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Nov 12 2014

Playdates Made Easy With This Convenient Form for Moms!

By at 11:51 am

Madlibs for Making Playdates and Mom Friends

Moms, did you ever wish you had a quick and easy template for a playdate invitation to stick in a cubby or hand to a woman who looks like a potential friend? Well, you’re in luck. Just check off the applicable boxes, and you’re good to go. Soon you—I mean, your kid—might have a new best friend!

Dear Mom of: (Check off one)

[ ] child my child’s same age and gender, so come on, it has to work

[ ] child that is more popular than my child so I’m trying to help my child out

[ ] child I have never seen but this one time I saw you reading a book I like so I’m hoping we’ll be friends

Ever since we talked at: Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 31 2014

The Ridiculous Reason My Mommy Circle Ditched Me

By at 10:03 am

swings

I am irrationally angry with my neighbors.

We live in an apartment complex in Baltimore with a population that is probably half Jewish. There is a great playground in our complex that happens to be right within eyesight from our front window. Since we moved in three years ago, whenever it has been nice out, many of our Jewish neighbors have spent all Shabbat afternoon at this playground. My more extroverted husband has gone outside to talk with the “mommy circle” many weeks, often trying to make friends by bringing out our Shabbat dessert to share.

Well, several weeks ago my husband and I noticed that no one had been on the playground for a few weeks. Had it been nap time for everyone? Was it the weather? We couldn’t figure it out. After talking to one of our friends we found out that there had been an incident on the playground. Several older, non-Jewish kids had been playing on the playground, but they were cursing and pushing the smaller kids. The “mommy circle” made a collective decision to go across the street to a grassy area of the complex instead, even though it didn’t have a playground. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 17 2013

How My Mom Friends Became My Real Friends

By at 11:50 am

ladies

When you announce you’re about to have a child, the first thing everyone wants to do (after wishing you congratulations) is give you advice. And for many people, that advice is to make “mom friends.” It’s essential, I was told, to have someone to share poop and sleep and nursing horror stories with; to know someone who was going through the same challenges I was going through at the same time. It seemed to make sense, but how would I find these elusive “mom friends”?

At the time, I didn’t know anyone else in my city who had kids or was pregnant. What city? Brooklyn.

Brooklyn: Where the moms are known for being crunchy, co-sleeping, vegan-proselytizing, compost-loving and helicopter-parenting, skinny and fashionable, Type A, hyper-achievers. All the stereotypes were extreme (as stereotypes often are) and they all made me nervous. Would I get along with Brooklyn moms? What if I couldn’t make my own organic baby food? What if I didn’t lose all my baby weight in three weeks? Would I like them? Would they like me? Was I entering motherhood or middle school? Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 26 2013

Friday Night: Eating Pizza on White Tableclothes

By at 10:22 am

tamara reese and adina kay-grossA few weeks ago my family and I were visiting extended family on Long Island. First thing Friday morning we loaded the kids in the car and by 7 a.m. we were on the road. With only stopping twice to pee and nurse the baby we managed to hit minimal traffic and rock out Pittsburgh to the Big Apple in under nine hours.

Since it is not humanly possible to visit the Land of Pizza and Bagels without indulging, we met up with co-contributing editor Adina and her family for THE WORLD’S BEST PIZZA (Umbertos, New Hyde Park).

I texted Adina that it hadn’t occurred to me but we might need to wait for a table. She texted back, “Let’s pray for 15 minutes, my girls might be monsters.” Read the rest of this entry →

May 9 2013

Can Moms & Dads Be “Just Friends?”

By at 9:54 am

mom and dad getting coffeeWe talk a lot here at Kveller about mom friends. Where to find them, how to make them, the care and feeding of… The ritual of proper playground hook-up etiquette has become a mating dance of its own, with questions of when to call, what it means when they don’t call back, and the fear of coming off as seeming too needy.

But, the reality is that, in the year 2013, odds are that the parent you end up hitting it off with by the sandbox, the one you begin looking forward to seeing to help break up the monotony of your day, the one you start fantasizing about asking out for coffee without the kids so you guys can really talk and maybe become real friends with–sans sandbox–could well be not a fellow mom, but a dad. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 30 2013

Playing the Baby Competition Game

By at 12:42 pm

tara filowitz babyCharly’s turning 9 months old next week–she’s been in the world longer then she was growing in my belly!

Now that I’m back at work full time, it feels like months are literally zipping by. I’m trying to treasure every moment, but everything is starting to become a big blur. It feels like any moment I’ll have to start planning her first birthday (and I’ll admit, I’ve already been filling up my Pinterest board with ideas). Every day she grows cuter and cuter, does more and more new things, and finds new ways keeps us on our toes. With four little teeth coming in and her finally mastering the art of crawling, I tend to think my baby is AMAZING!

Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 1 2011

Everything is Suckier in Texas

By at 11:15 am

So here I am.  I arrived in Austin, Texas, just over a month ago.

We had a bid ready for a beautiful house.  I was committed to giving life here a 110% try.  We were just waiting for my husband’s written offer letter of employment.  He had already accepted verbally, but we needed it in writing.  We could not bid on the house without it.  We waited and waited and waited.  An email arrived asking for a call at the end of the day.  The Senior VP who wanted to hire my husband managed by consensus and allowed another executive to veto my husband at the 11th hour.

My heart hurts for my husband.  How dare someone disrespect him this way?  I wanted to hunt this man down and give him a verbal lashing.  Instead, I hugged my husband and said, “Oh well.  Just means something better is around the corner.  We’ll be fine.”

In the meantime, we have no place to call home, no job, and once again, no baby.  Yup, I had another chemical pregnancy.

We had our first date night in a long time last night. It was not one of our usual fun-filled evenings out together. My husband’s head is consumed with finding a job and mine is filled to the brim with pregnancy stuff. We are “go with the flow” type of folks, so I know it will all be fine and we will end up where we are supposed to be.  But I feel so alone right now.  I miss my momma friends in New York dearly.  A phone call or email is not the same, and who has time?  Meeting for a walk in the park or a quick cup of coffee was always so easy in New York.  I miss seeing Aiven play with his friends and I worry that he may suffer from the lack of interaction with other kids.  Time to get into a mommy group here I suppose. But I have no idea where to find one.

The Upper West Side of New York, with all of its Jewishness, good friends, easily accessible playdates, and really scrumptious food, consumes my thoughts.  I have been plunked down in a land of brown, drought highways, fast food, and nary a Yid for miles.  I used to pride myself on being able to spot a Jew at a hundred paces. I have to look a couple states away to really utilize that skill here.

But the good news is that my plan to escape Texas has legs!  The difference now is that my husband is on board.  Austin is not the Austin of his college days.  He is not the boy of yesteryear.  Requirements change and he sees that now.  He has been applying to jobs (mostly mostly management consulting in technology or finance, for those of you who want to help him out) in different parts of the country, and I can tell he is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Right now things are hard, but it won’t last indefinitely.  I know that our new home is somewhere over the horizon.

May 25 2011

Mom Cards: The Next Stage in Making Friends

By at 11:23 am

Remember when making a new friend was as easy as stealing a sand toy?

Has this happened to you?

Last week I met a new mom friend. She was new to the neighborhood and her daughter was a few months younger than mine. We chatted about summer vacations with extended families on the beach, kiddie activities in our neighborhood, and why our children seemed determined to eat sand in the sandbox (disgusting, but that’s another blog post for another time).

But then her daughter got a little bit cranky and it was time to go home for nap. And we said goodbye, they left the playground, and I realized I had no way to ever find her again, besides the chance that we’d see each other another day at another playground. (And in Park Slope Brooklyn that is harder than it might seem.)

Enter this brilliant idea: mom cards. I first learned about them from our friend and blogger JulieSue Goldwasser, and since have done an extensive Google search. This is an INDUSTRY, people. And it turns out mommy cards aren’t just for mommies.

They’re for Grandmas:

They’re for dog owners:

And they’re for kids with allergies (this one is actually BRILLIANT. Hand it to every person your child meets and they’ll think twice about eating peanuts near him!)

If only I had a mommy card when I met my new friend. I think her name was Sarah. And her daughter’s name was Bea. Anyone know that mom? Ooh, now I have an even better idea: a Craig’s List-style missed connections section specifically for moms at the playground. Who’s with me?

May 18 2011

Why I Don’t Miss the L.A. Cool Mama Clique

By at 11:28 am

Take, for example, the park.

The L.A. mamas are preternaturally chic in a languid, Sunday-morning way with their Bugaboo strollers, non-fat soy lattes, and matching husbands. They all wear their hair pulled back in effortlessly highlighted pony-tails. Yoga pants with price tags hovering around $150.00 hug their tight little asses, and their boobs defy gravity.

These are the mamas who only buy organic food and one-of-a-kind wooden toys handmade by magical Norwegian elves. These are the mamas who give their babies designer names, and schedule play dates two and a half weeks in advance. These are the mamas who plan their pregnancies.

And, they’re all friends.

I am not one of these mamas. Little Homie sits pretty in a hand-me-down, Gerber prune-stained Snap ‘N Go (and yes, everyone assumes he’s a girl because what mama doesn’t get a blue–or at least a gender-neutral–baby carrier for her boy-child?)  I never do pony-tails, and my highlights are usually the orange side of blonde. I can’t pull off the svelte yoga look–trust me, I’ve tried.

And the worst of it is, it’s not like I’m too badass to care what these other women think of me. In fact, I face these Stepford mamas and their cavalry of color-coordinated Bugaboos with what can only be described as desperate optimism. Alas, while they simultaneously flash their polished teeth in a Miss Manners smile, the muscles around their cheeks and eyes don’t flinch.

They give me the once-over, size me up, and then turn back to their earnest discussions about the best organic toddler snacks at Whole Foods. I stuff M’s goldfish crackers deep in my purse, and try to join in, but suddenly, they all seem to get very interested in their children.

Or cloud formations.

Most days, I feel like everyone but me got a manual on how to look, dress, and act like they have their shit together, and while I thought I had evolved past that feeling of awkward loneliness, it’s amazing how being snubbed at the playground by the cool mama clique can slam you back in time. Just like high school all over again. The good thing is moving to the other side of the world is like changing schools midyear–it’s a tough transition, but you get the chance to reinvent yourself.

Sarah packed up her life in LA and moved to a kibbutz in Israel with her husband and two young children. She is the only woman who walks around in what can only be described as “hooker boots.”

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