Monday, May 21, 2007
how to pick up a mom

Even while I was preggo, I was already aware of the “social landscape of new motherhood.” It's been mentioned in parenting magazines, and has been the subject of many a 'chick-lit' books. And what is that exactly? In a nutshell, new moms will expect to find themselves thrown back into a high school-like hierarchy of social status and new territory akin to that of the dating scene. Still not making sense? Let’s start with labels. There is the "high-end mom" = mom who has the latest hot stroller, the cool diaper bag, the latest educational toy, etc.; there is the "granola/earth mom” = mom only into organic foods, clothing, toys, etc. Or you can be a “hot mom” = a mom who has bounced back into shape, still wearing fashionable clothing and can balance a cappuccino on one hand and pushing a pram with the other. We're talking mom cliques. There are the die-hard breastfeeders who shun the formula moms, and SAHMs vs. working moms. There are definitely new associations you end up making –like making sure you set up playdates with kids of the same background as yours, be friends with moms who have the same parenting style as you, etc. It may not be as blatant as some magazines describe it, but you'll definitely notice it.

I do see this to a certain extent whenever I’m in the city with the baby. In the Upper East Side, there is a surplus of moms and nannies pushing Bugaboos (a stroller starting at $700) and nothing else. I see them in cafes chatting with one another, looking cool and posh. In the Village, I see more eclectic-mom types like myself, and so on. In my little neighborhood though, it’s not as common –yet. Moms in my area come in all shapes, sizes, and colors that they don't fit a specific niche. (Also, I haven’t really met any other moms that I associate with on a regular basis aside from the moms I’ve met in daycare.) So I can’t really comment on the types of moms out there. Nonetheless, I think moms are always on the lookout for other moms that they can bond with. When I’m at the playground, I definitely scout around to see which mom I can chat up. Likewise, I’ve been approached by other moms who try to pick me up.

One time, I was at our local playground (conveniently located at the end of my block) when this woman starts to chat me up. She was Chinese, probably about 5-10 years older than me, and had an 10-month old baby.

Her: Oh hello. How old is your child?
Me: He’ll be 12 months in two weeks.
Her: Wow, he’s walking already! Victoria (gesture to child in swing), can’t walk yet. When did he start walking?
Me: A little before he was 11 months old. He’s still very wobbly (and as if to demonstrate, rockstar baby trips and falls).
Her: Are you home? Or do you work?
Me: Oh I work, I just got out of work a little early. How about you?
Her: I work too, and she’s in daycare.
Me: Oh me too.
Her: Which daycare?
Me: Oh he’s in X daycare on 10th st.
Her: Oh where is that? Do they have a lot of white kids in there?
Me: Uhm..yeah, it’s pretty mixed.
Her: How much do you pay a week? Is it expensive? Are you able to afford it easily? Etc..

At that point, I got kinda weirded out by her personal financial questions, so I bow out of the conversation and turn to Jakey by saying “oh do you want to get on the slides now? Come on let’s go…” Since then, I’ve seen the mom around but I don’t think she remembers talking to me. I always see her chatting up other parents though!

I myself haven’t had the guts to approach other moms other than commenting on how cute their kid is and doing small talk. I think it’s really hard find other moms your age that a) have a child close in age to your child; and b) have the same interests as you. I'm currently trying to 'pick up' the mom of this cute kiddo that rockstar baby plays with in daycare. I haven't had a conversation with her yet (since she does her drop off/pick up earlier than I do); but since she dresses her baby kinda punk-y like sometimes, I keep thinking we'll get along.

I really wish my friends and I had kids at around the same time. We'd have built-in playdates and we already know we get along. A close friend I have with kids moved to Georgia (thanks Trish!) But at least there's Antonion (my friend Sol's baby) --I think by the time rockstar baby hits two, they can actually start playing with each other and actually realize it (as opposed to just staring at each other).

Until then, I'm still on the prowl. I have yet to see another mom wearing Vans with skulls on them or a shirt with a band’s name on it. Is that too much to ask? Should I put out a personal ad?

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POSTED BY KAT AT 5/21/2007 02:38:00 PM |


Blogger Trish said...

Haha...sorry for moving away. ;) I was reading an article in one of the many parenting magazines about "mommy cliques" and how some moms distinguish each other on things as trivial as stroller brand, formula-feeding, bottle-feeding, etc. Watch out for those! Day care mommies are a good place to start. That's what my cousin did. Now her kids have a busier social life than she does (that's what she tells me)! She also became active in her kids' schools, PTA and all that jazz. Yet another way to pick up mommies. Good luck, and don't forget to get a great pickup line!

5/21/2007 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger auee said...

I can sort of relate with the interrogation you experienced. I get that a lot during Pinoy gatherings. There was even one bold enough to ask me how much I earn. What? Why?

Anyway, the labels. Did you attend any pre-natal classes/activities? Egad! You get all sorts of know-it-all.

5/22/2007 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous abby said...

can you hold off for a year or two more? i'll get my vans out and dig out my 'The Cure' shirt from the 80s when the time comes. :)

5/22/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger tintin said...

Your sentiments really resonated with me. Aaargh, the perils of being a new mom and getting your kid to be friends with the "cool kids". hahah.

5/22/2007 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope too that when I get to be a mom there's still going to be someone who'll swoon over pictures of Interpol or Explosions in the Sky band members with in the playground!


5/23/2007 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger G. said...

you definitely fall in the hot mom category.


in any case, i like the bugaboos!!! specially if i end up getting a MINI, i'll probably get the frog.

oh, wait. you need a baby first, right?

uhmm... i'll get back to you.

5/23/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger kat said...

TRISH:thanks for the tips. i'm not too gung-ho at the moment but i'll def. put them to use maybe when he's a little older!

AUEE:my lamaze class only had 3 couples in it (including us), and the moms were very nice. but we didn't keep in touch.. and yes, some folks just ask inappropriate q's.

ABBY: bring it on! you better start trying soon then!

TIN: true! i'm hoping jakey is considered a cool kid and will have cool friends. =D

KALA:yeah! but i think you just have to look at the right places though. like maybe at a show! hahah

GIRLIE:uhm...i think you'd have very little space left in your MINI if you got a bugaboo! hahah...

5/23/2007 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Toe said...

Maybe I could become a Mom and get posted in New York... you could pick me up then. :)

Although I'm not a Mom, I also find it hard to find friends here who are my age and with the same interests (somehow, Cambodians don't watch Amazing Race and American Idol). :)

5/23/2007 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Riss said...

Let's take turns being each one of those moms per week. Like one week we could dress to the nines and push prams (have to steal one though, can't afford it) in little black dresses and the next we can put on granola clothing and pick organic fruit out at Trader Joe's.

5/25/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Solaida said...

Just getting around to some blog reading now that I'm sick hehehe

Playdates with Onion and RSB!?? Absolutely!! I think Onion needs to walk first though hehehe... He currently has no mode of escape when Jakey either goes to grab his head or kicks his feet at him when he's cranky sleepy hehehe

Wouldn't mind doing a whole vacation playdate if you want to do that too.... I'd LOVE to do a group vacation to Disney!!!!!! (geez... I think I'm enjoying this way more than Antonio heheh) I can't even get him to watch Sesame Street on TV. Unless he can eat it, he isn't really interested these days.

I don't own Vans with skulls and I'm definitely a few pounds over before I fit in the "hot mom clique"... I consider myself in the "trying-to-be-good-with-not-enough-time-or-energy-in-the-day-to-do-everything-single-mom" clique!

5/30/2007 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Kai said...

You're the coolest mom, so that'll prolly take you a while to find a click as cool. :P

Hey Kat, I'm back to 'Under The Radar'. Thanks for always updating the links though and so sorry for the mess. :)

5/30/2007 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger MrsPartyGirl said...

i wish i were hot and cool. teka, wait, that doesn't make sense. if i'm somewhere in the middle, i would be a lukewarm mommy. nyeh!

anyway, i have never hit it up with any mommies outside of the pinoy mommies circle i have here. i'm an introvert by nature (totoo, pramis!) so i just tend to keep to myself. but i'm not a snob naman, and once i'm approached, i try to be personable (wala lang tanungan ng sweldo, dahil wala ako nun hehe). now that i'm in a new place without my pinoy mommies circle, good luck na lang sa akin. :D

5/30/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Yikes, weird nga yung Chinese mom.

I'm afraid I can't give any advice on finding mommy friends, nahihiya akong makipag-usap sa strangers dito because my Swedish sucks :P but RSB's buddy's mom should be a good candidate :P

There's a term here for moms who keep up with the latest fashions, never go out without makeup and perfect hair. They're called latté mammas because they meet up and chat in coffee shops while their kids sleep/fuss/cry in strollers nearby. Sometimes I envy them because I have to schedule taking a shower some days, never mind blowdry my hair and put on makeup!

5/31/2007 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous evi said...

i definitely don't want to be an old-fashioned mom. hihi...

6/01/2007 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger purplegirl said...

you have got to see the picture of this mom i saw at our neighborhood park the other day. she was running after her 4-year old daughter all over the park in 4-inch heels. i kid you not. (

let me tell you about cliques... where i live, most moms don't work. working moms are frowned upon. bugaboos, yes, but only if you have a nanny to push them around. driving a car older than 2006 is also a no-no and you must drive a german-made SUV and live in a gated community for them to even look at you. they play tennis in the mornings, then lunch with other moms, after which shopping/manicure/pedicure/salon, then time to pick up little Blakey or Sidney from the $17,000/year private school nearby. at the park or cofee shop you hear them talk about which Swiss chalet they'll be visiting over Spring Break. but wait, there's more: they have zero body fat, don't look a day over 25, wear 400-dollar jeans, carry 8-thousand-dollar purses, and walk in 4-inch heels at the park. i'm not even going to try and use a pick-up line...

6/01/2007 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger JohnnyO said...

Hi - not sure how I stumbled upon your blog - but glad I read. From a guy's perspective, when I am out with my kids - I find a similar interaction. I find it a weird extreme - one side delving into way too much detail that you may not even cover on a first date (LOL) - the 2nd is that you find there are other parents out there going through the same things you are.

I enjoyed your posts - keep writing.

- JohnnyO

6/01/2007 01:51:00 AM  

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