Legally Momming: A Working Mom's Tribe

'Legally Momming' is a column by our resident attorney mama Melissa Keyes

Nothing is more important than a mom’s tribe. You need people who understand your shared experiences. I have a great tribe of friends and family - both mom and not. Almost all are people I was friends with pre-kids or met in situations sans kids. As a working mom, especially, it feels hard to make new mom-friends when you only have so many mom hours available each week. I’ve chatted up other moms while sitting at soccer or the playground, but it feels so fleeting and transient. It’s hard to make plans to get together without sounding like a weirdo, and most of the time I’m trying to keep an eye on my darting pre-schooler, feed my hangry baby, or respond to a few emails.

I recently heard about an app called “Peanut” that was meant to be a sort of tinder for moms to find other mom-friends. I was curious. I installed it and filled out a profile. It asked for basic information about kids (ages and gender) location, and asked you to pick three “interests” ranging from “hot-mess” (?!) and “crafty” to drinking wine or coffee. You could also add pictures and write a brief profile to give more info about yourself. Once your profile is complete, you are shown the profile photos of moms in your area – if you think you might make good mom friends, you would swipe up to “wave” at them. If they also “wave” at you, then you would be matched. I was not a fan. It seemed too vague – you were basically picking friends based on what they looked like and what three broad interests they selected. I uninstalled the app when I received messages from moms that were not in my geographic area asking for rides or for me to come to a MLM product party. 

No thanks, Tom Hanks.
— Melissa Keyes, Legally Momming

Here are some things that the app gets wrong – moms don’t care so much about photos or a few broadly selected categories of interests. The app ignores the unique mom-ness of the targeted audience, our shared experiences that makes us all members of the greater mom club. It is the common experiences that unites us, how we earn our stripes, our battle scars. Sharing these experiences are great ways for new mom friends to meet and commiserate.

Therefore, in an effort to help all you fine working mamas out there meet new working moms, I’ve started a list of some shared experiences that many of us can relate to. Use them as conversation starters; add your own momsperiences to the list, try them out here in the comments. Maybe it will spark the magic that is mom-friending.

  • Introvert moms (you’ll never talk on the phone and any in-person meetings will likely be cancelled at the last minute)
  • Fans of yoga pants but not yoga (bonus points if you’re wearing yoga pants right now, double-points if you also wore those pants yesterday, triple points if the pants are hiding any sort of kid stains)
  • Moms who have angry-changed a diaper (bonus points if you’ve also baby-talked shit about your significant other while doing it, “Daddy is being a jerk right now...yes he is!”)
  • Fans of movies you used to love but can no longer watch since becoming a mom (me before kids: “Home Alone – what a cute movie”; me after kids: “omg, he is all by himself, he needs to eat, he’ll hurt himself on that…omg.”)
  • Moms who cry at commercials (damn you Sarah McLaughlin and UNICEF)
  • Using your kiddos as an excuse to get out of social events (“would love to come to your party but the kid has another birthday party we have to go to.”)
  • Momspirationals (for those who like to post inspirational messages. Bonus points if the message also has a picture of a cute animal)
  • Moms against snow days- see next article here
  • Politically savvy moms (bonus points if you yell at the TV, double points if you’ve taken your kid to a rally or march)
  • Moms who overthink kids TV shows (“How can Daniel Tiger’s land of make believe function with only 7 residents, no police, and no utilities – they have a clock factory and a crayon factory but no functional commerce – is Dr. Anna both a doctor and a veterinarian?”)
  • Amazon Prime moms (it says a lot about who you are as a person)
  • Pintrest fail moms (bonus points if you don’t even attempt the craft or baked good and just buy from the store. Double points if you’ve planned ahead and that store is Amazon)
  • Poop and fart joke moms (you tell your kid they aren’t funny or appropriate but you are secretly dying inside)
  • Mompreneuers (get your game, girl)- see some of our favorites here
  • Moms who make stereotypical mom/wine jokes
  • Moms who get the lingo (bae? Squad goals? These moms know whats app)

There are thousands of other examples, I’d love to hear what you guys think should also be included. But whatever you do, find your tribe – this is too hard not to.