I like to think I’m an easy-going, friendly, maybe even charismatic person. I picture myself the life of the party: hair always on point, outgoing…an assertive trendsetter. Oh, and witty AF.
I command a room.
Truth be told – this is just me in my own brain. The way I see myself crushing it in social situations, before heading out to a party or rubbing shoulders with the other sports moms.
In real life, I’m much more awkward.
You ever do that thing where you literally have a conversation with the people you’re about to see, in your head? Jan, the cool football mom that EVERYONE likes, greets me at my kid’s practice. I smile…hit her with a sassy-but-funny quip about how my crazy kids are just always making me late. ALL the surrounding moms laugh in unison. I let out a fluttery giggle, kiss my boy on the forehead, and send him on his way. I then proceed to have an hour-long conversation with the gals about leggings and how we all just can’t wait til pumpkin spice season!
This is never how it actually happens.
In reality, I show up to practice with minutes to spare; out of breath, with sweat running down my back, I use one hand to push a stroller and the other to drag my three-year-old faster than his little legs can walk. I’m yelling, “bye, kid!” to my oldest son as he’s running toward his coach and teammates. Football Jan watches me and smiles understandingly. I force a smile, but I’m fairly certain I just look constipated.
I mean to bust out my clever mommy-banter arsenal. “Mom life! Am I right, though?!” *cute giggle* *snort*
Instead, I clear my throat as if I’ve been saving up loogies for a month, and announce, all-too-loudly, “Dammit! Kids. Jeeez-US!”
I’m a socially awkward mom. There. I said it.
I have trouble talking to other moms, and what’s more, I have a hard time making friends with them.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of my awkwardness. I mean, I always had friends throughout my school days…I landed a husband who thought I was cool enough to marry and have four kids with…
Ugh, who knows?
These days, the friend-making just feels harder. It’s like I’m almost all too aware that once the small talk about grades, ages, and stages is over, I’ve got nothing left to bring to the table. I don’t make crafts and sell them as a side hustle. I’m not interested in recipe-swapping. I don’t drink wine, because it gives me a headache. And, honestly, I care way more about Marvel’s Multiverse than gender reveal parties or where to buy pop-its.
Sometimes, I try the just sit here quietly approach. I’ll wait until I hear other moms chatting about subjects I am fluent in, before chiming in. But, even then, I find my mouth stumbling over words. I LOVE doing macrame and other fiber arts – but if you want me to verbally express with an actual human voice what my hobbies are, it’ll come out: “um, I like to tie knots.”
It’s as if I forget who I am and how I normally act when I meet new people.
Potential Mom Friend I’m Just Meeting: “So, you enjoy writing? What kind of subjects do you tackle?”
My Dumb Ass: “Oh, totes! My kids piss me off on the reg, so I put it on the internet!”
Fuck. Who even says, “totes?”
I’m clearly not the vivacious, up to the minute, hip chick I imagine myself to be.
Have you ever “friended” some moms from your kid’s class on social media, even if you’ve barely met them in person yet? You just kind of pray they don’t think you’re psychotic, but you also want that friend request to count as you making the first move in possible friendship…
Yeah, might have done this a time or two, myself.
I might have even done that earlier this week…
I LOVE being involved in my kids’ interests and meeting parents who are in the same boat. It’s obviously safer to know the families your children hang with. And, having other adults to talk to at practices or school functions is a pretty clear bonus. But, what if you’re like me, and you have a hard time connecting with mom crews?
I know I’m a little socially awkward when it comes to meeting new people, but I’m never sorry that I put myself out there and try. I can, and probably will, say wrong thing after wrong thing…
But, I’m never sorry.
Because, even if I don’t make a meaningful connection with other moms on a personal level, they at least know the MOST important things about this mom: I show up for my kids. And I care enough about what they do and who they are with to try to be a part of it any way I can.
So, awkward mom? Maybe.
Caring mom? Always.
If you catch me being weird, just smile and know, we’re on the same team. I promise.