probably would be the same this time around.

Plus, what would I have in common, aside from having babies, with people who are probably about a decade younger than me? My friends and fiancé tell me not to worry about him not having friends. He’ll get some eventually. In fact, much like setting people up, my friends who have log gotten past the stage of wanting to have babies, do know at least one woman my age who has just had a baby.

So I’m dating.

Yes, from e-mail introductions through mutual friends, I am meeting new mothers MY AGE who have just had children. When you have a baby, no matter at what age, you want someone who is going through the same stages you are with your child. You want someone to talk about teething and what to do and how you put your baby to sleep, be it on their stomachs, or backs, or sides, and talk about the best, safest strollers out there.

I tell you, everything has changed since a decade ago when it comes to new technologies for babies and trends and new techniques. (Ten years ago, I’d never even HEARD of attachment parenting.)

So, really, I guess it’s ME who needs new friends, not my son, who also doesn’t understand the concept of friendship. His best friends are friggen straws! If I could turn back time, I think I would have gone more out of my way to meet friends who were pregnant at the same time I was. It’s not so much about babies finding friends but mother’s finding new friends with babies.

We need each other to lean on for support and to talk in non-baby talk, because let’s face it, our babies or toddlers are just fine playing with apples or straws. It’s us mothers who have just had babies who need to share a glass of wine with each other and talk about how exhausting it is.

(If you are almost 40 and just had a baby, call me!)

 

Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most well-known journalists. She has been a columnist with theNational Post, Canada's national newspaper, for five years, including a stint as a New York-based columnist and feature writer. She is the best-selling author of Knocked UpWiped!Toddlers Gone Wild, How to Raise a Boyfriend and The Lucky Sperm Club. Rebecca lives in Toronto with her fiancé and family. 

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